Local recruitment: Senior Communications Associate / Communications Associate

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

Tokyo, Japan 🇯🇵

POSITION: Personnel Service Agreement (PSA)
LOCATION: Tokyo, Japan
CLOSING DATE: 2021•08•27

About 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 Senior Communications Associate / Communications Associate will promote UNU-IAS and its activities to raise visibility and impact. She/he will play a key role in implementing the communications strategy of UNU-IAS, with the overall goal of shaping, packaging, and delivering the institute’s products and expertise to maximise impact, effect positive change, and drive further demand for UNU-IAS work.

As part of the UNU-IAS Communications unit, the Senior Communications Associate / Communications Associate will deliver and improve communications products and initiatives including the UNU-IAS website, the UNU-IAS Policy Brief series, promotional materials, and social media efforts. She/he will proactively develop and implement communications campaigns to promote key UNU-IAS activities and outputs. This role will involve close cooperation with colleagues across UNU-IAS and UNU, particularly as part of an ongoing rebranding and website redevelopment initiative.

Under the general supervision of the UNU-IAS Director, and the direct supervision of the Manager of UNU-IAS Communications, the Senior Communications Associate / Communications Associate will:

  • manage and maintain UNU-IAS website content, including both copy and visual assets
  • review, edit, format, and proofread content for both print and online communications
  • source content and liaise with content authors
  • develop and manage communications policies, workflows, and resources
  • produce promotional materials such as brochures, annual reports, and event posters
  • promote key events and publications through media outreach, social media, and other means
  • facilitate internal communications and collaborate with colleagues across UNU-IAS, UNU, and the UN system on joint initiatives
  • use monitoring tools to measure and report on the efficacy of UNU-IAS communications activities
  • develop relationships and networks to enhance outreach
  • conduct other relevant activities as necessary

Required qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • a master’s degree or equivalent qualification in communications, sustainable development, environment, social sciences, or a related field; equivalent experience in combination with a bachelor’s degree will be considered
  • a minimum of 4 years relevant working experience (for Senior Communications Associate) or 2 years (for Communications Associate), preferably in an international setting
  • exemplary writing, editing, and communications skills in English; ability in other official UN languages and/or Japanese is an advantage
  • strong knowledge of communications theory and practice, including up-to-date knowledge of best practices in social media
  • experience drafting public information materials (e.g., articles, press releases, website content, etc.) is required
  • familiarity with the UN system and current issues related to sustainability
  • excellent computer skills and web literacy are essential; experience using WordPress, HTML, and/or the Adobe suite of creative products is an asset
  • good team player with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


The successful candidate will be employed under a local PSA contract and no relocation allowances apply. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including a monthly salary in the range from JPY 413,167 to 488,583 (Senior Communications Associate), or from JPY 360,333 to 398,333 (Communications Associate) per month 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 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 is 65 years.

Starting 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 organization. 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.