Travel Assistant

UNU-WIDER is now looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to assist in organizing travels related to the implementation of the work programme of UNU-WIDER, with a specific focus on travels related to workshops, events and conferences. Closing date: 10 October 2019, 23:59 UTC+3
About UN University

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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 original research that is ‘open access’. More information on UNU-WIDER's current work programme is available on the institute's website.

UNU-WIDER is now looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to assist in organizing travels related to the implementation of the work programme of UNU-WIDER, with a specific focus on travels related to workshops, events and conferences.


Under the overall supervision of the Chief, Administrative and Programme Services and the day-to-day supervision of the Administrative and Procurement Associate, the Travel Assistant will perform the following duties:

  • Support travel management processes and facilitate that all travel is expeditiously processed and fully compliant with corporate travel guidelines and requirements
  • Support in the implementation of the travel and expense workflow
  • Assist with the organization of UNU-WIDER events, in particular assist with travel requests for personnel and meeting participants
  • Provide information on rates and travel schedules for specific itineraries
  • Liaise with travellers, purchases air tickets in accordance with UN travel rules and UNU travel guideline
  • Calculation of Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) payments
  • Process requisitions and purchase orders for travel in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) financial management system, and payments for travel expenses, claims and invoices
  • Prepare travel authorizations
  • Assist with the travel master list completion
  • Co-ordinate with embassies to assist travellers obtain visas
  • Assist in resolving travel-related cases with changes/cancellations/problems
  • Review travel claims and supporting documentation for completeness, accuracy, validity and conformity with UN Regulations and Rules
  • Collect data on travel for reporting purposes
  • Perform other duties as requested by the supervisor.
Required qualifications and experience
  • Bachelor’s degree or completed a Degree Programme in Hospitality, Tourism and Experience Management with at least one (1) year of relevant work experience preferably in an international organization. Or,
  • Completion of secondary school education with at least four (4) years of relevant work experience preferably in an international organization
  • Working knowledge and experience in the use of MS Office such as Excel and Word
  • Knowledge of an ERP system (preferably Oracle/PeopleSoft) is an advantage
  • Knowledge of the UN systems is an advantage
  • Excellent communication skills with fluency in both oral and written English. Knowledge of other United Nations official languages and Finnish is an asset
  • Diplomacy, aptitude and accuracy in detail work are essential
  • Ability to work under minimal supervision and with high level of resilience
  • Strong ability to establish priorities, multi-task and work within tight timelines
  • Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Remuneration will commensurate with qualifications, experience and level of responsibilities within the administration.

This is a locally-recruited post and no relocation allowance applies. The post is limited to persons residing in Finland, including persons holding a valid work permit. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil service status nor be a ‘staff member’ as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

UNU has its own medical insurance for employees contracted under a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA).

Duration of contract

This is full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU-WIDER, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

Application procedure

Interested applicants should submit their applications online using the 'Apply here' link on the left side column and must upload the following:

  • a cover letter setting out how their qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
  • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) downloadable from UNU website; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations
  • an up-to-date CV
  • a copy of highest educational degree obtained.

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs (Charter of the United Nations: Chapter 3, article 8).