About United Nations University
For the past four decades, 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.
For more information, please visit http://unu.edu.
About Junior Fellows Internship Programme in the Office of the Rector
The United Nations University Office of the Rector recruits highly qualified applicants to work as Junior Fellows at the UNU headquarters in Tokyo. Junior Fellows are recruited through a competitive application process twice per year. Graduate students interested in the work of the United Nations — and in particular, UNU — are encouraged to apply.
The underlying principles of the Junior Fellows Internship Programme at the Office of the Rector are centred on creating a dynamic, challenging and rewarding experience for graduate level students and young professionals. Successful candidates will contribute to the work of the Office of the Rector, the United Nations University, and the UN system as a whole. The programme provides opportunities for the development of new skills and knowledge and is a unique and constructive setting for the practical application of capacities acquired through graduate studies.
The programme places a strong emphasis on the training, guidance, and hands-on experience that form the foundation of a successful and beneficial internship. The programme opens with a one-week orientation designed to familiarise junior fellows with UNU, their co-workers, facilities and the working processes within the Office of the Rector. The knowledge and practical experience gained will also be beneficial to those candidates seeking a career in the United Nations. Junior fellows at the Office of the Rector can expect to gain valuable work experience while contributing in meaningful ways to UNU’s mission.
The purpose of the Junior Fellows Internship Programme at the Office of the Rector is:
- to promote interaction and dialogue between young scholars, professionals and UNU;
- to familiarise junior fellows with the activities of the Office of the Rector and the work of UNU;
- to provide opportunities for young professionals to gain in-depth, hands-on experience in a UN agency;
- to expose young professionals to an administrative working environment, and;
- to provide support to activities within the Office of the Rector.
Running parallel to most university semesters, Junior Fellows are selected twice per year, once in May-June for the fall term and once in September-October for the spring term. The fall term begins in mid-August and lasts until mid-December. The spring term runs from late January to early June. Work is primarily on-site at the UNU headquarters in Tokyo, with some flexibility for remote work. Please note that due to the relaxation of COVID-19 travel restrictions, for the Fall 2023 term, applicants located BOTH in Japan and overseas will be considered regardless of their current location.
Junior Fellows work full time during the regular working hours of the University: 9:30–17:30, Monday to Friday. Weekends and official UNU holidays are days off. In addition, Junior Fellows are entitled to 1.5 days of leave per month. When Junior Fellows work on-site, they are provided office space and facilities, as appropriate for their work. For remote work, Junior Fellows are expected to have access to a personal laptop or desktop with basic functionalities and internet for the duration of their internship. Junior Fellows receive a monthly stipend to help cover a portion of living costs, including transport to and from UNU headquarters located in Shibuya. Junior Fellows enjoy free on-site and online access to the headquarters’ library and gym (as available) and have the unique opportunity to learn about, contribute to and provide assistance in organising conferences, lectures and academic forums and symposiums (offline and online) that take place throughout the year.
Interns who are not in receipt of financial support from other sources such as universities or other institutions, will receive a stipend from UNU to partially subsidise their basic living costs for the duration of the internship. The monthly amount of the stipend will be determined for each duty station based on the stipend rates in effect. The stipend will be paid on a monthly basis and part-time internship arrangements are prorated accordingly.
Participants in this programme have the opportunity to engage in a number of ongoing initiatives that provide a unique window into the working processes of the University. Junior Fellows support the work of the Office of the Rector in the following areas:
- administrative research and writing for institutional development: preparation of executive briefs on priority issues; background research and drafting of topical information briefs in support of internal policy development (i.e. related to the functioning of the University);
- planning: supporting the development of project management tools and systems;
- in person and online event coordination: supporting the organisation of lectures, conferences, workshops, and other public events;
- meeting coordination: logistical support and minute taking;
- editorial support: proof-reading reports and copy editing;
- communication: preparation and dissemination of newsletters, event summaries, and other communication documents.
