Internship at the United Nations University Library

The United Nations University (UNU) Library accepts internship applications for interested students who are currently enrolled in library and information sciences related courses or those who have recently completed graduate courses in library and information sciences related disciplines.

The Library, including the Archives & Registry Unit, located at the United Nations Headquarters in Tokyo manages library & information services, collection and information resources development, libraries networking & consortia, organizes instructional sessions, operates the Registry and maintains the Archives in support of administration, research and postgraduate educational programmes throughout the UNU System.


The purposes of the United Nations University (UNU) Library Internship Programme are:

  1. to promote interaction and dialogue between young professionals and the UNU Library;
  2. to familiarize interns with the library, archives & information management related activities of the UNU;
  3. to provide support to activities within the UNU Library.

Description of work for interns

Work assignments and projects will be formed according to the study background and the experience. She/he will be assisting ongoing work assignments carried by the small teams of the staff and may be assigned to assist some of the following:

Processing the catalogued library materials; cataloguing selected United Nations publications; cataloguing UNU digital publications and other materials; indexing the catalogued materials with UNBIS; compiling subject bibliographies; collecting and digitization of historical UNU documents; assisting public services; preparing statistical data for electronic resource usages; designing Web resources and information; relocating library materials; developing digital reference tools for postgraduate courses; research on appropriate integrated library systems and other relevant areas.

Criteria for Selection

The criteria for selection of interns are the following:

  1. Applicants must have qualifications and expertise relevant to the UNU Library activities. They must have completed bachelor or equivalent in fields related to library, information and knowledge management studies or those who are pursuing postgraduate studies in the aforementioned studies. Undergraduate final year students may also be considered.
  2. Have advanced knowledge of international standards on cataloguing, classification schemes and indexing tools.
  3. Have experiences in literature, documentation and archival research.
  4. Candidates should request at least one referee to provide a confidential letter in support of their applications directly to the UNU.
  5. Have advanced computer skills; knowledge of standard office software such as word processor, spreadsheet and database applications.
  6. For non-Japanese nationals, appropriate visa is required

UNU does not support any financial assistance. No stipend or travel assistance is available; therefore, the intern must be able to support him/herself in the Tokyo metropolitan area for the duration of the internship.

Procedure for Application

Applicants who are interested in participating the internship programme at the UNU Library in Tokyo should submit a duly completed application form (provided at right as a downloadable file) accompanied by brief curriculum vitae and covering letter to the Chair of the Internship Committee of the UNU (Fax: +81 3 3499-2828, e-mail:


The duration of the internship will normally be two to three months. Interns work full time during the regular working hours of the University: 9:30–17:30, Monday to Friday. Weekends and official UNU holidays are closed.

Conditions Governing the United Nations University Internship Programme

  1. That the United Nations University will not pay successful applicants for their internship and that all the expenses connected with it must be borne by the intern or their sponsoring Government or institution;
  2. That the United Nations University accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness incurred during an internship and that interns must, therefore, provide proof of enrollment in a health insurance plan;
  3. Interns themselves are responsible for obtaining necessary visas and arranging travel to the United Nations University in Tokyo.

Interns undertake the following obligations with respect to the United Nations University Internship Programme:

  1. To conduct themselves at all times in a manner compatible with their responsibilities as the holder of a United Nations University Internship;
  2. To keep confidential any and all unpublished information made known to them by the accepting Office during the course of the internship and not to publish any reports or papers on the basis of information obtained during the programme, except with the explicit authorization of the United Nations University;
  3. To provide written notice in case of illness or other unavoidable circumstances which might prevent them from completing the internship;
  4. To complete an internship evaluation report as appropriate at the end of the internship and to submit it to the Supervising Officer;
  5. To return all library materials prior to the last day of internship;
  6. To return the identification card to the relevant Officer on the last day of internship.

Please refer to "Frequently Asked Questions" regarding the eligibility criteria, application questions, working conditions and others.

Page last modified 2019.04.16.

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