Frequently Asked Questions

Fellowship details

    • All Fellowship Programmes are offered annually. The United Nations Nippon Foundation Fellowship usually takes place between the months of March and December, with three months spent at DOALOS in New York, and six months at a Host Institution. The Critical Needs Fellowship usually takes place between March and July, at DOALOS in New York. The Thematic Fellowship usually takes place between August and December, at DOALOS in New York.

      The United Nations Nippon Foundation Fellowship lasts for nine months, including three months of training and research at DOALOS in New York and six months at a Host Institution. Both the Critical Needs and Thematic Fellowships consist of four months training at DOALOS in New York.

      The Fellowship programmes address many topics in the fields of ocean affairs, ocean governance and the law of the sea. For full details, please see the relevant pages UNNF, Thematic, and Critical Needs pages.

      Fellows are provided with a monthly stipend for the duration of the Fellowship. The Fellowship also covers travel and health insurance.

      Monthly stipend rates vary by country and are subject to periodic change. For example, in 2020, the stipend payment amount for the first month in New York is approximately US $7,586.00 and the stipend payment for subsequent months is approximately US $3,501.00. For United Nations – Nippon Foundation Fellows, the stipend rates for the second part of the Fellowship will vary according to the country in which the Host Institution is located. The following website provides details regarding the approximate stipend allowances across different countries:

      Stipends are normally deposited via wire transfer to your New York bank account monthly. To that end, all Fellows are required to open a bank account upon arrival to New York, or in the country of the Host Institution, if relevant. In exceptional circumstances, arrangements can be made for alternative payment methods. 

      Yes. For the period of the Fellowship, medical coverage is provided by Cigna Health Insurance. Cigna offers 100% medical coverage for general medical and hospital treatments up to a certain limit. Specialized services are not covered. Full details of the health insurance coverage will be provided to Fellows upon selection.

      Host Institutions are universities and institutions with which DOALOS partners under the United Nations - The Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme. These Host Institutions have agreed to host Fellows and provide supervision for those Fellows as they undertake research and draft their written thesis in the second part of the Fellowship. DOALOS arranges placements for Fellows at Host Institutions based on a Fellow's proposed research and study programme, the Institution's corresponding areas of expertise, and availability. Fellows are asked for their input regarding institutions at the time of application, but the ultimate selection will be made by DOALOS in conjunction with the relevant Host Institutions.

      The United Nations - Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programmes are dedicated training programmes with a particular focus, as detailed on the individual Fellowship webpages. The Programme does not provide scholarships or funding for the completion of university degrees, including postgraduate degrees. 

      Whilst fluency in English is not required for the programme, and we can assist with Spanish or French language materials, many of the presentations and trainings will be delivered in English. It would therefore be helpful to have some knowledge of English in order to fully participate in, and benefit from, the programme.

      Yes, if there is a Host Institution available that is able to supervise a Fellow’s thesis in a language other than English, and the Fellow’s co-supervisor at DOALOS agrees. In particular, we have had a several Fellows in the past draft their theses in French. For enquiries about the possibility of drafting theses in other languages, please contact us. 

       
Whale shark under research vessel. Photo: Herreno, UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition

Whale shark under research vessel. Photo: Herreno, UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition

Sunken car surrounded by fish and coral. Photo: Masuet, UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition

Sunken car surrounded by fish and coral. Photo: Masuet, UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition

Eligibility

The Critical Needs Fellowship is open only to Government officials, as indicated in the eligibility criteria here [link]. 
The UN-Nippon Foundation Fellowship and the Thematic Fellowship are open to both Government officials and other mid-level professionals working on ocean-related issues, as indicated in the eligibility criteria here [link]. Critical Needs Fellowship accepts applications from Government officials only. 

Applications from PhD students may be accepted provided they meet the other selection criteria for the relevant programme. The nomination form should be signed by a current employer or an organization with which you are currently collaborating, with a view to helping the Selection Committee to understand how the Fellowship will assist your work.

DOALOS cannot give individual advice on whether, or how well, candidates meet the selection criteria, as this is a matter for the Selection Committee. However, candidates may determine if their profile meets the selection criteria by looking at the “Application process and eligibility criteria” section for the programme for which they wish to apply. 

