Project Associate GS-6

UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to join the Institute’s Projects Support Team in the Partnerships and Programme Support Unit. Closing date: 4 September 2021, 23:59 UTC+3
About UN 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 pans 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 World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

UNU-WIDER is a leading international development economics think tank. The Institute provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all. The Institute began  operations in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland, as the first research centre of the United Nations University. Today, it is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency — providing a range of services from policy advice to  governments, as well as freely available original research. More information on UNU-WIDER and its current work  programme are available on the Institute's website.

UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to join the Institute’s Projects Support Team in the Partnerships and Programme Support Unit.


Under the supervision of the Associate Programme Officer, the Project Associate will perform a wide range of project support and administrative functions within the Institute’s Projects Support Team, including the following duties:

  • Serve as focal point for coordination, monitoring and expedition of project implementation activities, involving extensive liaison across the Institute and its global network (internal and external project focal points, communications focal points and administrative personnel, as well as external consultants) to initiate requests, prepare standard terms of reference against project objectives, obtain necessary clearances, process and follow-up on administrative actions and resolve issues related to project implementation.
  • Support in the co-ordination of complex project planning, implementation, monitoring, and closure; identify shortfalls in delivery, budget over-runs, completeness and compliance with relevant rules and procedures; identify inconsistencies and bring them to the attention of the management.
  • Provide support in the preparation and analysis of assigned project budget proposals and in carrying out periodic budget implementation reviews for the projects, identify issues and suggest follow-up actions.
  • Draft narrative and financial reports on assigned projects, activities, and outputs for a range of external stakeholders.
  • Compile, summarize, and present a wide variety of documents, updates and reports relating to assigned projects using appropriate technology/software; provide research and administrative support in preparation of presentations.
  • Perform the role of requisitioner for assigned projects.
  • Research, compile, analyse, and summarize complex information on assigned projects for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Organize events and activities relating to the assigned projects in co-ordination with communications, procurement, and other support units providing secretarial, administrative and logistics support as required.
  • Update internal databases; generate a variety of standard and non-standard statistical and other reports from various databases; maintain files/records (both paper and electronic).
  • Support in drafting of assigned project proposals and documents.
  • Provide guidance and training to new project support staff.
  • During the absence of other personnel in the Projects Support Team, assists in carrying out their duties.
  • Assist in internal and external knowledge-sharing of project outputs and activities.
  • Keep abreast of UNU rules and regulations in the area of responsibility and maintain an optimum level of knowledge by continuous learning.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

Programme, research, and communications personnel associated with assigned programmes/projects. Personnel in the Operations Support Unit, e.g., Procurement, Administration/Finance, Human Resources, etc. Officials in other UNU offices, partner organizations and agencies, including external researchers, civil servants incl. senior civil servants, and counterparts in other UN entities etc.

Results expected:

Provides reliable assistance in the coordination of programme/project planning and implementation activities. Demonstrates understanding of the context of programmes/projects and issues in assigned area and uses increasing independence in processing of work and follow-up actions. Demonstrates initiative in the identification and resolution of issues/problems. Is well organised, produces accurate reports, records and/or data put together with only general guidance. Consistently applies appropriate policies, guidelines, and procedures. Effectively, and in timely manner, liaises and interacts with colleagues and concerned parties internally and externally.

Required qualifications and experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with at least three (3) years of relevant work experience, preferably in an international organization; or 
  • Completion of secondary school (high school) education with at least six (6) years of relevant work experience, preferably in an international organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to support the planning, monitoring, and implementation of projects.
  • Excellent communication skills with fluency in both oral and written English. Knowledge of other UN official languages would be an asset.
  • Knowledge of the UN system and key development issues is an advantage.
  • Working knowledge and experience in using MS Office.
  • Knowledge of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system (preferably Oracle Could ERP) would be an asset.
  • Ability to work under minimal supervision and with a high level of resilience.
  • Strong ability to establish priorities, multi-task, and work within tight timelines.
  • Excellent team player with strong communication and interpersonal skills, and ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

We offer a competitive net salary (tax exempted in Finland) at GS-6 level on the UN Finland salary scale (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Benefits include 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. For more information please see: and

Duration of contract

This is a full-time fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

Application procedure

Interested applicants must submit their application online through Impactpool and upload the following documents:

  • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
  • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form downloadable from the UNU website. Please do not use similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations
  • an up-to-date CV
  • a copy of the highest educational degree obtained

Only upload documents as requested. Applications submitted with additional documents e.g., letters of reference may be disqualified.


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

Special notice

The is a locally recruited position and no relocation expenses or allowance apply. The position is limited to persons who have (1) Finnish nationality, or (2) the necessary residence, and work permit for Finland, or (3) have the right of residence in Finland as an EU/EFTA citizen.

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the Rector's authority. They may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right  to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

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.

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