UNESCO Internship: Natural Science Sector – Locations in Different Country Offices

UNESCO Internship: Natural Science Sector – Locations in Different Country Offices

Duty Station: Headquarters, Field Offices, and Institutes

Type of contract : Internship

Duration of contract : 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : External Candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 30 June 2024

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism


The Natural Science sector work is being guided by international frameworks such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Agreement (2015) on climate action, United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015–2030), the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

The Natural Sciences Sector takes a systemic, integrated approach to implementation, drawing upon the complementary profiles of its science programmes, focusing on skills and knowledge enhancement for more integrated management of natural resources and developing green economies.

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Areas of activity covered by the Natural Sciences Sector include:

  • Inclusive knowledge and capacities of Member States strengthened to advance and apply science for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem and biodiversity conservation and restoration, and disaster risk resilience. 
  • Water science, innovation, education, management, cooperation, and governance bolstered for a water-secure world in a changing environment.
  • Small island developing States (SIDS) empowered with strengthened capacities in UNESCO fields of expertise to better address their specific challenges.
  • Member States’ capacities strengthened to improve science, technology and innovation (STI) policies and access to scientific and technological advancements and enhance knowledge sharing, including through open science.
  • Institutional and human capacities in basic sciences, technology, research, innovation, and engineering enhanced to advance knowledge for sustainable development. 
  • Institutional and human capacities strengthened in STEM education in a gender transformative manner for sustainable development.

TASKS: UNESCO Internship: Natural Science Sector – Locations in Different Country Offices

During the internship, the Intern will have the opportunity to learn and support the overall work of the Sector’s mission within the framework of the activities and projects of the different Divisions and will be called on to (not exhaustive):

  • Participate in the preparation and review of project documents.  Draft notes and prepare technical annexes. 
  • Contribute to the elaboration of briefing notes, progress reports and other relevant documents, through support in researching and collecting data for specific purposes.
  • Support in the contribution to the Sector’s communication and visibility exercises through the updating of the relevant webpage, when required, the design and dissemination of communication material to improve visibility and mobilization of resources.
  • Analyze and compile background data for potential partnerships and fundraising events and opportunities, as well as taking notes in stakeholders’ meetings.
  • Provide administrative and logistical support in the planning and organization of events/meetings, workshops, and conferences in coordination with other staff.
  • Support the preparation of specific budgets, financial and accounting documents, and project evaluation.
  • Contribute to related area of work activities and tasks as may be required by the supervisor.


The intern will acquire an understanding of the overall work of UNESCO and relevant experience in project designing, planning and implementation within an international and multicultural context and more specifically the Natural Sciences Sector’s domain. The objectives will comprise:

  • Design of policy briefs, using a variety of approaches including tools such as case studies, group discussion work, facilitator input and individual reflection.
  • Understand the context of global policy making in the field of Natural Sciences Sector, including role of international organizations, through their work in setting standards, facilitating knowledge exchange, providing policy advice, enhancing human and institutional capacities and facilitating cooperation.
  • Develop critical-thinking skills by contributing original ideas directly to organization head and development team in brainstorm and identification sessions.
  • Understand administrative procedures and develop soft skills such as stakeholder management, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills and work ethic within the UNESCO Competency Framework, in particular teamwork, flexibility, communication and client-oriented service mindset.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)

Communication (C)

Innovation (C)

Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)

Planning and organizing (C)

Results focus (C)

Teamwork (C)

Professionalism (C)

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



You must be at least 20 years old to apply.

Academic qualifications:

At the time of your application to the internship programme:

You are currently enrolled in a graduate programme (Master’s degree, PhD, or equivalent, second university degree or higher).
You have recently graduated with a Master’s degree or PhD (or second degree as defined above), 12 months prior to the start of the internship.

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Please note that candidates who have completed their full-time bachelor’s degree but are not enrolled in a graduate programme are not eligible to apply.

Applicants in secretarial/assistant or technical/professional assignments must be enrolled in a secretarial school or in a specialized technical/professional institution, and must have reached the last year of their studies, or have recently graduated (within the last 12 months) from their school or institution.  


You should have an excellent command, both written and spoken, of English or French. A working knowledge of the other language (English or French) is an asset, and may be required for internships in secretarial and assistantship assignments at the Headquarters.

Computer skills: You must have an excellent knowledge of computer systems and office-related software.

Team player:

You should be able to work well in a team and adapt to an international working environment.

Communication skills:

You should possess strong interpersonal and communication skills.



  • Studies in the field of water science, hydrology, ecological science, earth sciences, basic sciences and engineering and/or in another related field of natural sciences.


UNESCO does not remunerate interns. There is no compensation, financial or otherwise for internship assignments. 

Interns are entitled to 2.5 days of leave per month during their internship.


The UNESCO Internships Programme is open in January and July each year. Candidates shall apply to the vacancy that matches their personal expertise and domain. Candidates who successfully applied to the vacancy will stay in the intern talent pool and will be further assessed and selected by relevant hiring managers.  

The candidature will be valid for 6 months. Candidates who have been selected will be contacted directly by the relevant hiring manager. Those who were not selected for an internship in the current cycle will need to reapply to the internship programme when the new internship vacancies are released.


  • Have your motivation letter and résumé ready before filling out the application form. You only have one hour to finish the process.
  • Make sure your contact details will be valid in next 6 months. 
  • You can only use either English or French in applying.
  • Please provide an unofficial French or English translation of your documents if they are not in these languages.
  • UNESCO does not remunerate interns. There is no compensation, financial or otherwise for internship assignments.
  • Even if you are eligible, there is no guarantee of placement. We receive more applications from qualified candidates than we can place.
  • Your application will be further accessed by UNESCO managers around the world and will stay in our internship portal for a period of six months.
  • We do not respond to each and every candidate. If selected, you will be directly contacted by the manager. If you do not receive any update within six months, it means that your application has not been successful.




Simon Tyrus Caine

Simon Tyrus Caine is a solar energy expert with more than 10 years experience in the solar sector. Simon has worked and lived in more than 5 countries. Simon has been involved in solar installations, solar project development, solar financing as well as business development in the solar sector. At SolarEyes International, Simon manages content development and day to day operations of the organisation.

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