Junior Fellows Internship Programme Office of the Rector

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  • POSITION:
    Executive Management, Institutional Development
    LOCATION:
    Tokyo, Japan

    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 for a period of four months. 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.

    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 one-week orientation designed to familiarize junior fellows with UNU, their co-workers, facilities and the working processes within the Office of the Rector. The knowledge and practical experience gained will also be beneficial to those candidates seeking a career in the United Nations. Junior fellows at the Office of the Rector can expect to gain valuable work experience while contributing in meaningful ways to UNU’s mission.

    Purpose

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

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

    Working Conditions

    The programme accepts Junior Fellows to work in the Office of the Rector for a period of four months. Running parallel to most university semesters, Junior Fellows are selected twice per year, once in May-June for the fall term and once in October-November for the spring term. The fall term begins in mid-August and lasts until mid-December. The spring term runs from early February to the end of 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:

    • 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);
    • planning: supporting the development of project management tools and systems;
    • event coordination: supporting the organization of lectures, conferences, workshops, and other public events;
    • meeting coordination: logistical support and minute taking;
    • editorial support: proof-reading reports and copy editing;
    • communication: preparation and dissemination of newsletters, event summaries, and other communication documents.

    Criteria

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

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

    Spring 2015
    2 February to 29 May 2015
    Application period closed

    Fall 2015
    17 August to 18 December 2015
    Application period closed

    Application Process

    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)  Application form — Download and complete the application form. The form may be completed using MS Word or printed and filled in by hand.

    b)  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:

    i. your motivations for applying to the programme;
    ii. how you feel you may contribute to the work being done at the Office of the Rector;
    iii. how this programme relates to your future career goals.

    c) 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.

    d) 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.

    Certain candidates may have difficulty obtaining academic references and it may be more appropriate to get references from professionals or supervisors. Of the two referees issuing letters of recommendation, it is expected that at least one is a professor acquainted with your academic abilities. Referees should not be family members or friends. See the “How to submit” section below on the rules governing the submission of letters of recommendation.

    e) 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.

    f) Language certification — Applicants must provide certification in English if they do not meet either of the two following criteria:

    i. the applicant’s native language is English, or
    ii. the applicant completed an undergraduate programme or is enrolled in a graduate program with English as the medium of instruction.

    In the case that the applicant does not meet either of the above criteria, a valid TOEFL, IELTS or TOEIC score report is required. The original certificate or photocopy is accepted. Preferred score ranges for each test are:

    TOEFL iBT TOEFL pBT TOEFL cBT TOEIC IELTS
    96-120 590-677 243-300 785-990 7.5-9.0

    How to submit

    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 ro_internship@unu.edu [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.

    Acceptance

    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.

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    About UNU

    • Why and when was the United Nations University established?

      In 1969, then UN Secretary-General U Thant proposed the creation of a new type of university to be devoted to researching pressing global issues and promoting international understanding. Based on that vision, the United Nations University was established.

      The UN General Assembly approved the formation of the United Nations University on 11 December 1972 (G.A. Res. 2591 [XXVII]), and subsequently approved the Charter of the United Nations University on 6 December 1973 (G.A. Res. 3081 [XXVIII]). The United Nations University launched academic work at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, in September 1975.

    • What does UNU do?

      As prescribed by its Charter (Article I.1), UNU operates as “an international community of scholars, engaged in research, postgraduate training and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. The UNU Charter (Article I.2) further stipulates that “the University shall devote its work to research into the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare”. Pursuant to this stipulation, UNU undertakes

      1. basic and applied research;
      2. targeted foresight and policy studies;
      3. capacity development activities; and
      4. communications, dissemination, and outreach measures.

      UNU works primarily through networking and collaboration with external partners, both within the UN system and among the global academic and research communities. In the fulfilment of this mission, UNU functions as:

      • an international community of scholars,
      • a think-tank for the United Nations system,
      • a bridge between the United Nations system and the international academic community,
      • a builder of capacity, particularly in developing countries, and
      • a platform for dialogue and new and creative ideas.
    • What is the role of UNU within the United Nations system?

