United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.

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About the Internship Programme at UNU-EHS

The United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn recruits highly qualified applicants to work as interns at the different UNU-EHS academic sections. Interns are recruited through a competitive application process through specific vacancy announcements or unsolicited applications for a minimum period of three months and a maximum period of six months. Students or recent graduates interested in the work of the United Nations and in particular the United Nations University are encouraged to apply.

The underlying principles of the Internship Programme at UNU-EHS are centred on creating a dynamic, challenging and rewarding experience for students and recent graduates. Successful candidates will contribute to the work of UNU-EHS, UNU in Bonn and the UN System as a whole. The programme provides opportunities for the development of new skills and knowledge and is an unique and constructive setting for the practical application of capacities acquired through the intern's 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. Interns will gain valuable skills and background knowledge through their designated work assignments in the different working areas of UNU-EHS. The knowledge and practical experience gained will also be beneficial to those candidates seeking a career in the United Nations. Interns can further expect to gain valuable work experience while contributing in meaningful ways to the mission of the University. 

Purpose

The purpose of the UNU-EHS Internship Programme is:

  • to promote interaction and dialogue between young scholars and professionals
  • to familiarize interns with the activities of UNU-EHS and the work of the United Nations University

  • to provide opportunities for young scholars to gain in-depth, hands-on experience in a United Nations agency

  • to contribute to the UNU priority areas, as defined in the Strategic Plan of the United Nations University.

  • to provide support to activities within UNU-EHS.

Working Conditions

The UNU-EHS Internship Programme accepts interns to work in different areas of the four academic sections of UNU-EHS for a period of three to six months. Interns are selected throughout the running calendar year. Please download the application form to apply for an internship at UNU-EHS.

Interns work full time during the regular working hours of the University: 9:00–17:00, Monday to Friday. Weekends and official UNU holidays are days off. Interns are provided office space and facilities as appropriate for their work. Interns at UNU-EHS also enjoy free access to the in-house and electronic library and have the unique opportunity to learn about, contribute to and provide assistance in the organization of conferences, lectures and academic forums and symposiums that take place throughout the year.

Work Assignments

Interns at UNU-EHS have the opportunity to engage in a number of ongoing initiatives that provide an unique window into the working processes of the University. In broad terms, interns gain insight into and contribute to the priority areas of the four UNU-EHS academic sections listed below:

  • Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability & Adaptation Section (EMSVSA)
  • Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management & Adaptive Planning Section (VARMAP)
  • Environmental Vulnerability & Energy Security Section (EVES)
  • Enhancing Graduate Educational Capacities for Human Security Section (EGECHS)

Criteria

The qualifications which will be considered in the application process include, but are not limited to, the following. The ideal candidate

  • is currently pursuing or has recently completed under- or postgraduate studies (Bachelor’s or Master’s), preferably in a field related to the University’s priority areas as set forth in its Strategic Plan
  • has a native or near 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 standard office software (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, etc.) 
  • has a demonstrated interest in the work of the United Nations and more specifically, in the work of the United Nations University.

Eligibility

Visa Requirements

You must be able to obtain the necessary visa and to arrange your travel to the United Nations Campus in Bonn Germany.

Application requirements vary for each single case. If you are uncertain about visa requirements and your eligibility, please contact your local German embassy or consulate directly.

Listing of German Embassies / Consulates Abroad here.

NOTE:  It is highly recommended that you already have permission to reside for the duration of your internship in Germany and do not need to apply for a visa in order to attend the internship.  The United Nations University neither has the authority, nor the information to give legal advice on visa applications.  Moreover the United Nations University cannot intervene in cases where a visa application has been denied.

The visa process normally takes between 2-4 weeks depending on the country of origin.  An offer of internship to a successful candidate is by no means a guarantee of a successful visa issued by the German government or other Schengen country.

For helpful information and advice, please consult the following websites:

Germany Entry Requirements

Schengen, Borders & Visas

Travel Costs

You must be able to cover the costs of travel, accommodation, as well as living expenses for the full duration of your internship.  The United Nations University does not provide funding nor reimbursement. 

Medical Insurance

If selected, you must be able to prove that you have valid medical insurance coverage for the duration of your internship stay in Germany.

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