Latest Postings


(i) Postdoctoral/Professional Fellow and (ii) Fellow
Personnel Service Agreement (Full time)

UNU International Institute for Software Technology, Macao, China

Closing date:open until the position is filled

These two fellows will assist in a project that assesses the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) in the classroom, in schools and across education systems, including the design and implementation of assessment and benchmarking exercises, data analysis, policy research, and the development of guidelines and recommendations. The Postdoctoral/Professional Fellow will work as project manager, and the Fellow as a project assistant, under the supervisions of a UNU-IIST Research Fellow.


Project Officer - Drylands Programme
Personnel Service Agreement (PSA; 1-year renewable)

UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), Hamilton, Canada

Closing date: 2011.04.10

The primary responsibilities of the Project Officer (Drylands) concern the design and implementation of projects related to the institute's Drylands Programme. The Project Officer will manage the afore-mentioned project: in particular, coordinating the activities and outputs of the project, including publication and dissemination of the project findings through print- and web-based media. The maintenance and continuous development of a network of experts on dryland issues will be essential to the success of these initiatives.


Research Fellow
Fixed-Term Appointment (P-2)

UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Maputo, Mozambique

Closing date: 2011.04.19

The Research Fellow will collect, evaluate, interpret and analyse specified statistics and qualitative socio-economic information obtained from a variety of sources and pertaining to particular sectors, countries, regions or development topics.


Research Fellow
Fixed-Term Appointment (P-3)

UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Helsinki, Finland

Closing date: 2011.04.19

The Research Fellow will design, undertake and co-ordinate research in one or more areas of the institute's work programme. The duties entail preparation of project discussion notes, the identification and briefing of contributors to projects, the co-ordination and supervision of their intellectual contributions, the writing of research papers, the organization of research meetings, and the editing of books and other material for the UNU-WIDER publications series.


Research Fellow
Fixed-Term Appointment (P-4)

UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Helsinki, Finland

Closing date: 2011.04.19

The Research Fellow duties encompass comprehensive tasks related to research work and projects. The incumbent also will be required to contribute to the management of the institute's activities, including the identification and development of research projects, the organization of meetings and conferences, and some fund-raising activities.


Senior Research Fellow
Fixed-Term Appointment (P-5)

UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Helsinki, Finland

Closing date: 2011.04.19

The Senior Research Fellow duties encompass comprehensive tasks related to research work and projects. The incumbent also will be required to contribute to the management of the institute's activities, including the identification and development of research projects, the organization of meetings and conferences, some fund-raising activities, and the organization of book launches as well as teaching and supervision of academic activities in the area of his/her specialty within the institute's approved work programme.


Fixed Term (Full-time Basis)

United Nations University, Tokyo (Japan)

Closing date: 2011.06.15

The Rector is the chief academic and administrative officer of the United Nations University and has overall responsibility for the direction, organization, administration and programmes of the University. The position carries the rank of United Nations Under-Secretary-General. The Rector is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations after consultation with Director-General of UNESCO. The position requires extensive overseas travel. The continuing development and activities of the UNU places ever-increasing demands on the incumbent.

English - 20110615_Rector_UNU-HQ.pdf

Français - 20110615_Rector_UNU-HQ.pdf

Español - 20110615_Rector_UNU-HQ.pdf

Arabic - 20110615_Rector_UNU-HQ.pdf

Research Fellow

UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), Yokohama, Japan

Closing date: 2011.03.31

UNU-IAS is recruiting a Research Fellow for the Science and Technology for Sustainable Societies (STSS) Programme. Under the general supervision of the Director of UNU-IAS and the Head of the STSS Programme, the Research Fellow will be expected to be fully involved in the research activities of STSS to develop and actively support research projects in the broad area of science and technology for sustainable innovation. The major research focus of STSS is to develop policies, position papers and academic publications on mainstreaming green development through science, technology and innovation.


Local Recruitment

- Germany -

HR Focal Point

United Nations University Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE), Bonn, Germany

Closing date: 2011.03.31

Under the supervision of the Chief of Human Resources of the UNU Headquarters, the successful candidate will be responsible for recruitment and placement; reviewing of staff benefits and entitlements; staff development and career support training; develop job classifications and handle contract management.


Associate Academic Officer
(Munich Re Foundation Chair on Social Vulnerability - Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability and Adaptation Section)
PSA (Consultancy)

UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security, Bonn Germany

Closing date: 2011.04.11

The successful candidate will support the chair-holders in the design and implementation of their work plans; co-ordinate and, where appropriate, co-author publications with the chair-holders; source project opportunities (including proposal writing) relevant to the activities of the MRF chair-holders and complementary to the UNU-EHS goals; collaborate on social vulnerability, social resilience and global environmental change issues; co-ordinate a network of scholars and experts; and coordinate and organize the annual one-week Summer Academy on Social Vulnerability, and coordinate all related publications.


