United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations. It bridges the academic world and the United Nations 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 teaching, applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 as an autonomous organ of the United Nations General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.


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About the Internship Programme

The Vice Rectorate in Europe of the United Nations University recruits highly qualified applicants to work as interns at the Vice Rectorate in Bonn. 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 the Vice Rectorate are centred on creating a dynamic, challenging and rewarding experience for students and recent graduates. Successful candidates will contribute to the work of the Vice Rectorate in Europe, 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 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 the Vice Rectorate. 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.  


The purpose of the United Nations University Internship Programme at the Vice Rectorate in Europe is:

  • to promote interaction and dialogue between young scholars and professionals

  • to familiarize interns with the activities of the Vice Rectorate and the work of the UN-University

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

  • to contribute to the UNU priority areas, as defined in the University’s Strategic Plan

  • to provide support to activities within the Vice Rectorate in Europe

Working Conditions

The Vice Rectorate’s Internship Programme accepts interns to work in different areas of the institute for a period of three to six months. Interns are selected throughout the running calendar year. Download the application form to apply for an internship within the Vice Rectorate.

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 the Vice Rectorate 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 the Vice Rectorate have the opportunity to engage in a number of ongoing initiatives that provide a unique window into the working processes of the University. In broad terms, interns gain insight into and contribute to the priority areas of the University listed below:

  1. Capacity development and knowledge transfer through e-learning (regional focus: Africa)

  2. Science Policy Support, Science for Sustainability, Internationalization of Science

  3. Twinning initiatives and institutional development

  4. Communication and outreach

  5. Administration and Finance

  6. Information and Communication Technology (ICT)


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.


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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