Research Fellow

Research Fellow and Academic Associate, Innovation and Education (PSA): Apply Now to This 2023 Job Opportunity

Research Fellow

Introduction to the Research Fellow and Academic Associate Role

Applications are now open for the Research Fellow and Academic Associate in Innovation and Education. The organisers – United Nations University (UNU) is a global community of scholars dedicated to policy-oriented research, capacity development, and knowledge dissemination in alignment with the United Nations Charter. UNU’s mission is to address pressing global challenges and contribute to the betterment of the world.

For over four decades, UNU has been a trusted think tank, conducting impartial research in areas such as human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With a presence in 12 countries and over 400 researchers, UNU’s work encompasses all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating actionable knowledge for global change. With more than 200 partners, including UN agencies and leading universities, UNU is a beacon of knowledge.

The United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) is part of UNU’s network of research and training institutes. Based in Tokyo, UNU-IAS focuses on sustainability in its social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Through postgraduate programs, it nurtures future leaders with interdisciplinary expertise to tackle sustainability challenges. Collaborating with professionals and scholars worldwide, particularly in Africa and Asia, UNU-IAS builds on a rich tradition of research and capacity development, hence this Research Fellow and Academic Associate role.

About the Innovation and Education Programme

The Innovation and Education (IVE) Programme is a fresh initiative at UNU-IAS. Its goal is to advance research and practices in innovative, inclusive education and lifelong learning for sustainable development across all ages. It aligns closely with the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for 2030 Roadmap and strengthens UNU-IAS’s regional and global networks, including Regional Centres of Expertise on ESD (RCEs) and ProSPER.Net.

Research Fellow and Academic Associate Responsibilities

As a Research Fellow, you’ll play a pivotal role in driving the IVE Programme’s mission. Your responsibilities include:

  1. Leading Research: Develop, conduct, and disseminate research aligned with the IVE Programme’s goals, the UNU IAS Strategic Plan 2020-2024, and the global SD/ESD agenda. Produce high-quality research outputs and actively share them at academic conferences and UN events.
  2. Capacity Development: Collaborate with RCEs, ProSPER.Net members, and UN and international organizations to design and implement capacity development programs. Assess their effectiveness and contribute to future program enhancements.
  3. Academic Affairs: Guide postgraduate students pursuing MSc or PhD degrees in the IVE Programme. Design and teach postgraduate courses related to innovation and education. Participate in the academic committee.
  4. Resource Mobilization: Contribute to IVE’s resource mobilization strategies, initiate grant proposals, and foster partnerships with national and international donors and organizations. Ensure compliance with grant rules and policies.
  5. Ad Hoc Duties: Support the UNU-IAS Director and IVE Programme Head with additional tasks as required.

 Qualifications and Competencies


  • Ph.D. in relevant fields, including education, sustainability, and related areas.
  • At least 3 years of work experience in international educational development, sustainability education, innovation in education, or related fields.
  • Proven record of peer-reviewed publications.
  • Successful resource mobilization experience.
  • Ability to integrate education and learning into sustainable development contexts.
  • Teaching experience, especially in research methods, education for sustainable development, and innovative learning technologies.
  • Experience in international organizations and with national governments is advantageous.

Language Skills:

  • Excellent English-language oral and written communication skills.
  • Knowledge of other UN official languages and Japanese is an advantage.

Remuneration and Contract

The successful candidate will be employed under a local PSA contract. UNU offers an attractive compensation package, including a monthly net salary ranging from JPY 614,417 to JPY 678,917, commensurate with experience and qualifications. Benefits include 30 days of annual leave and a health insurance plan.

The initial contract duration is 1 year, with the possibility of renewal, subject to requirements and satisfactory performance. The combined duration of a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years.

Application Details

To apply, follow these steps:
1. Apply via the provided link.
2. Complete the UNU P11 form (avoid using forms from other UN organizations).
3. Provide a motivation statement in the P11 form.
4. Answer tailored questions for the position.

Additional Information

  • UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position.
  • PSA holders do not hold international civil servant status.
  • UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion, encouraging candidates from all backgrounds to apply.
  • UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct incompatible with UN and UNU values.
  • UNU may select candidates from this vacancy announcement for other similar positions.
  • UNU does not charge any application fees.

Ready to apply? Then click HERE to begin your journey to a sustainable future. Note that the Application Deadline is 25 September 2023. So begin your application now!

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2024 William D. Clark fellowship (Fully Funded)

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Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships 2024 (Fully funded)

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