Providing policy-focused research and capacity building on issues of strategic interest and importance to the UN and its Member States.

UN New York

United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) is a think tank within the United Nations that carries out policy-focused research and capacity building on issues of strategic interest and importance to the UN and its Member States. The Centre prioritizes urgent policy needs requiring innovative, practical solutions oriented toward immediate implementation and sustainability over the long term.  

The Centre offers deep knowledge of the multilateral system and an extensive network of partners in and outside of the United Nations. The United Nations University Charter, formally adopted by the General Assembly in 1973, endows the Centre with academic independence, which ensures that its research is impartial and grounded in an objective assessment of policy and practice.  

Strategic Locations 

UNU-CPR headquarters is located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, near the UN Secretariat, UN Permanent Missions, and other UN agencies and entities. In June 2022, UNU-CPR also established an office in Geneva, with the generous support of the Government of Switzerland, to help expand the Centre's support across the UN system, collaborate with the full range of policy actors in International Geneva, and help bridge the policy ecosystems in Geneva and New York. 

Our international team of experts and research partners are spread across the world – from Mogadishu to Melbourne and Bogota to Berlin. In recent years, UNU-CPR has produced reports based on research in Bangladesh, the Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, the Maldives, Mali, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Tunisia, amongst others.


As a hub for policy innovation, UNU-CPR’s goal is to mobilize bespoke networks of academic, official, private sector and non-profit actors to create partnerships addressing specific problems to develop, inform and advance policy solutions. Drawing on the diverse knowledge within the network of UNU research institutes and operating units, we have built networks connecting actors inside and outside the UN on a wide range of topics.


The UNU Charter makes specific reference to promoting the “exchanges of scholars, scientific and technical ideas and information within the world academic community, particularly in developing countries.” To fulfill its mandate, the University may “organize internationally coordinated research with appropriate institutions and individuals in various parts of the world.” UNU’s global system of institutes, as well as the fieldwork they undertake across the world, provides an important entry-point for a range of voices to be heard on crucial UN policy priorities. At UNU-CPR, we believe that policymaking is strengthened by evidence gathered through inclusive research methodologies that draw on a wide range of constituencies. To ensure that UNU-CPR’s research reflects the concerns and interests of its broad, global constituency, the Centre launched two fellowships in 2020: Global Fellows and Senior Fellows (Non-Resident). 

Read more about our fellowships here.