United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Fellowship

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The objective of the fellowship programme is to contribute to building capacity for addressing climate change in non-Annex I Parties, in particular small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs) Parties, through the development of local professional expertise by:

  • Supporting innovative analytical work on climate change in the context of sustainable development;
  • Promoting a network of experts who can bring creative and innovative options to bear on questions of climate change;
  • Encouraging the leadership potential of young and promising professionals in their fields.

The programme target group consists of mid-career professionals who are already in a government’s employment and who are nationals of and working in a developing country, particularly a SIDS and LDC Party. While fellowships are awarded to individuals, the need for training must occur within the context of the institution for which an applicant works. The training must help the institution to develop its capacity. This means that the applicants must:

  • Obtain permission from their employer for leave of absence for the term of the fellowship, and provide written certification that s/he will return to the Party’s governmental institution addressing climate change after her/his fellowship for at least six month;
  • Get a written certification from their employer that the subject of the proposed training is relevant to the needs of the organization.

This programme is not intended for students, and does not provide financial support for an advanced degree, such as fieldwork for a PhD degree.


The fellowship programme is open to individuals working in a broad range of governmental organizations, ranging from educational institutions, research institutes and ministries. Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a national of, and work in an organization located in pre-selected countries/regions;
  • Normally be no more than 40 years of age on the closing date of application;
  • Have preferably completed a Master degree, or equivalent, at the time of application, and a minimum of 3 years of work experience. Candidates with a first degree and a minimum of five years work experience may also be considered;
  • Have good communication skills in English

Priority will be accorded to candidates from SIDS and LDC countries.

Opportunities for work projects and working conditions

There are a wide range of opportunities for fellows in the secretariat. Work projects may be carried out in any of the secretariat programmes on a number of issues e.g.. future of climate change, technology, financial assistance, inventories, mechanisms, etc…

The exact work programme to be pursued will be determined in consultation with each fellow according to her/his own area of expertise and interest. Once the work programme is determined, the selected fellow will be placed in the relevant secretariat programme, under the supervision/guidance of a programme officer designated by the hosting programme.

Fellows are expected to prepare an analytical paper of 20 - 30 pages containing the results of their work at the end of the fellowship period. The paper should be prepared in English to the extent possible, but may also be submitted in French or Spanish. In special cases, the paper may be prepared in one of the other official languages of the UN (Arabic, Chinese, or Russian). The paper will be reviewed by secretariat staff and the secretariat will maintain publication rights.


The fellowship programme annually awards up to five fellowships.

  • Fellowships are awarded for a period of three to six months.
  • Fellowships shall normally begin within six months after the award being offered.
  • Fellowship periods will be individually arranged to accommodate, to the extent possible, the particular needs of each fellow.
  • The award is a fixed, non-negotiable sum which is intended to cover living expenses at the UNFCCC secretariat in Bonn. In addition, the programme covers travel costs by the least costly route.
  • Each fellow must obtain medical clearance and also provide proof of health insurance with full international coverage before traveling to Germany. It is the responsibility of the fellow to arrange for insurance against risks occurring during the fellowship.
  • Fellows are responsible for making their own housing and other arrangements, although assistance in securing accommodation may be provided.
  • Accompanying family members will not be covered and are the sole responsibility of the fellow.
  • Fellows are not eligible to apply for advertised positions within the secretariat within six months following the conclusion of their assignment with the secretariat.

Application deadline: 31 July 2010

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the above information is current and correct. However, applicants should contact the appropriate administering body before making an application, as details do change frequently.


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