The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) Graduate Professional Programme

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) Graduate Professional Programme

The Graduate and Professional Programme is intended to provide successful candidates practical experience in a research institute that serves the global community on questions of international security and assists with disarmament efforts.

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) Graduate Professional Programme

  • Location: Geneva, Switzerland Department:
  • CAAP Type: Temporary
  • Position: Graduate Professional (1 Available Position)
  • Contract: Temporary
  • Occupational Rate: 100% (Negotiable)
  • Desired Starting date: 1 October 2023 (Negotiable)
  • Duration: 6 months, with the possibility of extension
  • Location: Geneva, Switzerland
  • Remuneration: A stipend is offered as a contribution to living expenses (Geneva-based, USD 1100/month; remote, USD 550/month)

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research – UNIDIR is an autonomous institution within the United Nations that conducts independent research on disarmament and related problems, particularly international security issues. The vision of UNIDIR is a stable and more secure world in which States and people are protected from threats of arms-related violence. The role of UNIDIR is to support Member States, the United Nations and policy and research communities in advancing ideas and actions that contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. UNIDIR is based in the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

UNIDIR’s Conventional Arms and Ammunition (CAAP) is seeking one Graduate Professional to assist with research and to support the implementation of project activities primarily in the field of Weapons and Ammunition Management. The programme examines and promotes ideas and action to prevent or mitigate the negative impact of unregulated proliferation and misuse of conventional arms and ammunition and thus lay the foundations for peace, security, and sustainable development. In cooperation with partners across the United Nations system, States, regional organizations, and the international security expert community the programme undertakes action-oriented field research and convenes multi-stakeholder dialogues to deliver advisory support and practical tools to prevent, mitigate, and address the uncontrolled proliferation and misuse of conventional arms and ammunition. The programme’s research is contained in two pillars and an exploratory research cell, while an “on demand” advice, support, and capacity-building facility enables the sharing of practical advice and the delivery of capacity-building to effectively tackle uncontrolled conventional arms and ammunition proliferation, prevent armed conflict and armed violence. Thus, the programme structure is:

  1. Research Pillar 1: Strengthening weapons and ammunition management
  2. Research Pillar 2: Preventing Armed Conflict and Armed Violence
  3. Exploratory Research Cell: Addressing Glocal Development and Security Challenges
  4. Advice, Support, and Capacity-Building Facility

The selected candidate will primarily support the work of Research Pillar 1 on strengthening weapons and ammunition management and related activities in the Advice, Support and Capacity-Building Facility. 

More information on the Programme’s research and activities can be found at:

Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of the Graduate Professionals or their sponsoring institution. Eligible Graduate Professionals will receive a modest monthly stipend to contribute to living expenses. Successful candidates who already receive a stipend from another source, such as an educational institution, will have their stipend topped up to this amount.


Within UNIDIR’s Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme, the Graduate Professionals shall perform the following duties under the supervision of the Programme Head:

  • Background research and analysis;
  • Providing administrative support to the programme, including assisting in the planning and implementation of programme activities (e.g. meetings, workshops, conferences, field missions) and in record-keeping and monitoring;
  • Communicating with project partners; and
  • Performing other tasks, as required.

Key Skills / Interests

  • Project management and/or implementation;
  • Research and presentation;
  • Ability to synthesize information into concise, high-quality written briefs;
  • Organization and coordination of multiple tasks;
  • Interpersonal, teamwork and communication skills (written and oral);
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office tools (in particular Word, Excel and PowerPoint);
  • Should have an interest in international peace and security, disarmament and/or the work of the United Nations.


The Graduate Professionals are to demonstrate the core values of the United Nations: Professionalism, Integrity, and Respect for Diversity.

In addition, in this role, the Graduate Professionals will demonstrate the following competences:

  • Communication: Identifies the information needs of target audiences and tailors communication accordingly, drafts clearly and concisely, good written and oral language skills, demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • Teamwork: Good interpersonal skills, ability to work collaboratively with colleagues from different national and cultural backgrounds to achieve organizational goals.
  • Planning & Organization: Uses time efficiently, foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning, monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary to ensure tasks are completed.
  • Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services, offers new and different options to solve problems, takes an interest in new ideas and ways of doing things, is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
  • Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be ‘clients’ and seeks to understand and reflect the clients’ points of view in their work.

Qualifications and Experience


To qualify for the United Nations Graduate and Professional Program, applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
  • have graduated with a university degree (as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the Graduate and Professional Program within a one-year period of graduation; or
  • have graduated with a university (first or second university degree, as defined above) and, if selected, must commence the graduate professional programme within a one-year period of graduation.

At UNIDIR, preference will be given to applicants with post-graduate degree qualifications relevant to the Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme’s specific current needs, for instance in the fields of social or behavioral sciences (such as politics, international affairs, security studies peace and conflict studies), or international law.

Work Experience

Applicants must:

  • have a demonstrated interest and/or experience in conventional arms control;
  • be computer literate in standard software applications;
  • have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter;
  • have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which includes willingness to understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views; and
  • have knowledge of gender issues or experience with gender mainstreaming in a field relevant to the position is desirable.

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the graduate professional programme.


  • For the position advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required.
  • Knowledge of at least one other official UN language is desirable (knowledge of French or Spanish is an asset).

To apply

Please send us a cover letter and your CV in PDF format titled as “SURNAME_Name_CV-CL” to [email protected] with “UNIDIR Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme GPP Application” in the subject line. Deadline for submission of applications is Monday 18 September 2023. Closing date is midnight Geneva time. Please note that incomplete and late applications will not be processed.

Applicants for the Graduate and Professional Program must show proof of valid medical insurance coverage to cover the full period of the GPP and provide a medical certificate of good health prior to the Graduate Professional’s commencement. The United Nations accepts no responsibility for the medical insurance of the Graduate Professional or costs arising from injury, illness or death that may occur during the Graduate and Professional Program.

UNIDIR promotes the core values of the United Nations: Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

DEADLINE: 18 September 2023

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