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 familiarize 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 familiarize 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. Starting 2016, the spring term will run from mid-January to the end of June. Visit the Application Process page for the specific dates for each term.
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 day of leave per month. Junior Fellows are provided office space and facilities, as appropriate for their work, and are provided a monthly stipend in addition to a fixed transportation allowance for their commute to and from the UNU headquarters building. Junior Fellows also enjoy free access to the headquarters’ library and gym 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.
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:
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;
event coordination: supporting the organization 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.
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 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 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.); and
has a demonstrated interest in the work of the United Nations and more specifically, in the work of the United Nations University.
The Junior Fellows Internship Programme at the Office of the Rector is currently managed and supervised by Rachad Nassar, a former participant in the programme.
Current Junior Fellows
The Office of the Rector currently hosts two Junior Fellows: Ms. Isabela Dos Santos, holding a Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies from Université de Genève, and Mr. Sandeep Rajgopal, who holds a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance and the University of Tokyo.
Is considered alumnus any participant who has successfully completed all the programme requirements. To date, a total of 41 young professionals — 17 males and 24 females aged on average 26 — have participated in the programme. The Office of the Rector has welcomed participants from Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Ghana, Uganda, Indonesia, Japan, Sweden, Canada, the United States of America, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
What have they become?
Some of them continue working with international organisations, some of them join the private sector, others decide to study further: below is a list of a number of the programme’s alumni — alongside information on their respective function — which should provide prospective candidates with an understanding of what they could expect after their time at UNU.