United Nations University Junior Fellows Internship Fall 2023(Funding open to all nationalities)

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About United Nations University:

For the last 40 years, UNU has served as a trusted source of impartial research for addressing critical global issues related to human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. Its team of over 400 researchers, based in 13 countries, covers all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and produces policy-relevant insights to bring about positive change worldwide. UNU has established over 200 partnerships with UN agencies, as well as top universities and research institutions worldwide.

About Junior Fellow Internship Program:

The Office of the Rector at the United Nations University in Tokyo is seeking highly qualified individuals to work as Junior Fellows. These positions are filled through a competitive application process held twice per year. Graduate students who have a keen interest in the work of the United Nations, particularly UNU, are encouraged to apply.

The Junior Fellows Internship Programme at the Office of the Rector is guided by principles that aim to create a dynamic, challenging, and rewarding experience for graduate-level students and young professionals. Successful candidates will be expected to make significant contributions to the work of the Office of the Rector, UNU, and the wider UN system. Through the programme, participants will have the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge, and gain practical experience in their area of study.

The programme prioritizes training, guidance, and hands-on experience to ensure a successful and beneficial internship for all participants. To begin, a one-week orientation is provided to familiarize Junior Fellows with UNU, their colleagues, facilities, and the working processes within the Office of the Rector. The knowledge and practical experience gained will be valuable for candidates pursuing a career in the United Nations. Junior Fellows can expect to gain valuable work experience while contributing in meaningful ways to UNU’s mission.


The Junior Fellows Internship Programme at the Office of the Rector aims to:

  • Foster interaction and dialogue among young scholars, professionals, and UNU.
  • Familiarize Junior Fellows with the activities of the Office of the Rector and UNU’s work.
  • Provide young professionals with in-depth, hands-on experience in a UN agency.
  • Expose young professionals to an administrative working environment.
  • Support activities within the Office of the Rector.

Working Conditions:

Twice a year, in May-June and September-October, Junior Fellows are chosen to run parallel with most university semesters. The fall term begins in mid-August and lasts until mid-December, while the spring term runs from late January to early June. Most work is conducted at the UNU headquarters in Tokyo, although some remote work may be possible. It is important to note that due to the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions, applicants for the Fall 2023 term will be considered regardless of their current location, whether in Japan or overseas.

Junior Fellows are expected to work full-time during regular working hours of the university, which are from 9:30-17:30, Monday to Friday. They have weekends and official UNU holidays off. Additionally, Junior Fellows are entitled to 1.5 days of leave per month. When working on-site, Junior Fellows are provided with appropriate office space and facilities for their work. For remote work, they are required to have access to a personal laptop or desktop with basic functionalities and internet connection throughout the duration of their internship.

Junior Fellows receive a monthly stipend to help cover living costs, including transport to and from the UNU headquarters located in Shibuya. They also have free on-site and online access to the headquarters’ library and gym (as available). Junior Fellows have the unique opportunity to learn, contribute, and assist in organizing conferences, lectures, academic forums, and symposiums (offline and online) that take place throughout the year.


UNU provides a stipend to interns who do not receive financial support from other sources, such as universities or other institutions. The stipend is intended to partially subsidize the intern’s basic living costs during the internship. The monthly stipend amount is determined based on the stipend rates in effect at each duty station. The stipend is paid monthly, and part-time internships are prorated accordingly.


The Junior Fellows programme offers participants the opportunity to engage in various ongoing initiatives that provide insight into the workings of the University. Junior Fellows are expected to support the Office of the Rector in the following areas:

  • Administrative research and writing for institutional development: this includes preparing executive briefs on priority issues, conducting background research and drafting topical information briefs in support of internal policy development 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 organization of lectures, conferences, workshops, and other public events.
  • Meeting coordination: providing logistical support and taking minutes during meetings.
  • Editorial support: proofreading reports and copy-editing.
  • Communication: preparing and distributing newsletters, event summaries, and other communication documents.



Here are the four core values that are expected to be upheld by individuals working within the United Nations:

  • Inclusion: Creating a dignified and respectful environment for everyone, irrespective of their identity.
  • Integrity: Acting ethically and upholding the conduct standards of the United Nations, and reporting any unethical or unprofessional behavior.
  • Humility: Showing self-awareness and an openness to learning from others.
  • Humanity: Acting towards the goals of the United Nations, such as promoting peace, dignity, equality, and sustainability.


  • Connect and Collaborate: Build positive relationships with others and work coherently as One UN to advance the work of the United Nations.
  • Analyse and Plan: Seek out and use data from various sources to understand problems, propose evidence-based solutions, and plan actions.
  • Deliver Results with Positive Impact: Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results that make a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves.
  • Learn and Develop: Pursue personal 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 new and innovative ways.
  • For more information, refer to the UN Values and Behaviors Framework and the FAQ section about this internship.


