Application and selection process

Application process

The call for applications for the Fellowships Programme is usually published mid-year on the website of the UN/DESA Office in Rome. Applications are submitted online through the Online Web Application (OWA) of the UN/DESA Office in Rome.

Pre-selection of candidates

The pre-selection of applicants is carried out by the UN/DESA Rome Office. Following a careful examination of the profiles of all eligible candidates, the Office draws up a shortlist for each fellowship placement sponsored by the Italian Government. This list comprises a maximum of five (5) candidates, all of whom meet the requirements requested by the recipient organization.
This exercise is performed taking into consideration all aspects of the candidates’ application, such as motivations for applying, language and technical skills, university qualifications and specializations, as well as voluntary and professional experiences.
Due to the large number of applications, only shortlisted candidates are informed by UN/DESA of the outcome of the pre-selection process. Shortlisted candidates are invited to participate in the next stages of the selection process and are provided with a full description of the fellowship placement for which they have been pre-selected.

Final selection of candidates

The final selection phase consists of a competency-based interview.
The interviews are conducted remotely (via video-conference) by panels convened by the recipient offices. At the end of the interview process, each panel officially communicates the interview outcomes to the UN/DESA Rome Office for review by a “Final Review Panel”. The integrity of the entire selection process is subsequently reviewed by the UN/DESA Fellowship Committee in HQ, New York, which is responsible for finalizing the list of selected candidates on the basis of each panel recommendations.
All shortlisted candidates are informed by e-mail of the outcome of the final selection. In cases where the first-choice candidate declines the award, the UN/DESA Rome Office contacts the other recommended candidates in order of ranking to check their availability and continued interest.
For useful information and resources on competency-based interviews, it is strongly recommended that candidates visit: