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 Programme (CAAP) 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 lays 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:

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

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

The Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme is looking for two Graduate Professionals: one to support Research Pillar 2: Preventing Armed Conflict and Armed Violence, and another to support the Exploratory Research Cell. The position for Research Pillar 2 will be based in Geneva, Switzerland, while the position for the Exploratory Research Cell will be remote. Applicants are encouraged to specify their preference in their application. 


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); 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);
  • Knowledge of and experience in conventional arms control relevant to Research Pillar 2 or the Exploratory Research Cell will be considered an asset;
  • Experience in data collection and analysis, and knowledge of relevant software and tools will be considered an asset;
  • Knowledge of gender issues or experience with gender mainstreaming in a field relevant to the position is desirable; and
  • Should be interested in international peace and security, disarmament and conventional arms control, 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 innovative 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 UNIDIR Graduate and Professional Program, applicants must meet one of the following requirements: 

  • Have graduated with a university degree (first or second university degree or equivalent) and, if selected, must commence the Graduate and Professional Programme within a one-year period of graduation; or
  • Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher). Please note that this role is intended to be a full-time position, and applicants will be responsible for managing their academic and graduate professional commitments.
  • At UNIDIR, preference will be given to applicants with qualifications in fields relevant to the Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme’s specific current needs, such as politics, international affairs, peace studies, conflict studies, security studies, or international law

Work Experience

Applicants are not required to have professional work experience for participation in the programme, while demonstrated experience and/or interest in conventional arms control will be considered an asset. 


  • For the positions 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).


The Graduate Professionals or their sponsoring institution are responsible for the costs and arrangements for travel, visas, health insurance, accommodation, and living expenses in Geneva.

Graduate professionals will receive a modest monthly stipend of USD 1210 (in person) and USD 605 (remote) as a contribution to the living expenses. 

How to apply

Please send us your CV and cover letter in PDF format titled as SURNAME_Name_CV-CL to with “UNIDIR Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme GPP Application” in the subject line.

Clearly state in your application whether you are applying for a Graduate Professional position supporting the Preventing Armed Conflict and Armed Violence research pillar (in-person) or the Exploratory Research Cell (remote). The deadline for submission of applications is midnight Geneva time on 10 July 2024.

Subject line UNIDIR Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme GPP Application

Please note

No inquires will be accepted by phone. No applications will be accepted by post. Due to the high volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Should you move forward in the process, you may be contacted for further assessment. Incomplete and late applications will not be processed.

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

Successful candidates who already receive a stipend from another source, such as an educational institution, will have their stipend topped-up to this amount.

** Applicants for the Graduate and Professional Programme 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 Programme