Programme Associate

UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)
Tokyo, Japan
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)
Languages Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

United Nations University objectives

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 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.

UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

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. 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

Grant for Global Sustainability (GGS) programme

UNU-IAS implements the Grant for Global Sustainability (GGS), an initiative supporting research related to implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Educational and research institutions based in Japan are eligible to apply for the 3-year grants. Currently, five projects under the following themes are ongoing;

FY 2017–2019

  • Theme 1: Education and governance to achieve inclusive development
  • Theme 2: Solutions to the challenges faced by the Earth’s systems
  • Theme 3: Solutions to the challenges encountered by cities and residential areas

FY 2018–2020

  • Theme 1: Solutions to the Achievement of Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education
  • Theme 2: Solutions to Challenges the Women’s Empowerment and Gender

Global Leadership Training Programme (GLTP)

In order to train global leaders who can contribute to solving various sustainability challenges in Africa, UNU-IAS has developed a practical training programme through which Japanese graduate students can conduct their field work at partner universities and research institutions in Africa to acquire practical skills, knowledge, and experience. UNU-IAS will arrange for the graduate students to carry out their field research (2–4 on a long-term basis and 6–8 on a short-term basis) at partner universities and research institutions in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Zambia. After on-site training, the participating students will make presentations at a reporting workshop to share their experiences and lessons learned from the programme. 


Under the overall guidance of the Director of UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), and under the direct supervision of the Academic Programme Officer, the Programme Associate will carry out the following tasks:

  • coordinate the Global Leadership Training Programme in Africa (GLTP) through supporting application and selection processes, travel and logistics arrangement for the selected students including liaising with local supervisors in Africa, daily communication with the selected students during their stay in Africa, and management of data and documents accumulated in the programme
  • coordinate the Grant for Global Sustainability (GGS) programme, which includes supporting application and selection processes of grantees, project monitoring, and preparing reports on the project
  • support editorial work for the Sustainability Science journal hosted by UNU-IAS
  • support organising of workshops, seminars, symposiums, and other events related to the GLTP and the Sustainability Science journal
  • assist the UNU-IAS Postgraduate Programme in preparing postgraduate educational modules, and engage in capacity development work
  • perform other duties as may be assigned by the supervisor

Required qualifications and experience

  • master’s degree in either in Business Administration, Environmental Studies, or an equivalent field of study
  • at least five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in a related area; work experience in office administration or related duties at international organisations is an asset
  • strong research management skills and experience in environmental policy development and statistical analysis are desirable
  • fluency in English and Japanese is required; a working knowledge of other UN official languages is an advantage
  • strong data analysis and computer skills, including proficiency in MS Office Applications (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook); ability to establish priorities, work within tight deadlines, and handle multiple concurrent activities
  • a good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


Remuneration will commensurate with qualification and experience and will range from JPY 220,000 to 245,000 per month. There are no other fringe benefits.

Duration of contract

This is part-time employment (3.5 days per week) on a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) with UNU-IAS. Initial appointment will be for one year with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory work performance and budget availability; The combined duration of appointments shall not exceed six (6) years.

This is a locally recruited post; no relocation expenses or allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations. UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position.