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  • Research Associate covering climate change and sustainability at the United Nations University - ISP Tokyo (local hire position)

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Research Associate covering climate change and sustainability at the United Nations University - ISP Tokyo (local hire position)

United Nations University (UNU)

United Nations University Objectives

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars, engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of 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.

About the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace

Located in Tokyo, the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) was established in January 2009. UNU-ISP takes an innovative, integrated approach to sustainability — one that encompasses global change, development, peace and security. The Institute bridges these cross-cutting issues through research, educational and collaborative initiatives with the aim of solving current problems and anticipating future challenges. UNU-ISP works in collaboration with other UNU institutes as well as through co-operative relationships with the global academic and policymaking communities.

UNU-ISP launched its Master of Science in Sustainability, Development, and Peace postgraduate programme in September 2010. This programme addresses pressing global issues of sustainability, climate change, development, peacebuilding and human rights through an innovative interdisciplinary approach that integrates the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The programme, intended for recent graduates, professionals and practitioners, offers the unique opportunity to study at a global university within the framework of the United Nations. It provides students with the knowledge and skills to make important contributions towards solving global issues, whether through employment by UN agencies or other international organizations, on in government, civil society or the private sector. For more information, please visit the UNU-ISP website.

Graduate Programme in Sustainability Science — Global Leadership Initiative

The Graduate Programme in Sustainability Science — Global Leadership Initiative (GPSS-GLI) provides the training necessary for future global leaders to make a profound impact on sustainability science and sustainable development. The GPSS-GLI is an initiative developed under the Leading Program for Doctoral Education of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. Through intensely specialized studies and general education, as well as international and practical experience, students will develop the skills necessary for global leadership, acquire a wide perspective and problem-solving capabilities, and learn to apply the concept of “resilience”, both practically and theoretically.


This Research Associate position is to support the development of educational and research programmes and the exchange and joint activities between the UNU postgraduate programmes (UNU-PG) and GPSS-GLI programme towards establishing a joint international diploma programme. Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Senior Academic Officer of UNU-ISP, the successful candidate shall be entrusted with the following specific tasks:

• Support the development and management of research programmes related to Global Change and Sustainability (GCS), in the areas of climate and environmental change impacts and adaptation.
• Assist the UNU-PG and GPSS-GLI programmes and their collaboration in preparing and teaching postgraduate modules, and engage in capacity development work.
• Support research and other activities through organizing, monitoring, evaluating outcomes and disseminating research outcomes related to Global Change and Sustainability programmes.
• Assist in fund raising, including project proposal development, contracting and maintaining a dialogue with potential donors.
• Perform other duties as may be assigned.

Required Qualifications

• A PhD degree or equivalent in Engineering, Environmental Science or a related field.
• Knowledge of quantitative analysis and modeling of environmental processes.
• At least one year of work experience in an academic or research institution; programme management experience is an asset. Work experience in an international organization is preferred.
• Computer and web literacy is required. Strong IT skills are an asset.
• Fluency and excellent writing skills in English are essential. Knowledge of another official UN language is an advantage.
• Ability to prioritize tasks, to complete them within a limited time frame and to handle multiple concurrent activities.
• A good team player with strong inter-personal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.


This is a full-time position. Remuneration will commensurate with qualifications and experience, and will start from 450,000 Japanese yen per month. There are no other fringe benefits.

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  • Additional location info Tokyo
  • Closing Date 16 May 2012

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