UNCRD Internship Programme

UNCRD offers a full-time and unpaid internship for university or undergraduate school students. 

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for the Internship Programme of the UN/DESA Project: United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD), the following conditions must be met:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a degree programme of a graduate school (second university degree or higher) at the time of application and during the period of internship; or
  • Applicants pursuing their studies in countries where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and graduate stages must have completed at least four years of full-time studies at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a degree.

Terms of the Internship Programme

UNCRD's Internship Programme has a duration of two months, and can be extended for another two months. The total duration may be extended for a maximum of six months, in exceptional cases.

Participation in the Internship Programme is normally on a full-time basis. The interns are expected to work five days a week (35 hours) in the office under the supervision of an assigned staff member. The general working hours are Monday to Friday from 09:30 am to 05:30 pm.

The maximum age for selection as an intern is 30 years old. There are cases when interns can be accepted above that age.

Interns are not financially 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. Applicants must prove that they have valid medical insurance coverage and submit a medical certificate of good health as well as proof of enrollment in a graduate studies programme.

At the end of the internship period, a certificate will be issued.

Sessions of the Internship Programme

The internship programme at UNCRD is offered on a two-month basis at anytime of the year.  Application documents should reach UNCRD, at the latest, two months prior to expected start date of the internship. 

Please use the following table to check your eligibility for the Internship Programme before sending us an application:

Eligibility Self Check Table: Yes No
1. You are currently enrolled in a Master’s or Ph.D. (or similar) programme and will be during the entire internship, or
You are pursuing studies in a country where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and graduate stages, and you are currently enrolled in your fourth year (or higher) at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a degree.
2. You are able to obtain the necessary visa and to arrange your travel to Nagoya, Japan.    

3. You are able to cover the costs of travel, accommodation as well as living expenses related to the internship (approx. US$ 4,000).


4. If selected, you will be able to prove that you have valid medical insurance coverage for your stay in the above country, and submit a medical certificate stating that you are in good health as well as proof of your enrollment in a graduate studies programme.


5. You are able to communicate fluently in English.


Note: In order to be considered eligible, your answer must be "Yes" to all five questions. If your answer is "No" to one or more of the above question(s), you should consider postponing your application until the above requirements are met.

Admission of Candidates

Please send your application (Cover Note and a pdf file of Personal History Profile, which can be created after registration of your personal history at UN Inspira website) by e-mail to rep@uncrd.or.jp indicating the period you are applying for.

Note: Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Additional Information

The Internship Programme of all agencies of the United Nations is not linked to any recruitment process and should have no expectations in this regard. Selected interns will not be considered as UN Staff and will not be entitled to any of their privileges and immunities. Interns are not eligible for appointment to any position in the UN System for a period of six months following the end of internship.

Organizational Setting and Reporting

Interns may be assigned to either the Nagoya or Tokyo Offices in Japan.
No remuneration is provided to interns and it is full-time.


Daily responsibilities will depend on the individuals background, and the interns assigned office as well as the internship period. Duties may include, but are not limited to:

Phase 1: familiarizing oneself with the UN sources of information and learning to prepare basic informational materials, such as a UN facts and figures document; glossary; series of media briefs, directory of UN experts; selection of UN publications for the preparation of a reader; or milestones document that includes a background document for a major conference to be organized by UNCRD.
Phase 2: conceptualize, prepare, and implement a personal project of interest with practical outcomes related to the activities of the office. This implies: selecting a task, conduct research, compile and analyse existing information and data, consolidate results, conceptualize outputs, produce reports, papers, and other relevant materials on main outcomes, make presentations, and contact relevant UN organizations and partners.

Learning Elements

Upon completion of the assignment, the intern will:

  • Be more familiar with the terminology, tools, and practices used at the UN.
  • Have enhanced his/her experience in the field by developing specific products.
  • Gained knowledge pertaining to reports and terminology relevant to UNCRD's activities.


Applicants are expected to have the following core competencies:

  • Communication: ability to draft documents in a clear and concise manner, and good written and oral language skills.
  • Teamwork: good interpersonal skills, ability to work collaboratively with colleagues from different national and cultural backgrounds to achieve organizational goals.
  • Client orientation: considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from the clients' point of view.

The intern is expected to:

  • Have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of UNCRD and a personal commitment to the ideals of the United Nations Charter; and
  • Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs.

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in spoken and written English is required for the Internship Programme. Knowledge of another UN official language is an asset. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish are the official languages of the United Nations Secretariat.

The Cover Note must include the following information:

  • Graduate degree programme currently enrolled in;
  • Expected date of graduation;
  • Top three areas of interest;
  • Explanation as to why you consider yourself the best candidate for this specific internship; and
  • Reason for your interest in the UNCRD Internship Programme.

In your PHP form, be sure to include all past work experience, IT skills, and three references.

Due to the high volume of applications received, ONLY successful candidates will be contacted as to the results.

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.