Research, Administration and Business Development Analyst (PSA), Accra, At United Nations University (UNU)

United Nations University (UNU)

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.

About Office/Institute

The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) is one of the 14 Research and Training Centres / Programmes of the United Nations University (UNU). The aim of the institute is to bridge the gap between science and natural resources management policies in Africa. UNU-INRA’s mandate is to contribute to the sustainable development of Africa’s natural resources in a way that maintains the quality of the natural environment and transforms lives.


Key responsibilities: Create synergies between research and administrative functions within the organization and to provide requisite support to research and administrative related roles and functions in supporting both programmatic and organizational goals.

1. Administrative Functions

  •  Performs general administrative tasks (e.g. Arrangements for meetings and other events, reservations, budget follow-up, etc.), to include preparing and/or processing administrative requests/documents (e.g. requisitions, purchase orders, travel requests, contracts, expenditure authorizations, visa applications and expense claims).
  •  Conduct procurement activities for the institute, including sourcing, solicitation and vendor management.
  •  Plan and organize meetings, events and workshops by booking venues, equipment and providing other related logistical support.
  •  Responsible for the coordination and administration of human resources in UNU-INRA, e.g. recruitment and working closely with UNU’s Human resource unit to ensure smooth operation.
  •  Process financial transactions: goods receipt of purchased items and coordinate monthly and annual closing of accounts.
  •  Coordinate year-end closing and audit processes for UNU-INRA together with the Finance Officer.
  •  Responds or drafts responses to routine correspondence and other communications.
  •  Monitors processes and schedules related to the unit’s outputs, products, tasks, etc.; where applicable, assists in the verification of receipt and accuracy of requisite documents, approvals, signatures, etc. to ensure compliance with relevant legal, financial, and other requirements.
  •  Maintains calendar/schedules; monitors change and communicates relevant information to appropriate staff inside and outside the immediate work unit.
  •  Reviews, records, distributes and/or processes mail and other documents and follow up on impending actions.
  •  Act as the key asset focal point responsible for the management of assets at UNU-INRA.
  •  Undertake travel arrangements for the Director and all staff members, including arranging itineraries and visas etc.
  •  Ensures effective and efficient secretarial support to the Director.

Research Functions:

2. Liaison

  •  Act as a bridge between research and administration.
  •  Provides project management support – oversees the planning, implementation, and completion of research projects to ensure they are aligned to programmatic goals and objectives.
  •  Work closely with research team to manage projects, budgets and to ensure that financial resources are well aligned and allocated appropriately.
  •  Assist programme staff on project management, review, update, and process budgets for fieldwork.

3. Co-ordination and Communication

  •  Enable monthly meetings between Director, research, and administrative team to enhance better co-ordination and information exchange.
  •  Collaborate and foster harmonious and effective communications between researchers and administrative staff, ensuring that information flows seamlessly to enable horizontal feedback.
  •  Facilitate training sessions for researchers and administrative staff on procedures, guidelines, and administrative best practices.
  •  Assist in organizing project meetings at the Africa Head Office in Accra, and five other African countries.

4. Proposal Development

  •  Assist research team in developing project proposals, providing administrative guidelines on timelines and budgeting and providing support to source required documentation.
  •  Support the project team in conducting field research and assist in writing technical reports on research findings.
  •  Work towards ensuring that research activities are aligned with programmatic and administrative guidelines and are compliant with administrative procedures.
  •  Identify potential risks that may be linked with research projects and enable a risk mitigation strategy to support projects and mitigate risks.

5. Business Development Functions

  •  Liaise with the host Government, Agencies and Institutions on matters pertaining to the implementation of signed agreements and provide relevant protocol support, as needed.
  •  Support operations at UNU-INRA by actively pursuing business management/development opportunities in identifying funding opportunities in Ghana and beyond and providing relevant support tools.
  •  Contribute to the development of the overall business strategy aligning business development efforts with organizational goals.
  •  Support management in identifying potential business risks and develop adequate mitigation strategies.
  •  Responsible for managing key clients and identifying new business and new market opportunities.

6. Planning and Organizing

  •  Assess new information and reorganize the workload to meet new demands.
  •  Organize action around who is available, their skills, and other resources.
  •  Plan activities and find ways of achieving results within the budget. eK0nUOi BIpnb
  •  Constantly monitoring and assessing progress, making sure that work is performed towards achievement of plans and policies.

5. Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.

Key Performance Indicators

  •  Timely and quality delivery of RPA submissions, standing orders and outside activity requests.
  •  Timely and quality development and implementation administrative processes and procedures.
  •  Timely and quality delivery on financial reporting, project budgets and reports, payment for goods and services.
  •  Quality and level of engagement with development partners and operating unit coordinators.
  •  UNU is seen as a reliable and trustworthy partner by research partners, governments, donors, and civil society.
  •  Performance of personnel, office produces quality knowledge products.



  •  Inclusion – Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
  •  Integrity – Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
  •  Humility – Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
  •  Humanity – Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.


  •  Connect and Collaborate – Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  •  Analyse and Plan – Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  •  Deliver Results with Positive Impact – Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  •  Learn and Develop – Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  •  Adapt and Innovate – Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways


1) Education and certification

  •  Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) OR A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree) in in administration or other relevant social sciences related field.

2) Required skills and experience

  •  Up to two years (with master’s degree) or at least 4 years (with bachelor’s degree) of experience in administration and research, some of which preferably in an international organization
  •  Experience in administration, research, and business development skills.
  •  Experience in conducting research, literature review and data analysis.
  •  Strong administrative skills to manage workflows, schedules, and documentation.
  •  Knowledge of Standard computer software and applications, such as MS word, excel, PowerPoint.
  •  Proficiency in drafting complex reports, communications, and presentations is required.
  •  Strong networking skills to build, cultivate and foster relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  •  Experience in coordinating projects and ensuring delivery within allocated time and budget.
  •  Proficiency in UN administrative regulation.
  •  Ability to think strategically and align business and research development within programmatic goals.
  •  Ability to adapt to changing priorities and environments.
  •  Experience with United Nations software, e.g Quantum.
  •  Other Desirable Skills: Initiative, strong conceptual abilities, sound judgment, drafting ability, resilience, and an interest in development work.

3) Language Requirements:

  •  Fluency in English (written and spoken).
  •  Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.


The successful candidate will be employed under a national PSA contract. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary (of/in the range of) USD 2,234 – USD 2,390, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

Duration of contract

The duration of the initial contract is 1 year. This is Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders is 65 years.

Starting date

Quarter 3 or Quarter 4, 2024

How to Apply

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  •  Apply via the apply link;
  •  fill out the UNU P11 Form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  •  provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  •  answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline

27 April 2024


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks, and references.

Special Notice

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the Rector’s authority. They may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised. 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. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply. 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.

If you have supervisory function you need to have awareness on gender related issues.

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.

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May 2024