Project assistant

United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) Project Assisstant
Location New York, USA
Application deadline 22 October 2018
Contract type Fixed term
Hours Full-time
Salary Commensurate with qualifications and experience
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For the past four decades, the United Nations University (UNU) has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 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.

The UNU Centre for Policy Research in New York is an independent think tank within the United Nations system. We combine research excellence with deep knowledge of the multilateral system to generate innovative solutions to current and future global public policy challenges.

The role

This position offers a unique opportunity to contribute to policy-oriented research projects at the UN by joining a young and dynamic think tank, which in just a few years has established itself as a key source of policy-relevant research, ideas and advice on pressing challenges facing the UN and the multilateral system. The Project Assistant will provide administrative and research support to two innovative projects, one related to modern slavery and human trafficking, and the other related to emerging cybertechnologies.

Key roles and responsibilities

About you

You are very well organised and can easily manage multiple work streams. You are innovative and a problem solver who takes on additional tasks to ensure that project administration remains on track and timelines are met. You may have some experience in conducting research. You work well in a team setting, but can also execute tasks autonomously without constant supervision. You thrive in multi-cultural settings, enjoy innovative thinking and are committed to gender equality.


The Project Assistant will work closely with the Director, the Research Fellow on Emerging Cybertechnologies, and the Adviser to the Director in conducting logistical, secretarial, finance-related, and administrative assignments in support of two projects: one dealing with the role of the financial sector in ending modern slavery and human trafficking, and the other relating to emerging cybertechnologies. Depending on the specific qualifications of the successful candidate, s/he may also provide some writing and research support.

The Project Assistant will be expected to:

  • provide on-demand logistical, administrative, and secretarial support to the Director, the Research Fellow and the Adviser to the Director
  • prepare correspondence and assist with other on-demand writing assignments related to project administration
  • provide financial administration support, including payments processing, financial tracking, accounts monitoring, and other finance-related activities, in relation to at least two projects
  • assist with the administrative logistics for events, both internal and external, including working with external vendors to make travel arrangements
  • organise and monitor project-related schedules, and assist with scheduling appointments, meetings and other events, as deemed necessary
  • assist with managing donors, research partners, and other relations
  • assist with the preparation of PowerPoint slides and project-related branding and communications materials
  • reside full-time in New York for the duration of the contract
  • conduct some independent primary- and secondary-source research related to projects, and perform writing and editing assignments, as needed
  • perform any other duties as may be assigned or required

Experience and skills

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • minimum of three (3) years of relevant work experience in team-based research project administration
  • at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
  • strong organisational, administrative, budget, and project management skills
  • excellent English-language oral and written communication skills
  • proficiency in the use of MS Office applications, including MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint is required
  • strong ability to establish priorities, multitask, and work within tight timelines
  • ability to work independently and report on work activities in a timely and proactive manner
  • solid interpersonal and problem-solving skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender parity

Other useful information

Duration of contract: The successful candidate shall work under an initial 6-month CTC contract, with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory performance.

Applications from suitably qualified woman candidates and those from developing countries are particularly encouraged. The successful candidate will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

Please note that applicants need to have prior authorisation to work in the United States. UNU is not able to sponsor a visa for this position.