      UNU operates under the joint sponsorship of the United Nations and UNESCO. Its Charter (Article II.1) grants UNU “autonomy within the framework of the United Nations” and guarantees it “the academic freedom required for the achievement of its objectives”. The University thus is uniquely positioned to contribute to the generation and sharing of knowledge relevant to the roles and work of the United Nations, and to the application of that knowledge in the formulation of sound policies, strategies, and programmes for action.

      UNU maintains a regular dialogue and close cooperative relationships with a broad range of UN system agencies, programmes, commissions, funds, and convention secretariats — both through formal agreements and through joint activities based on functional links. Key UN system partners of UNU include FAO, ILO, UNAIDS, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UN-HABITAT, UNITAR, WHO, and WIPO. The University also works with the UN Secretariat and other UN organizations such as DESA, ECA, ECLAC, ESCAP, UNFPA, and WTO. At the highest level, UNU makes specific inputs into the work of the UN, and monitors pressing UN policy issues to which the University can contribute, through the meetings of the UN Chief Executive Board for Coordination (CEB) and communication with the High-Level Committee on Programme and the High-Level Committee on Management that support the work of the CEB.

    • What are the institutional strengths of UNU?

      UNU derives a number of comparative advantages from its unique identity as both a United Nations organization and a high-level research and teaching institution that emphasizes an interdisciplinary, problem-solving approach in its work. The University’s institutional strengths include its

      • objectivity, intellectual integrity, and academic autonomy,
      • mobilizing power (bringing together the international academic community with the UN system and its Member States’ policy makers),
      • networking capacity (linking scholars from developing and developed countries),
      • capacity to meld theory and practice (and thus provide high-quality, relevant research findings and recommendations),
      • ability to undertake innovative, focused training (leading to the development of institutional and human capacity), and
      • standing to provide input on key issues to the UN General Assembly and other organs of the United Nations.
    • Where is UNU located?
      The UNU Charter (Article X.1) specifies that the University shall operate as “a world-wide system of research and training centres and programmes” (RTC/Ps) and “will have its location at the site of each centre or programme”. Thus, unlike a traditional university, UNU functions as a unique, decentralized global network, which offers the concomitant advantages of a global perspective, improved interaction with worldwide academic communities, and an ability to tap a wide range of human and financial resources. The core UNU system comprises 15 RTC/Ps located in 13 UN Member Nation host countries, coordinated by UNU Centre in Tokyo, Japan. Supplementing the work of the core UNU system are a number of UNU Associated Institutions (so designated by the UNU Council because of their engagement in long-term joint programmes with UNU) as well as a global network of Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. Further extending UNU’s global reach are hundreds of cooperating institutions — research institutions, professional organizations and associations, non-governmental organizations, and private sector companies — augmented by the numerous individuals (researchers, scholars, and practitioners) who support and participate in UNU activities.
    • Why was Tokyo selected as the location for the UNU headquarters?

      The location of the UNU headquarters in Tokyo reflects a long-standing commitment by Japan to the goals of the United Nations and the willingness of the Japanese Government to demonstrate this through its investment in the University. In 1973, the Government of Japan pledged US$100 million to establish the UNU Endowment Fund and offered headquarters facilities for UNU in Tokyo.

