Local recruitment: Programme Assistant (Water and Resource Management Programme)

United Nations University (UNU)

Tokyo, Japan 🇯🇵

POSITION: Personnel Service Agreement (PSA)


LOCATION: Tokyo, Japan


CLOSING DATE: 2021•08•15

About the United Nations University

The United Nations University (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.

United Nations University 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 http://ias.unu.edu.

The Water and Resource Management Programme

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 (https://ias.unu.edu/en/research/water-for-sustainable-development.html#outline), 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-Ă -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 of the Head of the WRM programme, the Programme Assistant shall perform the following duties.

  • provide administrative support to research grant management and execution for water-related projects and fellowships financed mainly by the Japanese government; monitor and record the budget activities and prepare accounting and financial reports as required by the UNU-IAS and donor agencies
  • arrange and process procurements, payments, and travel using the project budgets
  • take administrative charge in processing contractual agreements with partner organisations and consultants, in coordination with various UNU-IAS units and with contractors
  • ensure the logistical arrangements of meetings, workshops, and other external outreach, including managing the online meeting operations
  • periodically review and maintain share folders and filing system for the programme
  • perform any other duties assigned or required by UNU-IAS Director or the Head of Programme

Qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, international relations, environmental science, or other relevant fields
  • at least two (2) years of professional experience in an administrative role similar to the job description; experience working with an academic or public organization a plus
  • proficiency in English and Japanese backed by work experience using these languages
  • literacy in the Microsoft Office and other common office IT software tools
  • strong interpersonal skills and team-playing ethos; ability to initiate actions; respect for diversity in a multicultural working environment


UNU offers a monthly salary in the range of JPY 315,083-348,083, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

PSA holders are required to enroll in Japan’s national social health care and pension insurance systems.

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 funding availability 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 is 65 years.

Expected start date

1 October 2021 (negotiable).


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

Special notice

UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position.

PSA holders do no hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

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 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.

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.