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Research Consultant - Water and Resource Management Programme

Tokyo (Japan)

  • Organization: UNU - United Nations University
  • Location: Tokyo (Japan)
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Natural Resource Management
  • Closing Date: 2021-08-04

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About the United Nations 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 spans 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

About the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. The mission of UNU-IAS is to serve the international community through policy relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, including its social, economic, and environmental dimensions. UNU-IAS builds on a strong tradition of UNU research and capacity development in Japan, undertaken in collaboration with a global network of professionals and scholars, particularly in Africa and Asia. For more information please visit

The Water and Resource Management Programme

The Water and Resource Management (WRM) programme is one of key thematic research areas of UNU-IAS, aiming to promote multi-disciplinary policy research and international partnerships for sustainable water management. The Programme consists of two research projects supported by the Japanese government: 1) Water for Sustainable Development project, investigating the role and value of water in the economy in Asia (, and 2) Smart WaterDomain project promoting water reuse by private sectors and implemented jointly by UNU-IAS, UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES), and partner universities in Europe. The project will develop a comprehensive framework that will serve as an assessment mechanism for companies to promote the reuse of waste water into their value chain. The WRM programme also serves as the UNU-IAS focal point on water vis-à-vis external partners, promoting international collaboration and managing various networks and partnerships world-wide.


Under the supervision of UNU-IAS Academic Programme Officer, and in cooperation with WRM team members, the Consultant will perform the following assignments.
  • Ensure the research implementation for the SMART-WaterDomain project, in particular its case study in Japan;
  • Organise, participate in, and/or present at project meetings with international partners;
  • Strategically plan and prepare the publications, conference presentations, and other outreach activities;
  • Take charge of regular donor reporting; and
  • Perform other duties assigned by WRM team or by UNU-IAS Director.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Doctor’s degree in environmental engineering, sustainability science, natural resource management, or related field;
  • Over five (5) years of academic research background in emerging water problems, particularly in waste water treatment and waste water re-use. Additional professional experience with private companies in the field of water-related research & development a plus. 
  • Excellent communication skills in English and Japanese, both oral and written;
  • Organisational skills to ensure timelines and quality without losing overall objective; and
  • Interpersonal skills to understand and utilize team dynamics in achieving a common objective.

Duration of contract

The successful candidate will be retained under a Consultant Contract (CTC) for the above-mentioned project until 31 March 2023, during which the candidate will work 4 days a month. Consultants engaged by UNU may not provide services for more than twenty-four (24) months in a thirty-six (36) month period.  

Proposed payment schedule

Payment of 120,000 JPY will be made on a monthly basis upon satisfactory performance and the submission of the followings. 
  1. The summary of research outcomes for the project’s Work Package 2 (survey on barriers to water re-use), 3 (pilot survey in Japan), and 4 (tool development) as per the plan agreed with international research partners;
  2. Presentation materials for workshops and conferences as agreed with WRM team (after each workshop/conference), and for progress reporting at partner meetings (total three or more by 31 March 2023);
  3. At least one journal article based on the research outcome (by 31 March 2023); and
  4. Donor reports, including two activity reports (March 2022 and March 2023, respectively) and one activity plan (April 2022);
  5. A monthly activity report; and
  6. A monthly attendance record.

Travel considerations

Should “mission travel” be required, UNU will pay for travel. However, this will be subject to the following prerequisites: Medical Clearance, Security Clearance through the Travel Request Information Process (TRIP) system, completion of the BSAFE online course, travel Visa, and liability waiver. Trip prerequisites will be met at the expense of the consultant.
Travel cost will be calculated based on economy class travel, regardless of the length of travel.  Costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals must not exceed applicable daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rates, as promulgated by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC at 

Expected start date

1 October 2021 (negotiable)

Application procedure

Interested applicants should submit their applications online through Impactpool and must upload the following:
  • A cover letter setting out how your qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position and your expected daily fee
  • A completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form downloadable from the UNU website. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations;  and
  • A full CV (in English and Japanese) with a list of publications. 


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a desk review and/or a competency-based interview, background checks and references.

Special notice

UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position.
Consultants do not hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.
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. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged.
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 at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

Scam warning

UNU does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.



We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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