Home Competitions/Awards United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Critical Needs Fellowship

United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Critical Needs Fellowship


Deadline: 13 Sep,2019    Next term Starts:: 04 Feb,2020



The Critical Needs Fellowship was established in 2017 as one of three core activities under the United Nations – Nippon Foundation Sustainable Ocean Programme. The Fellowship aims to assist developing States, particularly least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, to address identified critical needs in the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related instruments, as well as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and other related SDGs.

Through the targeted building of human capacity, the Critical Needs Fellowship addresses needs-based capacity gaps at the national level to overcome critical capacity barriers to enable the most vulnerable States to better address strategically important and time-sensitive ocean affairs and the law of the sea issues they are faced with. This specific purpose will be achieved through the delivery of critical capacity assistance, in the format of a Fellowship Programme, to Government officials from developing States with limited background in ocean affairs and the law of the sea, who are filling key positions in their Administration to address identified critical needs in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and other related SDGs.

The Fellowship consists of a four-month training program at the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It consists of a highly customized program of activities. Depending on needs identified, Fellows may, during the four-month training program, undertake a learning placement with either a Department of the United Nations Secretariat, a specialized agency or an organization affiliated with the United Nations or other relevant organization. (Please click here for a description of program activities)


Eligibility and Criteria

  • Must be between the ages of 25 and 40;
  • Must have successfully completed a first university degree;
  • Must be Government officials from developing countries dealing directly with critical issues related to sustainable development of oceans and seas including the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; national and/or regional ocean policy; establishment of maritime zones and the delimitation of maritime boundaries; coastal zone management; conservation and management of marine living resources; maritime transport and shipping; maritime security; the protection and preservation of the marine environment; and marine science;
  • The “Nomination and Recommendation Form” must be completed by a Government official who can attest to the nature of your work with respect to the Government’s ocean affairs and the law of the sea-related activities, and indicate how an Award would directly contribute to these activities;
  • The proposed study program must contribute directly to the State’s formulation and/or implementation of ocean affairs and law of the sea policies and programs;
  • Must be free of all non-Fellowship obligations during this entire period unless otherwise authorized by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs.

Awards and Benefits

  • The decision to Award a Fellowship is made in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Technical Cooperation Agreement which establishes the Fellowship Programme and guided by the “Fellowship Selection Criteria” applied by the United Nations System Organizations.
  • Successful candidates ONLY will be notified directly by DOALOS of their Award. Other applicants will find the selection results posted on this webpage, approximately in mid-November.
  • Please note that Awards are conditional on the fulfillment of all Fellowship requirements including, inter alia, the necessary visa(s) and medical clearance.
  • Fellows will be provided with a return air-ticket in economy class for travels from their home country to the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA.
  • Travel arrangements will be made by the United Nations and in accordance with the applicable United Nations travel policies.
  • Fellows will receive a stipend during their fellowship in accordance with the established United Nations rates for the host Country. These rates are updated regularly and available on the following URL: https://www.un.org/development/desa/fellowship/stipend-rates
  • For the first month of each of the Fellowship placement phases, Fellows will receive their stipend at the non-academic “Max Trav” rate, and all subsequent months will be at the non-academic “Max Res” rate.
  • Stipend paid to Fellows while outside the home country is a monthly allowance intended to cover the cost of lodging, board and other essentials such as laundry and local transport.
  • Specific information regarding the travel and payment instructions will be provided to the Fellow, as early as possible, but not before all medical, placement and visa procedures have been completed.
  • Once Fellows start their placements at United Nations Headquarters, they should open a local bank account, and complete and return a “Funds Transfer Form” (F249) to DOALOS without delay. This form is available for download here. Please note that it normally takes 5-10 working days for the first payment to be deposited to this account.

How To Apply

To apply please click here