The Internship Programme of the United Nations Office at Vienna and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime


The United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) accept unpaid interns on an ad hoc basis. The purpose of our Programme is to offer students from diverse academic backgrounds an educational experience through practical work assignments within the international environment of the UN, while offering the United Nations the assistance of qualified students specializing in various professional fields.

The main eligibility criteria for the UNOV/UNODC internship programme are:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate/postgraduate university programme, both at the time of application and during the entire period of envisaged internship (for which they have to provide official documentary evidence from the university);
  • 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 graduate degree (for which they have to provide official documentary evidence from the university);
  • Applicants must be available for a minimum duration of two months.

Also please bear in mind that:

  • United Nations interns are not paid. All costs related to travel, insurance, accommodation and living expenses must be borne by either the interns or their sponsoring institutions;
  • Selected candidates are responsible for obtaining the necessary visas and for arranging their travel;
  • Interns are responsible for costs arising from accidents and/or illness incurred during the internship and must show proof of a valid major global medical insurance coverage.


To qualify for the UNOV/UNODC Internship Programme, the following conditions must be met:

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a degree programme in a graduate school (second university degree or higher) both at the time of application and during the entire 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 graduate/post-graduate degree.

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

Eligibility self check


You are currently enrolled in a Master or PhD (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 fifth year (or higher) at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a degree.


You are able to obtain the necessary visa and to arrange your travel to Vienna.


You are able to cover the costs of travel, accommodation, as well as living expenses of the internship.


You will be able to provide valid medical insurance coverage for your stay in Austria, a medical certificate stating that you are in good health and an official proof of enrolment in graduate (post-graduate) studies.


You are able to communicate fluently in English.

To be eligible, you should satisfy the conditions imposed.
If you answer "No" to one or more of the above question(s), you should consider postponing your application until the above requirements are met.

Application procedures for the UNOV/UNODC Internship Programme

Effective immediately, the hiring of interns for our Programme will be done using the United Nations Secretariat online recruitment system, Inspira, and eligible candidates can apply on the United Nations Career Portal at The first step in the process is to create a profile which is a prerequisite for submitting job applications in Inspira.

Once the profile is completed, applicants can search for Internship Job Openings they are interested on the Job Openings page of UN Careers under the tab "Internship". There are several ways the results can be sorted to show the positions in Vienna. Alternatively, the Search Job Opening Field at the bottom of the page can be used by choosing "Internship" from the drop down list under "Category" and "Vienna" from the drop down list under "Duty Station".

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online well before the deadlines stated in the Internship Job Openings. No applications will be accepted after the deadlines. The deadlines for all current applications will be stated on the Careers Portal website as well as in the Internship Job Openings.

Online applications will be automatically acknowledged where an e-mail address has been provided. Please note that you will receive two (2) confirmation e-mails:

  1. First e-mail confirms your registration
  2. Second e-mail confirms your application for an internship.
    This e-mail will be sent after the successful submission of your application.

If you face any technical difficulties in using Inspira, simply contact us via the Careers Portal or Inspira to reach the Inspira Support Centre.

Languages required

Applicants must be fluent in at least one of the working languages of the United Nations (English and French). Knowledge of other official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish) is an asset.

Fields of study

Fields of study include social and political sciences, psychology, economics, journalism, finance, information technology, accounting, business administration, international relations and international law.


The minimum duration of an internship is two months, which may be extended depending on the needs of the office to a maximum period of six months.

The internship programme is normally on a full-time basis. Interns are expected to work five full days a week in the Division that has selected them, under the supervision of an experienced staff member.

Medical insurance and certificate

Interns are required to provide proof that they have valid health or medical insurance coverage in Austria during their internships. UNOV/UNODC accepts no responsibility for the medical insurance of an intern or compensation in the event of death, injury or illness during an internship.

Interns have to provide a medical certificate of good health issued by a duly qualified medical practitioner.


The United Nations does not remunerate interns in any way. All costs related to an intern's participation in the programme must be borne by the applicant who will have to make his/her own arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation, etc.

