About the Programme

The United Nations University Office of the Rector recruits highly qualified applicants to work as interns at the UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. Interns are recruited through a competitive application process twice per year for a period of four months. Graduate students 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 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 the intern's 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 two-week orientation designed to familiarize interns with the UNU, co-workers, facilities and the working processes within the Office of the Rector. The orientation will provide interns with valuable skills and background knowledge that will assist them in completing their designated work assignments. The knowledge and practical experience gained will also be beneficial to those candidates seeking a career in the United Nations. Office of the Rector interns can 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 Office of the Rector is

Working Conditions

The RO Internship Programme accepts interns to work in the Office of the Rector for a period of four months. Running parallel to most university semesters, interns are selected twice per year, once in June-July for the fall term and once in November-December for the spring term. The fall term begins in early September and lasts until the end of December. The spring term runs from early February to the end of May. Visit the application page for the specific dates for each term.

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 days off. Interns are provided office space and facilities as appropriate for their work and participate in an orientation session at the commencement of their internship.

Interns at the Office of the Rector are provided a monthly stipend in addition to a fixed transportation allowance for their commute to and from the UNU Headquarters building. Interns at the Office of the Rector 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

Interns at the Office of the Rector 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. You can learn more about these priority areas in the relevant section of the University’s Strategic Plan 2009–2012 (SP).

  1. Twinning initiatives (SP: Section 1.1)
  2. UNU postgraduate degree programmes (SP: Section 1.2)
  3. Internal/external communication (SP: Section 2.5)
  4. Fundraising (SP: Section 2.6)
  5. Quality assurance (SP: Section 3.2)
  6. Programme/project management

In more concrete terms, interns will learn about and provide support to the following ongoing assignments, projects and initiatives within the Office of the Rector:


The qualifications which will be considered in the application process include, but are not limited to, the following. The ideal candidate


Page last modified 2019.04.16.

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