The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge, 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. For more information, please visit


United Nations University, 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 United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK) was established in April 2008 with strong support by local governments of Ishikawa Prefecture and Kanazawa City in Japan. OUIK has provided local and regional input into UNU’s sustainable development and international cooperation efforts in collaboration with other organizations, including UN agencies, academic institutes and local partners by implementing research on sustainable utilization of biodiversity and ecosystem services. OUIK also aims at developing communication and networks with local stakeholders through public outreach and capacity building, while sharing information about international trends.


Under the overall supervision of UNU-IAS Director, and under the direct guidance and supervision of Director of UNU-IAS OUIK, and in close collaboration with UNU-IAS staff, the administrative assistant shall perform the following tasks:

1. Provide day-to-day operational support:

  • 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.
  • • Process transactions (e.g. travel approvals, payment, receipting etc.) as per the UN Financial Rules and Regulations and UNU procedures, ensuring accurate, adequate and relevant supporting documents
  • Provide administrative and operational support for the organization of events such as symposiums, conferences, and staff meetings.

2. Assist financial operations pursuant to UNU policies, regulations and rules:

  • Ensure proper control of the supporting documents for payments and receivables.
  • Ensure timely accounts closure (requisitions, purchase orders and contracts) at month-end and year-end.
  • Ensure timely response to UNU IAS/HQ requests related administrative matters.
  • Maintain database and shared folders up to date for the Project Manager and administrative staff.

3. Provide administrative support for the management and execution of external funds and grants:

  • Provide grant administration support to the Project Manager and donors, including preparing an account summary and financial report.
  • Assist in preparation of accounting and financial reports and other relevant documents as required.
  • Maintain supporting documents and filing system for the IAS projects and activities.

4. Manage the office resource and document:

  • Manage office supplies and equipment, ensuring availability and functionality.
  • Update and archive documents regularly accordance with organizational guidelines.

5. Perform any other duties as may be assigned.

Key Performance Indicators

  • Timely and quality development and local uptake of policy and knowledge products
  • Timely and quality achievement of project indicators and submission of deliverables
  • Quality engagement with international and local project implementation partners
  • Contribution to project, institute and UNU mission



  • 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


Education and certification:

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, Accounting, Public Administration, International Relations, Enviromental Study or a related field of study.


  • At least 3 years of working experience in related field;
  • Experiences in programme or project administration, grant management, finance, accounting, or a related area, some of which preferably in an international setting is preferable;
  • Knowledge and working experience on organization of conferences, travel, procurement, logistical and financial arrangements desirable;
  • Computer/web literacy is a must;
  • A good team player with strong inter-personal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
  • Ability to perform multitask and to manage own workload to deliver the outcome in timely manner;
  • Related experience and interest in OUIK’s research activities is desirable.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in both Japanese and English is required;
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.


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 net salary of the range JPY 360,333 – 398,333, 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 holders is 65 years.

Expected startdate:
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 organizations);
  • 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:
29 February 2024 (UCT)


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 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.

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.

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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