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Programme Assistant, Water and Resource Management (PSA)

United Nations University


Posted over 30 days ago...


Join the United Nations University to help tackle global sustainability challenges and contribute to meaningful change


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£360333 - £398333

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In-person- Shibuya City Japan

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Expires at anytime

Organisation summary: The United Nations University is a beacon for knowledge, research, and capacity development that supports the United Nations' mission to resolve global issues. For over 40 years, UNU has been a key player in providing impartial research on critical topics such as human survival, conflict prevention, and sustainable development. With a network spanning 12 countries and collaborations with over 200 entities, it actively contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals, aiming to make a positive impact worldwide.

Role Summary: As a Programme Assistant in the Water and Resource Management programme at UNU-IAS, you will:

  • Provide vital administrative support and handle operational procedures.
  • Work closely with UNU-IAS Administration on various administrative transactions.
  • Offer support for external funds and grants, particularly those from Japanese agencies.
  • Assist with the organization and dissemination of outreaching activities.
  • Provide clerical support to team members, aiding in routine correspondence and logistical support.

Role Requirements:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, international relations, environmental science, or a related field.
  • At least 3 years of administrative experience, preferably in an international or academic setting.
  • Proficiency in English and Japanese, with practical experience in both languages.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multicultural environment.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office and common office IT tools.

Application Process Details:

  • Complete the UNU P11 Form and provide a motivation statement.
  • Respond to position-tailored questions and submit your application via the provided link.

Applications close on 02 April 2024, with an immediate start date. This is an opportunity to join a prestigious institution and work towards the greater good in a dynamic, international setting.

United Nations University (UNU)

UNU is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU's work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals' full breadth, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

About Office/Institute

UNU- Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system. UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. The mission of UNU-IAS is to serve the international community through policy-relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, including its social, economic and environmental dimensions.Through its postgraduate education programmes UNU-IAS developes future international leaders with interdisciplinary understanding and skills needed to advance creative solutions to problems of sustainability.UNU-IAS builds on a strong tradition of UNU research and capacity development in Japan, undertaken in collaboration with a global network of professionals and scholars, particularly in Africa and Asia. For more information, please visit

The Water and Resource Management (WRM) programme is one of key thematic research areas of UNU-IAS, aiming to promote multi-disciplinary policy research and international partnerships for sustainable water management. The Programme consists of two research projects supported by the Japanese government: 1) Water for Sustainable Development project, investigating the role and value of water in the economy in Asia (, and 2) Smart WaterDomain project promoting water reuse by private sectors and implemented jointly by UNU-IAS, UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES), and partner universities in Europe. The programme also serves as the UNU-IAS focal point on water vis-à-vis external partners, promoting international collaboration and managing various networks and partnerships world-wide.


Under the overall supervision of the UNU-IAS Director and under the direct guidance and supervision of the Project Manager for Water and Resource Management (WRM), the Programme Assistant shall perform the following tasks:

I. Provides administrative assistance and handle relevant operational procedures such as procurement, staff travel, payment, receipting, and event organization pursuant to the regulations, rules and guidelines of the UNU for the WRM team and its projects

  • Assist in day-to-day operations and administrative transactions closely liaising with UNU-IAS Administration to initiate requests, obtain necessary clearances, process and follow-up on administrative actions in a timely manner
  • Process transactions (e.g. requisition, payment, receipting etc.) for consultant and institutional contracts, procurement, travel approvals, as per the UN Financial Rules and Regulations and UNU procedures, ensuring accurate, adequate and relevant supporting documents
  • Maintain supporting documents and filing system for the projects

II. Provide administrative support for external funds and grants, in particular for those from the Japanese Ministries, foundations and other donor agencies

  • Serve as a contact point to the donor agencies and liaise with the counterparts and IAS colleagues
  • Assist in monitoring revenues and expenditures for the project budget and prepare accounting and financial reports and other relevant documents as required by the team and the donors
  • Maintain supporting documents and filing system for the projects

III. Provide administrative assistance to the outreaching and dissemination activities

  • Provide administrative and operational support for the organization of meetings and conferences
  • Provide administrative assistance in preparing and producing publications and dissemination materials
  • Liaise with the authors and vendors for the production or dissemination of materials and for organizing events

IV. Provide clericalsupport to the team members

  • Provide day-to-day administrative support to the team members and attend to routine correspondence
  • Provide logistical support for the team members during onboarding and separation processes

V. Perform any other duties as may be assigned or required by the supervisor(s)

Key Performance Indicators

  • Timely and quality development and implementation of payment/application process and reporting of projects.
  • Timely and quality delivery of financial and other administrative reports.
  • Quality and level of engagement with UNU-IAS partners
  • UNU is seen as a reliable and trustworthy partner by research partners, governments, donors, and civil society
  • Timely and accurate support to budget formulation and audits.



  • Inclusion - Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
  • Integrity - Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
  • Humility - Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
  • Humanity - Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.


  • Connect and Collaborate - Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyse and Plan - Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  • Deliver Results with Positive Impact - Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  • Learn and Develop - Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and Innovate - Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways

1) Education and certification

Bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, international relations, environmental science, or other relevant fields;

2) Required skills and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree with 3 years of work experience in an administrative role is required preferably in an international setting. Work experience at an academic or public organization is a plus.
  • Ability to efficiently manage a variable workload
  • Good team player with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office and other common office IT software tools.

3) Language Requirements:

  • Proficiencies in English and Japanese languages supported by working experience using these languages.


The successful candidate will be employed under a national PSA contract. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary in the range of JPY 360,333 - JPY 398,333 commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

Duration of contract

The duration of the initial contract is 1 year. This is Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders is 65 years.

Starting date

As soon as possible

How to Apply

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  • Apply via the apply link;
  • fill out the UNU P11 Form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

    You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline

02 April 2024


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks, and references.

Special Notice

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the Rector's authority. They may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply.

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.

If you have supervisory function you need to have awareness on gender related issues.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Scam Warning

UNU does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.


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