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Graduate Study Programme

The 55th Graduate Study Programme will be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 3 to 14 July 2017. The GSP theme for 2017 will be:



The United Nations Information Service’s Graduate Study Programme provides an opportunity for participants to deepen their understanding of the United Nations system through first-hand observation and study. The Graduate Study Programme is held at the United Nations Office at Geneva each year during the month of July.

Each year, as part of the educational outreach programmes undertaken by the United Nations, the Information Service at Geneva organizes the Graduate Study Programme. This seminar provides an opportunity for outstanding graduate and postgraduate students from all over the world to deepen their understanding of the principles, purposes and activities of the United Nations and its related agencies through first-hand observation and study at the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The 55th Graduate Study Programme will be held at the Palais des Nations from 3 to 14 July 2017. It will comprise lectures given by senior members of the United Nations and the Geneva-based specialized agencies. The GSP theme for 2017 will be:
Climate change, migration, violent extremism:
the United Nations’ role in preventing conflicts spurred by the challenges of our time

“To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”: this was the very first objective of the United Nations that the founders of the Organization enshrined in its Charter. The UN has been at the service of peace for more than 70 years. Over this time, the reality of conflicts has evolved – starting with their root causes. Global warming, the scarcity of resources, large population movements, lack of trust in institutions, the rise of non-State actors and the spread of extremism are now part of the lexicon of war and peace. How does conflict prevention adapt to this, and what will it look like in the future?

Participants will form working groups to study issues related to the various dimensions of this theme, under the guidance of United Nations experts. They will be provided with selected documents and publications on the theme under discussion.

Important: language requirements for the GSP

The majority of the sessions will be held in English, therefore absolute fluency in English is essential. As several sessions will be held in French, solid working knowledge of French is also required.

How to apply

The students invited to attend this programme will be selected on the basis of their academic experience and motivation, with due regard to equitable geographical and gender distribution. The age limit for application is 32 years of age.

Students interested in the 2017 Graduate Study Programme must submit their application ONLINE until 1 March 2017. No applications will be accepted after this date.

The application form is to be filled in on our website, accompanied by a copy of the applicant’s passport, a letter of recommendation (in English or French only) from a university or governmental authority, proof of current enrolment (at the time of application) in a Master’s degree programme or a postgraduate degree programme (or equivalent) and university diplomas obtained.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

Once selected, successful candidates will be asked ahead of time to provide a medical certificate attesting good health and proof of medical insurance coverage in Switzerland at the time of the GSP (these two documents will be only be accepted by us in English or French). Applications from those already employed full time professionally cannot be considered.

Candidates will be notified of the selection committee's decision by mid-April 2017. Participation in the programme is free. The United Nations does not make any financial contribution towards the travel costs and residential expenses of participants. Governments or universities may offer grants to selected candidates. Candidates should seek advice from their universities on this point.

Hide details for Information on the selection processInformation on the selection process

The participants in the Graduate Study Programme are selected by a Selection Committee that is composed of officials of the United Nations Office at Geneva with various background and professional experience.

The Selection Committee is guided by the following criteria:
  • Academic background
  • Geographical balance
  • Gender balance
  • Good knowledge of the two working languages of the Programme (English and French)
  • Usefulness of the Programme for the career of the applicant

In order to give the largest number of students the possibility to participate in the Programme, applicants who have already participated in previous editions of the Graduate Study Programme will not considered by the Committee.

Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. The Selection Committee does not disclose the motivation of its choices. Decisions of the Selection Committee are final and cannot be appealed.