- Japan -

Research Fellow

UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK), Japan

Closing date: (open until position is filled)

The successful candidate will be expected to be fully involved in the academic activities of UNU-IAS and OUIK and to develop a strong research programme in the area of marine governance and coastal management. The ongoing UNU-IAS activities in the area of marine and coastal governance encompass issues related to biodiversity and its management of the oceans and coasts, including topics of relevance to climate change and preservation of coastal communities. The incumbent will spend substantial amount of time in carrying out and supervising research, as well as undertaking fundraising efforts. The Fellow will report to the Directors of UNU-IAS and UNU-IAS OUIK.


- Finland -

Research Associate
Personnel Service Agreement (PSA, Full-Time)

UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Helsinki, Finland

Closing date: 2011.04.01

The incumbent will assist in the design and co-ordination of research in one or more areas of the institute's work programme. Duties will entail assistance in the preparation of project discussion notes, the identification and briefing of contributors to projects, the co-ordination and supervision of their intellectual contributions, the writing of research papers, the organization of research meetings, and the editing of books and other material for the UNU-WIDER publications series.



Working for UNU — An Introduction

The United Nations University (UNU) was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations to be an international community of scholars engaged in research, capacity building and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

The UNU is not a traditional university in the sense of having a faculty, campus or students, nor does it award degrees. Accordingly, there is only a restricted number of full-time personnel at the University Headquarters in Tokyo and at its Institutes in various parts of the world; as the University carries out its work in co-operation with other research institutions, international organisations and individual scholars and scientists throughout the world.

Appointments are limited to service with the UNU and staff cannot expect any transferability to other positions within the UN Secretariat or any other UN agency. UNU staff members are either locally recruited or internationally recruited. All General Service staff are locally recruited at the duty station and recruitment advertisements are placed in the local press. Most Professional Staff are internationally recruited and advertisements are normally placed in specialised, international journals focused on the particular academic discipline we are targeting. Furthermore, we always issue a Vacancy Announcement for all internationally recruited positions which will be posted to this web site.

Prospective employees particularly keen to work for UNU may wish to monitor our Vacancy Announcements on this website, where any UNU positions, limited in number though they may be, are always advertised. It should be noted, however, that the University will not consider applications for other than advertised vacancies.


General Information


The working language of UNU is English. Consequently, fluency in written and spoken English is essential, and it is advantageous to be proficient in one or more of the other languages commonly used in UNU especially French, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Finnish, Dutch, Russian and Spanish.

Salary and benefits

The organization offers attractive remuneration packages and benefits to attract staff of the highest quality. Starting salaries are based upon academic and professional qualifications, as well as the level of the post. The base salary scales are set by the UN General Assembly.

Salaries and benefits are usually paid in the currency of the duty station and are, in principle, exempt from local and national, income taxes, although UN "staff assessment" (a UN income tax) is deducted from gross salaries. Depending upon the duty station, dependency allowances, in the form of higher net salaries for a dependant spouse or allowances for dependant children may be provided. Other benefits include: paid annual leave at the rate of 30 days per year; 10 "UNU official holidays" in lieu of national holidays; generous sick leave entitlements; a contributory health insurance scheme; and group life assurance coverage.

All staff members are required to contribute to the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF). The monthly contribution is tied to a scale determined by the United Nations General Assembly and a contribution to the staff member's account is also made by UNU. Besides retirement pensions, the UNJSPF provides disability pensions and, in the event of the death of the participant, survivors' benefits. The mandatory retirement age is 62. Staff members separating from UNU before reaching that age are entitled to either a lump-sum withdrawal settlement instead of a pension, or (if they have at least five years of contributory service) a deferred retirement benefit, or (if, in addition, they are over 55 years of age) an early retirement pension at a reduced rate. Pensions are subject to annual cost-of-living adjustments.

Professional staff members of UNU may be required to serve at various duty stations during the course of their contract. Such staff receive a post adjustment component on top of their base salary, based on the cost of living at the duty station and the rate of exchange of the local currency vis-à-vis the United States dollar. Staff serving away from their home countries receive an assignment allowance and an education grant and dependency allowance are paid for each eligible child. International staff members may also be eligible for a rental subsidy and various shipping, travel and installation allowances related to appointment to and transfers between duty stations. If an internationally recruited staff member's contract is extended beyond the initial two years, UNU will meet the "home leave" travel costs of the staff member travelling (with spouse and dependant children) to his or her recognized country of origin.

Relocation expenses

In the case of new staff members who have been internationally recruited, UNU usually meets the costs of travel from the place of recruitment to the duty station for the staff member and their eligible dependants. It also usually meets the costs of shipping and insuring household effects. Assistance with visa formalities may be provided, and UNU can arrange initial hotel accommodation.

Similarly, a repatriation grant is payable to internationally recruited staff upon separation and relocation back to their home country. The amount of the grant is linked to the staff member's dependency status and the length of service with the United Nations.


