United Nations University Junior Fellows Internship Programme Tokyo, Japan 2020

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.

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About United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organisation headquartered in Japan. The mission of the UN University is to contribute, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States. In carrying out this mission, the UN University works with leading universities and research institutes in UN Member States, functioning as a bridge between the international academic community and the United ... read more

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United Nations University Junior Fellows Internship

Aim and Benefits of United Nations University Junior Fellows Internship

The purpose of the Junior Fellows Internship Programme at the Office of the Rector is:

  1. to promote interaction and dialogue between young scholars, professionals and UNU;
  2. to familiarize junior fellows with the activities of the Office of the Rector and the work of UNU;
  3. to provide opportunities for young professionals to gain in-depth, hands-on experience in a UN agency;
  4. to expose young professionals to an administrative working environment, and;
  5. to provide support to activities within the Office of the Rector.

Requirements for United Nations University Junior Fellows Internship Qualification

The qualifications that are considered in each application process include, but are not limited to, the following. The candidate:

  1. is currently pursuing or has recently completed postgraduate studies (master’s or doctoral), preferably in a field related to the University’s work;
  2. is under 32 years of age at the time of application;
  3. must not have more than 5 years of work experience in their related field;
  4. has a native or near fluent command of written and spoken English;
  5. has excellent research, writing and analytical skills;
  6. can establish and maintain effective working relations with people from diverse backgrounds;
  7. demonstrates resourcefulness and creativity in problem-solving;
  8. has advanced computer skills: sound, hands-on, knowledge of standard office software (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, etc.); and
  9. has a demonstrated interest in the work of the United Nations and more specifically, in the work of the United Nations University.

Working Conditions:

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. The spring term runs from February to May. 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.

Work Assignments

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:

  1. 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);
  2. beginning in Spring 2019, the Office of the Rector is interested in having one Junior Fellow with a legal background or similar experience, to assist with projects in legal affairs;
  3. planning: supporting the development of project management tools and systems;
  4. event coordination: supporting the organization of lectures, conferences, workshops, and other public events;
  5. meeting coordination: logistical support and minute taking;
  6. editorial support: proof-reading reports and copy editing;
  7. communication: preparation and dissemination of newsletters, event summaries, and other communication documents.

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Interview date, Process and Venue for United Nations University Junior Fellows Internship


Successful applicants will be required to sign an Agreement Form that will act as the working contract between the junior fellow and the Office of the Rector for the duration of the internship. This form will be mailed to those selected to join the programme. A signed and dated form must be returned to the Office of the Rector in order for the application to be complete. Once completed, the selected applicants will begin their application for a Japanese visa. See the FAQ visa section for details on this procedure.

Documents Required for Application

  1. Application form — Download and complete the application form. The form may be completed using MS Word or printed and filled in by hand.
  2. Cover letter — Address your letter to the attention of the Office of the Rector Internship Committee. Your cover letter should not be longer than one single-sided page and should include the following: your motivations for applying to the programme; how you feel you may contribute to the work being done at the Office of the Rector; how this programme relates to your future career goals.
  3. Résumé or c.v. — Provide detailed descriptions of education history, work history, and leadership or extracurricular activities. Your résumé or c.v. may not exceed two single-sided pages.
  4. Two letters of recommendation — Arrange for two letters of recommendation from referees who are familiar with your character and who have agreed to write a recommendation on your behalf. UNU reserves the right to contact your referees.
  5. Funding plan — Download and complete the “Funding plan”, outlining the source, amount, and duration of actual and/or projected funding while in Tokyo. Visit the FAQ page for information on financial assistance and average monthly expenses for living in Tokyo.
  6. Language certification — Applicants must provide certification in English if they do not meet either of the two following criteria: the applicant’s native language is English, or the applicant completed an undergraduate programme or is enrolled in a graduate program with English as the medium of instruction.

Application Deadline

October 31, 2019

How to Apply

The application process is conducted in two stages. Instructions for each stage are detailed below. Any application that does not comply with the information provided on this page will not be considered.

Stage 1

The first stage of the application process is designed to measure the applicant’s motivation and background and assess how the applicant’s qualifications meet the criteria for selection. Stage 1 requires submission of the documents listed below (a-e).

Documents (a), (b), (c), (e) and, where applicable, (f) should be submitted together by the applicant in one of the following methods:

  1. For electronic submissions, e-mail the Office of the Rector Internship Committee at [email protected] [with the subject line “Internship Application – (Applicant’s Name)”]. Attach a copy of the completed application form, your cover letter, résumé or c.v., funding form and language certification (where applicable). Electronic submissions must be sent no later than 11:59 p.m. (Tokyo time) on the day of the deadline as specified for the period of application.
  2. For hard copy submissions, mail documents to the address indicated on the form. All application documents must be received by the Internship Committee by the application deadline.

Letters of recommendation (d) must be submitted in one of the following ways:

  1. For electronic submissions, the referee e-mails the completed Recommendation Form and an attached reference letter to the Office of the Rector Internship Committee [subject line: “Letter of Recommendation for (Applicant’s Name)”]. The e-mail must come from an institutional address. Reference letters from public e-mail providers (e.g. Hotmail, Google, etc.) will not be accepted.
  2. The referee prepares hard copies of the signed and completed Recommendation Form and the letter of recommendation on institutional letterhead in a sealed and stamped official company or school envelope. This envelope may be submitted by the applicant along with other application materials or sent directly to the Office of the Rector Internship Committee at the address indicated on the Recommendation Form.

Stage 2

The second and final stage consists of a telephone or Skype interview that will be arranged in advance with each applicant. The purpose of the interview is to help the Internship Committee better understand the applicant’s motivations, expectations, and goals vis-à-vis participation in the Junior Fellows Internship Programme at the Office of the Rector. The interview will also assess the applicant’s communication skills, interpersonal skills and proficiency in English. Further details and an appointment schedule will be provided at the closing of Stage 1.

Related Application documents:

ROJF Application Form

 (541.0 KB DOC)

ROJF Funding Form

 (139.0 KB DOC)

ROJF Recommendation Form

 (66.0 KB DOC)

ROJF Agreement Form Spring 2020

 (64.0 KB DOC)

Programme Brochure

 ROJF Programme Brochure (586.9 KB PDF)

For more details, please Visit the United Nations University Junior Fellows Internship Programme website 2020

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