Programme Support Assistant

Application procedure
Related Files
    Fixed Term Appointment (GS-5)
    Bonn, Germany
    UTC +1

    United Nations University

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

    United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

    UNU-EHS, established in December 2003, is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of Research and Training Institutes. Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks. For more information, please visit

    Transformative Urban Coalitions Programme

    Limiting climate change requires rapid and radical transformation of development pathways, especially in cities, which are responsible for 70% of global CO2 emissions. Together with international consortium partners, the Transformative Urban Coalition Programme will develop, test, and disseminate a scalable approach for achieving key shifts in urban development to put cities on a path to zero-carbon emissions by 2050. Over the course of the coming years the programme will test an approach to transformative governance by means of transformative research in five pilot cities in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, combined with implementation of transformative initiatives, including the development of new actor constellations. Governance blueprints and lessons from pilot cities will be disseminated through the global networks of UNU and programme partners and new transformation partnerships initiated to make sustainable urbanisation a feasible global priority. One goal is to shape public debate both locally and globally, by means of media engagement, educational activities and interaction with art and film.
    The programme will be newly established within UNU-EHS and is foreseen to be financed for six years.


    Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS and under the guidance of the programme Head and the Finance and Administrative Officer, the Programme Support Assistant serves as a team member to assist in providing operational support to the day-to-day activities of the academic programmes at UNU-EHS. Key responsibilities of the Programme Support Assistant include:

    • proactively liaise between donors and implementing partners to ensure the smooth administrative implementation of the programme
    • review financial reporting submitted by implementing partners and project budgetary status, and inform the officers responsible for the respective projects of budget performances and provide them with financial reports
    • prepare compiled financial reporting to donors and follow-up on financial reporting in observance to donor’s conditions and deadlines; this includes submitting semi-annual payment requests substantiated by semi-annual expenditure reports
    • liaise between respective budget owners and donors to maintain and adjust budgets where needed (e.g. requests to revise budget between budget lines and years, etc)
    • prepare and maintain statements of accounts relating to the projects to allow the officers responsible for the respective budgets to easily monitor work in progress and availability of funds
    • monitor financial and project budgetary status, and inform the officers responsible for the respective projects of budget performances and provide them with financial reports
    • potentially serve as sub-delegated authoriser of the budget for general expenditures below preset threshold
    • accomplish daily accounting duties such as processing requisitions and payment vouchers in ATLAS System (PeopleSoft ERP system)
    • process project related Institutional Contract Agreements (ICA’s), including contracts creation request to HR office, monitoring of payment deadlines, review of contractor expense reports, etc.
    • review and correct Duty Travel Plans of travelers involved in assigned projects prior to submission to assigned budget approver
    • process third party invoices related to assigned projects and prepare payment vouchers
    • prepare project invoices for donor contributions specified in project documents
    • proofread project documents as requested by project managers
    • assist project managers on the planning, budgeting, organisation, and preparation of events such as meetings, workshops, seminars, and conferences
    • provide support in liaising between academic and admin sections
    • provide support to academic staff in taking over administrative tasks (form completion and submission)
    • provide secretarial or any administrative support e.g. day-to-day functioning of the office, arrange meetings and appointments, take meeting minutes, draft letters/memos, etc.
    • maintain and keep up-to-date all master files and project related files
    • any other duties as may be assigned or required

    Qualifications and experience requirements

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • completed secondary education
    • university/bachelor’s degree in business, finance, accounting, or a related field of study would be desirable, but is not a requirement; a university degree may substitute for some of the required years of work experience
    • at least five (5) years of work experience in programme or project administration, technical cooperation, or related areas
    • past work experience in an international organisation and in multi-partner projects is desirable
    • past work experience in liaising donor and implementation partners is an asset
    • familiarity with UN and/or other international institutions and mechanisms
    • strong track record in managing German third party funding projects
    • proficiency in the use of MS Office applications is required and knowledge and experience in using an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is desirable
    • fluency in both oral and written English is required; Fluency in Spanish or Portuguese is a strong asset; knowledge of German and/or any other United Nations official languages is an asset
    • demonstrable strong analytical skills and ability to maintain records in an accurate manner
    • conscientious and efficient in establishing work priorities and able to complete tasks within given timelines
    • a self-starter who is able to work under minimal supervision with a high level of resilience
    • experience in organising seminars, workshops, and conferences
    • team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

    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 organisation.

    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


    We offer a competitive net salary (tax-exempted) at GS-5 level for Bonn, Germany duty station in the United Nations Common System salary scale, plus benefits. For more information, please visit

    The UNU Rector reserves the right to appoint a suitable candidate at a lower level than advertised.

    Duration of contract

    This is a part-time (70%) to full-time, fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for a period of one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a rolling fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance. Further continuation of contract is desired for the duration of this programme. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years old.

    This is a locally recruited post; no relocation expenses or allowances apply.

    Applicants are requested to mention if they are applying for part- or full-time.

    Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the University.

    The United Nations University is a non-smoking environment.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail to (, and must include the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a curriculum vitae and a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • Full contact information of three references

    The application must also indicate the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2021/UNU/EHS/FTA/PA/151584)

  • By email :