How To Apply

Remember, we only accept applications for advertised vacancies. We do not maintain a roster, nor do we hold applicant details on file, pending a suitable vacancy. If you have previously applied for a vacancy at UNU, this does not mean we still have your details on file - if you see a new position for which you believe you are qualified, send us another application.

Before making an application to the UNU, have you read the qualifications and requirements for the advertised position in which you are interested? All applicants must meet or exceed the minimum selection criteria for the advertised position.

You should also be aware of the following general requirements:

Academic qualifications and experience

Most Professional academic positions within the University require a relevant doctorate (PhD or equivalent) with several years post-qualifying experience, as a minimum. Most administrative positions at the Professional level require a minimum of a post-graduate degree (Masters or equivalent) plus post-qualifying experience. Most General Service positions require a minimum of a first degree (undergraduate university degree) together with several years relevant experience.

The required minimum period of experience depends on the grade of the post stated in the vacancy announcement. There are five grades in the Professional category (P-1 at the junior level to P-5 at the senior level) and two in the policy-making category (D-1 and D-2). Candidates for Professional positions at grades P-3 to P-5 are typically required to have 6-15 years of relevant work experience. Positions at D-1 and D-2 are expected to be able to demonstrate more extensive experience, at higher organisational levels. General Service staff must have several years successful experience in a relevant area and have excellent business computing skills and sound administrative abilities.

Computer skills

Sound, hands on, knowledge of standard office software (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, etc.) and good quantitative skills are required of all staff.

Personal qualities

Good interpersonal skills are essential, as are diplomacy, tact, and the ability to work well in a team. People wishing to work in a multinational environment need to be tolerant and able to cope with cultural differences and different approaches to problem-solving and decision-making. Besides having well balanced personalities and good communications skills, they should enjoy cultural diversity. Prior experience in a cross-cultural work environment is an asset.

Management skills

Management skills are required of candidates applying for supervisory positions. In particular, the ability to plan and prioritise work is a key competency. Thus you should be able to demonstrate that you are able to set clear goals; monitor performance; effectively manage projects and assignments; motivate individuals and teams; delegate freely and promote teamwork; develop the skills and expertise of your team; provide guidance, feedback and objective appraisal of people's performance; promote a free flow of information; and resolve conflicts.

Staff within UNU may be called upon to work well beyond the established office hours, to meet very short deadlines and to travel extensively - sometimes to countries with difficult living conditions. They may have to cope with poor technology and other constraints in the field. Nevertheless, they must remain committed and do their job efficiently and effectively, often with limited resources.

Professional staff members of the UNU should also be able to demonstrate an ability to analyse problems thoroughly and systematically. Furthermore, they should be articulate, tactful, diplomatic and flexible and should possess sound judgement, integrity and a drive for results.

Medical Clearance

Offers of appointment are contingent upon the candidate passing a pre-employment medical examination.

Submitting your application

If you consider you are qualified, please send us a curriculum vitae (CV) or a completed UNU Personal History form. When submitting your application make sure you clearly indicate the position reference number in your covering letter and on the envelope containing your application.

If you send a CV, it should be typed and must contain:

If you send a UNU Personal History form:

Further tips on what to include in a covering letter and CV can be found at the OHRM web-site of the United Nations.

A copy of the UNU Personal History Form is available here:

(213 KB Word)

Send your application by post or fax or e-mail (but only use e-mail where an e-mail address is clearly indicated in the Vacancy Announcement). Please do not send multiple applications.

Due to the high volume of employment-related correspondence we receive daily, UNU is unfortunately not in a position to acknowledge receipt of your application nor respond to queries regarding information already provided in the Vacancy Announcement or on this web site. At the initial recruitment stage, we therefore cannot answer your specific questions or general enquiries: we will only contact you if you have been short-listed for interview.


Employment Conditions

Selection Policies

Staff members are selected solely on merit. While recruiting only the most able and technically competent candidates, we strive for balance in gender and nationality representation. We do not set country or gender quotas, but we do try to ensure that the diversity of UN member states is reflected in the composition of our staff. In this way, we can more effectively understand and meet the different needs of member states and also encourage a greater cross-fertilization of ideas within the organization. Where competing candidates exhibit equal merit, preference is given to candidates from developing countries or regions and every effort is made to achieve a balanced gender distribution within the organisation.

The UNU strongly supports the principle of "equal rights of men and women" enshrined in the first sentence of the United Nations Charter. Measures have been taken to allow for a climate conducive to the equal participation of men and women at the workplace. These include a flexible working hours scheme, "family leave" the possibility of extended maternity leave and a policy giving preference to well-qualified female applicants in cases of comparable qualifications and suitability.

Duration of tour of service

UNU does not offer permanent appointments. In order to keep the collective knowledge of our staff current and at the highest levels, especially in scientific and academic fields, and to ensure the regular injection of new ideas from outside, the UNU generally appoints all staff on a two-year, fixed-term, contract basis. In many cases, an appointment to a further two-year contract is made, if performance meets the required standards and if there is a continuing need for the services of the staff member.



Page last modified 2019.04.16.

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