Interns do not receive a salary or emoluments from the United Nations.

Costs incurred by an intern in the discharge of his/her functions shall be reimbursed by the United Nations under the same rules as costs reimbursed to staff members.

Claims, privileges and immunities

The United Nations is not responsible for any claims by any parties where the loss of or damage to their property, death or personal injury was caused by the actions or omission of action by an intern during his or her internship.

The United Nations is also not responsible for compensation for damage to property or for service-related death, injury or illness incurred by interns during their period of internship.

Interns are not staff members and therefore are not entitled to the privileges and immunities extended by the host country to the staff of UNOV/UNODC. They shall not be sought or accepted as substitutes for staff to be recruited against posts authorized for the implementation of mandated programmes and activities.

Commencement of the internship

Interns will be requested to report to the Internship Coordinator at the beginning of the first day of their internship to complete the necessary formalities, which include: signing a waiver, providing proof of medical insurance and the certificate of good health, and receiving an induction briefing.

Working location and hours

The work performed by the intern during the internship will be on the premises of the office to which he or she is assigned. Interns are not permitted to travel outside of the immediate duty station for official purposes.

Interns carry out their assignments according to the schedule of working hours agreed upon with the substantive office.

Interns must inform their supervisors in writing in case of illness or other unavoidable circumstances that prevent them from observing those working hours. For absence of longer than three days on medical grounds, a sick leave certificate is required and for periods of longer than two weeks the intern has to provide to the Internship Coordinator with a certificate from the treating physician that he/she is fit to return to work in order to resume the internship.


Interns are personally responsible for obtaining their visa at the Austrian Embassy or Consulate in the country of their nationality/residence. Visa matters are handled solely by the Austrian Government through their representations abroad. Usually, prospective interns are granted regular Schengen Visas for 3 or 6 months as the unpaid internship does not count as employment.


Interns are required to conduct themselves at all times in a manner compatible with their responsibilities as temporary UNOV/UNODC "staff members", i.e. in accordance with the standards of conduct of international civil servants.

Interns shall respect the impartiality and independence required of the United Nations and of the receiving office and shall not seek or accept instructions regarding the services performed under the internship agreement from any Government or from any authority external to the Organization.

Unless otherwise authorized by the appropriate official in the receiving office, they may not communicate at any time to the media or to any institution, person, Government or any other external source any information that has become known to them by reason of their association with the United Nations or the receiving office and that they know or ought to have known has not been made public. They may not use any such information without the written authorization of the appropriate official and such information may never be used for personal gain. These obligations also apply after the end of the internship with the United Nations.

Interns may not represent the United Nations in any official capacity.


Interns are required to keep confidential any and all unpublished information acquired during the course of their internships and may not publish any reports or papers on the basis of information obtained, unless authorized to do so by UNOV/UNODC.

Interns are also expected to provide the receiving office with a copy of all materials prepared by them during the internship. The United Nations shall be entitled to all property rights (including but not limited to patents, copyrights and trademarks) with regard to material that bears a direct relation to, or is made in consequence of, the services provided under the internship. At the request of the United Nations, the intern shall assist in securing such property rights and transferring them to the Organization in compliance with the requirements of the applicable law.

Use of the United Nations Library

Substantive offices accepting interns are responsible for making the necessary arrangements for the interns to use the United Nations Library.
(For more information, contact the United Nations Library by telephone (ext. 3210) or by e-mail.)

Subsequent employment

The purpose of the Internship Programme is not to lead to further employment with the United Nations but to complement an intern's studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment following an internship.

Interns shall not be eligible to apply for, or be appointed to, any post in the Professional or higher categories in any organization/office belonging to the United Nations Secretariat, regardless of source of funding or type and length of appointment for a period of six months following the end of their internship.


On completion of the internship, the intern's supervisor is required to complete a written evaluation of the intern's performance and organize a meeting with the intern to provide constructive feedback. In turn, the intern must complete a questionnaire on his or her experience.