    • How is UNU administered and governed?
      The Rector acts as the chief academic and administrative officer of the University and has responsibility for the direction, organization, and administration of its overall programme. The UNU Centre – Tokyo assists the Rector in the programming, co-ordination, support, administration, and financing of the overall UNU programme. The University’s principles and policies are set by the governing UN University Council, whose 13 appointed members serve six-year terms in their individual capacities (rather than as representatives of their countries). The UNU Rector also serves as a Council member, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Director-General of UNESCO, and Executive Director of UNITAR serve as ex officio members.
    • Who are UNU's students and faculty?
      UNU’s students are comprised of graduate students enrolled in UNU postgraduate degree programmes, postgraduate or postdoctoral academics and researchers, civil society actors, policy makers, and other professionals who receive advanced instruction through the training opportunities offered by UNU, or who expand their skills and knowledge by working (often as UNU Fellows or interns) in collaboration with UNU staff. UNU's faculty is the academic and research staff of the UNU system (and the broader international network of scholars and professionals with whom the University works). UNU's professional staff are recruited from universities, research institutions, and international organizations worldwide, often on secondment for fixed terms, and represent a wide variety of nationalities and cultures. Support staff typically is recruited locally in each host country. Although the UN University’s primary role has traditionally been that of a research institution and think-tank, in 2009 UN University efforts to launch degree programmes were endorsed and the University was given permission to award UNU-granted master's and Ph.D. degrees. In 2010, UNU formalized the process for the accreditation of such degrees, and launched the first UNU Master's Degree Programme in Tokyo in autumn 2010. A Ph.D. programme and postgraduate programmes leading to the awarding of either a "double" degree or a joint degree with partner universities are currently being formalized.
    • How is the work of UNU financed?

      UNU receives no funds from the regular UN budget. The University's revenue for operating expenses comes from investment income derived from its Endowment Fund or from annual voluntary contributions of governments, agencies, international organizations, foundations, and others. UNU also benefits from counterpart and other support (such as cost-sharing support for fellowships and other activities) as well as from some donations for academic activities that do not go through UNU accounts but are paid directly to cooperating institutions (including, among others, primary funding for UNU-CRIS, UNU-FTP, and UNU-GTP, and for some joint programmes with UNU associated institutions).

    Eligibility

    Application Questions

    Working Questions

    • What languages are spoken at UNU?

      The working language of UNU is English. Consequently, fluency in written and spoken English is essential. It is nonetheless advantageous to be proficient in one or more of the other languages commonly used in UNU, especially Japanese, French, and/or Spanish. Fluency in other UN languages is considered beneficial.

    • How can I prepare in advance for my work as a junior fellow at the Office of the Rector?
      Applicants are encouraged to become familiar with the University’s organization and goals. Recommended materials include the University’s Charter, recent Annual Reports, and the About section of the UNU website. In addition, applicants may gain a deeper understanding of specific UNU institute research areas and ongoing programmes through the Research and Articles sections on the UNU website.
    • What type of information will I receive during orientation?

      The orientation is set up as a series of workshops that focus on but are not limited to the development of skills and knowledge specific to the work of the Office of the Rector, in addition to essential information on working at the UNU headquarters building. The specific contents of the workshops may vary depending on the internship period but in general, workshops cover building facilities and security, various aspects of writing and editing within the UN system, online project management tools, among others.

    • What is the dress code for junior fellows?

      UNU does not employ any strict guidelines for dress code. However, in principle, junior fellows are expected to dress professionally. This excludes shorts, jeans, sneakers and sandals. In accordance with Japan’s “cool-biz” campaign to reduce energy expended on air-conditioning at the workplace, many employees wear slacks, skirts, and short-sleeved dress shirts with no necktie during the summer months.

    • Do I get any time off from my regular working hours?

      Junior fellows are not required to work during official UNU holidays. In addition, fellows are granted one personal day per month which may be taken at a time of their choosing with permission of their supervisor.

    • Am I allowed to attend conferences and other events open to the public during my internship?

      Junior fellows are encouraged to attend workshops, lectures and seminars that take place throughout the year. Should attendance at such an event stand in direct conflict with other previously agreed working duties, the matter will be discussed with the junior fellow’s supervisor.

    Moving to Tokyo

    Visas

  • Mr. Rachad Nassar
    Office of the Rector
    United Nations University
    5-53-70 Jingumae
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
    Japan 150-8925

    T: +81 3 5467-1212
    E-mail: ro_internship@unu.edu