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

The United Nations University (UNU) in Bonn recruits highly qualified applicants to work as interns at the different UNU entities 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. Enrolled 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 are centred on creating a dynamic, challenging and rewarding experience for students and recent graduates. Successful candidates will contribute to the work of UNU in Bonn 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 UNU. 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 in Bonn is:

  • to promote interaction and dialogue between young scholars and professionals
  • to familiarize interns with the activities 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

Working Conditions

The UNU in Bonn Internship Programme accepts interns to work in different areas of the four UNU entities in Bonn 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 one of the UNU entities .

Interns normally 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 in Bonn 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 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 four UNU in Bonn entities listed below:

  1. Vice Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE)
  2. Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
  3. Secretariat of the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP)
  4. UN-Water Decade Programme for Capacity Development (UNW-DPC)


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.

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