UN-Nippon Foundation Fellowships and Critical Needs Fellowships are open to developing States only. The Thematic Fellowship is open to candidates from both developing and developed States.

The selection criteria require that applicants be between the ages of 25 and 40. However, it will ultimately be up to the Selection Committee to decide whether to accept applications from candidates outside of those age ranges in individual cases.

We receive a very large number of applications every year and the Programmes are very competitive. If you have not been selected, you are welcome to apply again next year or to any other of our Programmes.  

The application process

Please open the “Apply Now” webpage from the menu, download the two forms relevant to the Fellowship programme for which you wish to apply, and complete them as per the instructions. Once completed, kindly email both forms to us at doalos@un.org

A call for applications will be issued for each of the Fellowship Programmes approximately 6-7 months before the intended start date of the Programme. The call for applications for the United Nations – Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme and the Critical Needs Fellowship Programme are therefore normally issued around June, while the call for applications for the Thematic Fellowship Programme is normally issued around January.
The call for applications is advertised through various channels, and will be clearly indicated on our website. Please check our website regularly for updates.

The deadline for submission of the application forms will be clearly indicated in the call for applications and on our website. Please ensure you submit your application before the deadline.
Can I apply by sending you my CV?
No. We do not accept applications submitted by way of letter or CV. You must fill in the appropriate application forms. Please open the “Apply Now” webpage from the menu, download the two forms relevant to the Fellowship programme for which you wish to apply, and complete them as per the instructions. Once completed, kindly email both forms to us at doalos@un.org.

Nomination forms should be be completed by an employer who can attest to the nature of your work with respect to ocean affairs and law of the sea related activities and can indicate how an Award would directly contribute to these activities.

As per the information on our website, we would prefer that the nomination form is completed by an employer who can attest to the nature of your work with respect to ocean affairs and law of the sea related activities and can indicate how an Award would directly contribute to these activities, or an organization with which you are currently collaborating, with a view to helping the Selection Committee to understand how the Fellowship will assist your work Candidates may, if they wish, include an additional nomination form from their university professor.

When candidates submit their applications, we acknowledge the receipt of these and indicate the approximate time at which Award results will be posted on our website. At that time, the link to the Decision of the Selection Committee will be provided and applicants can view the names of Awardees. Only successful applicants will be individually contacted.

We prefer that candidates submit their application forms electronically, to the email address indicated under ‘Apply Now’. Sending the application via regular mail is optional but may result in delays in our receiving the documents.

For selected Fellows

The United Nations designated travel agency (American Expressor ‘AMEX’) will purchase the economy class (round trip) air tickets and send them to you electronically, approximately five days prior to your departure date. Upon receiving tentative itinerary from AMEX, you may make changes to your travel schedule (such as arriving earlier or leaving later, choosing a different airline, etc.), with any additional costs as a result of the change being at your own expense. There is sometimes no extra cost to make changes to the itinerary if this is done before the ticket is issued. Candidates should not in any circumstances book their own travel.

Fellows are urged not to bring family members with them. The monthly stipend rates are enough only to cover the normal living expenses of one person. No allowances of any kind will be paid for dependents. Family members are not covered by the health insurance provided to Fellows.

The United Nations is not competent to advise on which type of visa you require, with this being a matter for the immigration authorities of each State. We will provide a visa support letter to assist you and the authorities with determining the appropriate visa classification for you.

It is the responsibility of Fellows to make their own accommodation arrangements. We may provide some guidance or assistance for selected Fellows. It is advised that you make the necessary arrangements for your accommodation for the duration of your Fellowship well in advance of your arrival.

Under the health insurance plan provided for Fellows, Fellows are responsible for paying medical fees when they visit a doctor. Fellows may seek reimbursement later by submitting a claim. Please be aware that it may take approximately four to six weeks to obtain the reimbursement. In some cases of hospitalization, it may be possible to arrange for Cigna to make payment directly to the hospital. Please see the brochure which will be provided to you on the first day for details.

Fellows who successfully complete the Fellowship Programme automatically become members of the Alumni Network.

Details of upcoming Alumni activities will be communicated directly to Alumni and may also be found on our website.

Underwater research capsule. Photo: Gazzola, UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition

Underwater research capsule. Photo: Gazzola, UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition