Internship Programme 

PLEASE NOTE: The United Nations Environment Programme New York Office (UNEP/NYO) Internship Programme is in no way connected with recruitment for employment at the United Nations Environment Programme or the United Nations and there should be no expectancy of such. Interns wishing to be considered for employment with UNEP or the United Nations, even if otherwise fully qualified, are not eligible for employment either during their internship or for at least a three-month period immediately after the internship. Please note also that entry-level Professional posts reserved for external recruitment are filled through the UN’s Young Professionals Programme. The Internship Programme is not to be used by interns solely for the purpose of conducting full-time personal research.

1. The present information note covers the internship programme administered in New York by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/NYO).


2. The purpose of the programme is to promote a better understanding of major environmental issues confronting the world as well as emerging trends and to offer insights as to how the United Nations Environment Programme responds to these global and regional concerns.


3. The UNEP/NYO Internship Programme usually consists of 3 three-month periods throughout the year: mid-January to mid-April; mid-April to mid-July and early September to end of December.

4. While the internship programme is on a full-time basis, the intern, working under the supervision of a UNEP/NYO staff member, usually spends between thirty (30) and thirty-five (35) hours a week carrying out their assignment.The work assignment generally covers Intergovernmental Processes, Policy Coordination, and Outreach (NGOs, Youth) / Media / Public Relations.


5. The following criteria are used to determine eligibility for the UNEP/NYO's Internship Programme. Failure to provide a complete internship application may result in the application not being considered: 

a) Applicants should be enrolled in a Master's or Ph.D. degree programme in a graduate school at the time of application and also during the internship. Qualifications should include:

  • Background in environmental studies, international relations, international development, environmental policy or law, Natural Resource Management, or Peace and Conflict Studies, as well as demonstrated interest in the environment; 
  • Understanding of cross-cutting major environmental issues;
  • Knowledge of global, regional and national intergovernmental processes;
  • Strong research, writing, communication and analytical skills;
  • Computer literacy, especially with MS Word and Excel;
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail; 
  • Ability to work creatively, independently and as a team member; 
  • Good time-management skills; 
  • Knowledge of another official UN language is an asset; and

b) Applicants pursuing their studies in countries where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and graduate stages should have completed at least three years of university studies.


6. Graduate students who are interested in doing an internship at UNEP/NYO should watch out for the internship announcement on the United Nations Careers website (Inspira), create a profile and prepare an application, and submit a signed letter/document by your academic institution (Office of the Dean of the graduate school) as a proof of enrolment in a Master's or Ph.D. programme during the internship, as well as grade transcripts or lists of courses taken and, if available, a sample of research work in English or French should accompany the application. Applicants should also submit a brief essay, in English or French, stating the purpose of the internship. Applications should be sent to UNEP/NYO no earlier than six months and no later than two months before the start of the internship.

Internship Period

Start Date

End Date

Application Deadline




15 October




15 January


Early September


15 May

7. For application information, please e-mail 
to UNEP/NYO Internship Coordinator at, or write or fax UNEP/NYO Internship Programme:

2 UN Plaza, Rm DC2-0803,
New York, NY 10017, 
fax: (+1-212) 963-7341.  
The application is available here: UN Internships


8. Payment: Interns are not paid. Costs of travel and accommodation, as well as living expenses, are the responsibility of interns or their sponsoring institutions.

9. Visas: Interns are responsible for obtaining the necessary visas and arranging their travel to UNEP/NYO. UNEP will only assist by providing letters of acceptance and copies of internship agreements. As the process of obtaining a visa can be lengthy, note that failure to secure a visa will void internship acceptance. 

10. Insurance: The United Nations accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness incurred during an internship. Therefore, candidates for internship must show proof of valid regular as well as major medical insurance coverage.

11. Internship Agreements: Applicants, when selected, will be required to sign the Conditions Governing UNEP/NYO Internship Programme. Interns must keep confidential, and cannot publish any information obtained during the course of the internship, except with the explicit authorization of the United Nations Environment Programme.