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Internship Programme
Internship Programme

1. The Organisation

The newly created United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) contributes to building, exchanging and facilitating the use of knowledge in support of a faster and broader transition towards sustainable societies. UNOSD specialises on mapping, assessing and improving exchange of knowledge resources, providing guidelines to Member States and the broader policy communities on sharing and applying such resources. The Office also undertakes research and capacity development in key areas of sustainability transition. Its activities include:

  • Knowledge exchange: Through its portal, UNOSD eases access to the vast and sometimes overwhelming knowledge on sustainable development. It also facilitates connections between researchers and practitioners, notably for national and local policy making and programming;

  • Research and policy analysis: Assessing gaps in, and promoting solutions for the implementation of critical sustainable development issues;

  • Capacity development: The first two components provide training material and events, as well as implementation toolkits and support for strengthening the capacity of developing countries in advancing the post-Rio sustainable development agenda;

  • Partnerships: To implement the above activities, UNOSD nurtures cooperation towards efficient and effective recognition and sharing of resources, including expertise, capital and knowledge from all stakeholders.

UNOSD is managed by the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), with the support of the Republic of Korea Ministry of Environment, Yonsei University and the City of Incheon. Its offices are located in New Songdo City, Incheon, Republic of Korea.

2. Eligibility for Internship

Internships with UNOSD offer outstanding students the opportunity to acquire direct exposure to the work of the United Nations while making a significant contribution to UNOSD activities and mandate.

To qualify for the Internship Programme of UNOSD, the following conditions must be met:

  • Applicants be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher) at the time of application and during the period of internship; or

  • Applicants be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent); or

  • Applicants have graduated with a university degree (as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within one-year period of graduation.

In addition, the following competencies will be sought by UNOSD when selecting internship candidates:

  • Experience: No prior professional experience is required, although any experience of relevance to the work of UNOSD will be an advantage;

  • Working skills: Be results-oriented, with the ability to meet deadlines, and to work both autonomously and in team. This includes good interpersonal skills and ability to work collaboratively and respectfully with colleagues from different national and cultural backgrounds to achieve organizational goals.

  • Interests: The applicant should however demonstrate a keen interest in the work of UNOSD and a personal commitment to the ideals of the United Nations Charter;

  • Communication: Good communication skills, including the ability to draft documents in a clear and concise manner;

  • Languages: Good oral and written command of English is essential. Knowledge of any other of the UN officials languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish or Russian), or Korean, would be a significant asset.

3. Terms of the Internship Programme

The UNOSD internships have a duration of three months, and can be renewed for up to six months in exceptional cases. Internships are normally on a full-time basis (35 hours per week), from Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 17:00. Work is performed under the supervision of an assigned staff member, in the premises of UNOSD:

#205, Libertas Hall A
Yonsei University International Campus
85 Songdo Gwahak-ro, Yeonsu-gu
Incheon 21983, Republic of Korea

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Interns are not remunerated by the United Nations. Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation, and living expenses are the responsibilities of the interns or their sponsoring institution. The United Nations accepts no responsibility for the medical insurance of an intern or the costs arising from accidents and illness incurred during an internship (before starting their assignment, interns will need to prove that they have valid medical insurance coverage and submit a medical certificate of good health).

A certificate of completion is issued to a student at the end of a satisfactory internship period.

4. Duties

Interns support UNOSD staff and consultants for one or several of the following tasks, according to their academic qualifications, experience and interests:

  • Documentary research, data recording and editing, policy analysis, and synthesis;

  • Develop and maintain platforms of dissemination of UNOSD data, news and research through social media and UNOSD Web sites;

  • Drafting and/or translation of communication material of event and research reports;

  • Assisting with the logistics of organising events such as conferences and workshops;

  • Clerical work related to the above.

5. Internships Schedule and Application

UNOSD offers three internship semesters per year, with application deadlines as follows:


Dates of Internship

Application Deadline


Mid-September to Mid-December

15 July


Mid-January to Mid-April

15 November


Mid-May to Mid-August

15 March

To apply, please submit the following documents:

  • Proof of current enrolment in a graduate degree programme, clearly showing dates;

  • Copy of your latest academic records (transcripts). An unofficial copy will suffice at this stage, but UNOSD reserves the right to request an official copy from your institution later in the selection process;

  • Copy of an official document proving your age (passport, ID card, driving license);

  • A completed and signed standard United Nations Personal History Form (P11, which can be downloaded at http://www.unosd.org/content/documents/P11_PHF.doc.

  • A covering letter of no more than two pages which discusses:

    • Your academic interests and expected date of graduation;

    • Why you are interested in working with UNOSD, including notably:

      • How you expect to contribute to the work of UNOSD;

      • What you expect to learn from your internship with UNOSD.

Applications should be sent by email to UNOSD@un.org.

Please e-mail the application in the following format:

  • Subject should be titled "UNOSD Internship Application- (First Name), (Last Name)";

  • Documents that require scanning should be scanned using a scanner;

  • The P.11 Form should be signed;

  • The documents should be merged into one PDF file with your full name as the file name.

Note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Due to the high volume of applications received, only successful candidates will be contacted.

No Fee: The United Nations does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing, training, or any other). The United Nations does not concern itself with information on bank accounts.

6. Eligibility Checklist

Please use the following table to check your eligibility and the feasibility of an internship with UNOSD before sending us an application:

Eligibility Checklist



You are currently enrolled in a graduate or equivalent programme and will be during the entire internship, or you are enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent), or you have graduated with a university degree (as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation.


You are able to obtain the necessary visa and to arrange your travel to and stay in Incheon, South Korea.


You are able to cover the costs of travel, accommodation, insurance, visa and living expenses related to the internship.


If selected, you will be able to submit:

  • Proof of valid medical insurance coverage for your stay in Korea;

  • A medical certificate stating that you are in good health;

  • Proof of your enrolment in a graduate studies programme; and

  • A proof of age.


You are able to communicate fluently in both oral and written English.

NB: In order to qualify for and undertake an internship with UNOSD, you should satisfy all requirements of the above checklist. If you do not meet any or several of those requirements, you will need to postpone your application until they are met.

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