  • Currently pursuing or recently completed (within 2 years) postgraduate studies (master’s or doctoral) related to the University’s work
  • Under 32 years old at the time of application
  • No more than 5 years of work experience in their related field
  • Native or fluent command of written and spoken English
  • Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with diverse backgrounds
  • Resourcefulness and creativity in problem-solving
  • Advanced computer skills with knowledge of MS Office applications (proficiency in Microsoft Excel is desirable)
  • Demonstrated interest in the work of the United Nations and specifically, in the work of the United Nations University.

Internship Duration and Last Date:

  • The internship duration is 4 months or 16 weeks.
  • The expected start date of the internship is August 21st, 2023.
  • The expected end date of the internship is December 15th, 2023.

How to Apply:

  • To apply, use the provided apply link and answer a few tailored questions for the position.
  • Attach a current and complete CV in English (in the place where it says to upload the P11 Form). Ensure that your CV does not exceed two single-sided pages.
  • Include a cover letter in English, stating your interest in and qualifications for the post. Your cover letter should be no longer than one single-sided page and should include your motivations for applying to the programme, how you may contribute to the work being done at the Office of the Rector, and how this programme relates to your future career goals.
  • Fill in the Application Form and upload it via the link provided. The form can be completed using MS Word or printed and filled in by hand.
  • Fill in the Funding Form and upload it via the link provided. The form should outline the source, amount, and duration of actual and/or projected funding while in Tokyo. For information on financial assistance and average monthly expenses for living in Tokyo, visit the FAQ page.

Letter of Recommendation and Recommendation Form:

  • Obtain two letters of recommendation from referees who know you well and have agreed to write on your behalf.
  • UNU may contact your referees, and they should not be family members or friends.
  • Candidates who have difficulty obtaining academic references can get references from professionals or supervisors.
  • At least one of the referees should be a professor familiar with your academic abilities.
  • The referees must complete a Recommendation Form and include a letter of recommendation.
  • Submit the Recommendation Form and letter of recommendation via email, following the instructions in the Form.

Language Certification:

To demonstrate proficiency in English, applicants need to provide certification in English if they do not meet the following criteria:

i. English is the applicant’s native language or ii. The applicant completed an undergraduate program or is enrolled in a graduate program with English as the medium of instruction.

If the applicant does not meet the above criteria, a valid TOEFL, IELTS or TOEIC score report is required. The certificate can be either original or a photocopy.

Application Deadline:

The last date for the application is 19 May 2023

Application Process:

The application process consists of three stages, and failure to follow the instructions provided on this page for each stage will result in the application being rejected.

Stage 1:

To assess the candidate’s motivation, background, and qualifications, the first stage of the application process requires the submission of the documents listed above. Evaluation of eligible applicants may involve a desk review, a competency-based interview, and references.

Stage 2:

The second stage of the application process is reserved for the shortlisted applicants. They will be interviewed via telephone or Zoom, and this will be scheduled in advance with each candidate. The aim of this stage is to gain a better understanding of the candidate’s motivations, expectations, and objectives related to the Junior Fellows Internship Programme at the Office of the Rector. In addition, the interview will assess the candidate’s proficiency in English, communication and interpersonal skills. Further information on this stage and the interview schedule will be provided after the conclusion of Stage 1. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Stage 3:

During the third stage of the application process, applicants will be required to complete a time-restricted assignment that simulates the tasks they would be expected to perform during the internship. The assignment will be conducted on the same day as the interview at a mutually agreed time. Candidates should allocate up to 2 hours to complete the assignment.


Applicants who are selected for the Junior Fellows Internship Programme will need to sign an Agreement Form that serves as the contract between them and the Office of the Rector during the internship. The form will be sent by mail to the successful applicants, and they must sign and date it before returning it to the Office of the Rector to finalize their application. If a Japanese visa is required, the selected applicants will begin the application process after completing this step.

Special Notice:

The Junior Fellows Internship Programme aims to complement an intern’s academic pursuits, and does not guarantee employment with UNU upon completion.

Interns are not considered staff members or international civil servants, and are not authorized to represent UNU in any official capacity.

UNU assumes no responsibility for costs related to accidents, illness, or death that may occur during the internship.

UNU values diversity and inclusivity and encourages candidates from all backgrounds to apply, regardless of gender, nationality, religion, ethnicity, or disability status. Women and applicants from developing countries are especially encouraged to apply.

UNU has a strict zero-tolerance policy for behavior that goes against the goals and principles of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual harassment, abuse of authority, discrimination, and sexual exploitation and abuse.

Information About UNU Roasters:

UNU retains the right to choose one or multiple candidates from this announcement for the internship. Additionally, the organization may hold onto applications and consider applicants who have applied for this cohort for future internships in the next two years.

Scam Warning:

UNU does not require any payment for application, processing, training, interviewing, testing, or any other purpose related to the recruitment or application process. If you receive a request to pay a fee, please disregard it. Also, please note that logos, emblems, addresses, and names can be easily copied and reproduced. As a result, you are advised to exercise caution when submitting personal information on the internet.

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