- 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
The qualifications that are considered in each application process include, but are not limited to, the following. The candidate:
- is currently pursuing or has recently completed (within two years of application) postgraduate studies (master’s or doctoral), preferably in a field related to the University’s work;
- is under 32 years of age at the time of application;
- must not have more than 5 years of work experience in their related field;
- has a native or fluent command of written and spoken English;
- has excellent research, writing and analytical skills;
- can establish and maintain effective working relations with people from diverse backgrounds;
- demonstrates resourcefulness and creativity in problem-solving;
- has advanced computer skills: sound, hands-on, knowledge of MS Office applications (familiarity with ICT tools and high level of proficiency in Microsoft Excel are desirable);
- has a demonstrated interest in the work of the United Nations and more specifically, in the work of the United Nations University.
Duration of contract: The duration of the internship is 4 months (16 weeks).
Expected start date: 21st August 2023
Expected end date: 15th December 2023
How to Apply:
To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:
- Application: Apply via the apply link.
- Answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.
- CV: Attach a current and complete CV in English (in the place where it says to upload the P11 Form). Your résumé or c.v. may not exceed two single-sided pages.
- Cover Letter: Insert your Cover Letter (in English) as required, stating interest in and qualifications for the post. Your cover letter should not be longer than one single-sided page and should include the following: i. your motivations for applying to the programme; ii. how you feel you may contribute to the work being done at the Office of the Rector; iii. how this programme relates to your future career goals.
- Application form: Fill in the Application Form and upload via the link. The form may be completed using MS Word or printed and filled in by hand.
- Funding form: Fill in the Funding Form and upload via the link. The form should outline the source, amount, and duration of actual and/or projected funding while in Tokyo. Visit the FAQ page for information on financial assistance and average monthly expenses for living in Tokyo.
- Letters of Recommendation and Recommendation form:
- Arrange for two letters of recommendation from referees who are familiar with your character and who have agreed to write a recommendation on your behalf. UNU reserves the right to contact your referees. Certain candidates may have difficulty obtaining academic references and it may be more appropriate to get references from professionals or supervisors. Of the two referees issuing letters of recommendation, it is expected that at least one is a professor acquainted with your academic abilities. Referees should not be family members or friends. The two referees will need to each complete a Recommendation Form and accompany with a letter of recommendation.
- The Recommendation Form and letter of recommendation must be submitted via email in accordance with instructions in the Form.
- Language Certification: Applicants must provide certification in English if they do not meet either of the two following criteria:
i. the applicant’s native language is English, or
ii. the applicant completed an undergraduate programme or is enrolled in a graduate program with English as the medium of instruction.
In the case that the applicant does not meet either of the above criteria, a valid TOEFL, IELTS or TOEIC score report is required. The original certificate or photocopy is accepted. Preferred score ranges for each test are:
Application Deadline: 19 May 2023
The application process is conducted in three stages. Instructions for each stage are detailed below. Any application that does not comply with the information provided on this page will not be considered.
The first stage of the application process is designed to measure the applicant’s motivation and background and assess how the applicant’s qualifications meet the criteria for selection. Stage 1 requires submission of the documents listed above. Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a desk review and/or a competency-based interview, and references.
Applicants who are shortlisted proceed to the second stage which consists of a telephone or Zoom interview that will be arranged in advance with each shortlisted applicant. The purpose of the interview is to help the Internship Committee better understand the applicant’s motivations, expectations, and goals vis-à-vis participation in the Junior Fellows Internship Programme at the Office of the Rector. The interview will also assess the applicant’s communication skills, interpersonal skills and proficiency in English. Further details and an appointment schedule will be provided at the closing of Stage 1. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
The applicants will be asked to complete a short time-restricted assignment similar to the tasks they would be working on during the internship. This assignment will be conducted on the same day as the interview at an agreed time. Candidates should allow up to 2 hours to complete the assignment.
Successful applicants will be required to sign an Agreement Form that will act as the working contract between the junior fellow and the Office of the Rector for the duration of the internship. This form will be mailed to those selected to join the programme. A signed and dated form must be returned to the Office of the Rector in order for the application to be complete. Once completed, the selected applicants will begin their application for a Japanese visa, if necessary.
Please note that due to the relaxation of COVID-19 travel restrictions, for the Fall 2023 term, applicants located BOTH in Japan and overseas will be considered.
The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with UNU but to complement an intern’s studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end of an internship.
Interns do not hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations and may not represent UNU in any official capacity.
UNU accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness or death incurred during the internship.
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 internship announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this internship cohort for upcoming internships within the next 2 years.
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.