Government Fellowship Programme

Applications procedure
    Government Fellow - Consultant Contract (CTC)
    Guimarães, Portugal
    UTC +1

    About the United Nations University (UNU)

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 SDGs, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

    For more information, please visit the UNU website.

    Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance (UNU-EGOV)

    The central purpose of the United Nations University Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance (UNU-EGOV), located in Guimarães (Portugal), is to support the Member States of the United Nations in transforming the mechanisms of governance and building effective governance capabilities through strategic applications of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to contribute to sustainable development, social inclusion, and active citizenship.

    In fulfillment of its purpose, UNU-EGOV:

    • carries out policy-relevant research;
    • translates research findings into relevant policy instruments;
    • builds capacity in localising and applying such instruments within and among governments, the UN system, and academic and other relevant organisations;
    • builds and maintains research and policy networks to share the lessons learnt, foster mutual learning, and bridge research and policy worlds;
    • monitors, evaluates, and disseminates the latest developments in the area.

    Government Fellowship Programme

    UNU-EGOV has established a Government Fellowship Programme aimed at bridging the worlds of research and policy-making in the domain of electronic governance. It seeks as well to develop the competencies of civil servants with responsibilities on the use of ICT for modernisation and innovation in the public sector, particularly in developing countries.

    The programme is offered every year on a rolling basis, giving the fellows the opportunity to integrate UNU-EGOV teams for a period of three months. During the fellowship, it is possible to share experiences, benchmark, and to explore areas of collaboration in the application of policy instruments within governments, public administrations, and other relevant organisations.

    There are two selection procedures each year with the cut-off date for applications on 1 February and 1 August, respectively. Applications will be evaluated by the Selection Committee against the required qualifications and experience. A total of 12 Government Fellows are expected to be recruited each year for three-month periods starting in January, April, July, and October each year.


    Successful candidates will join international and multi-disciplinary project teams supervised by UNU-EGOV staff comprising research, postdoctoral, academic, and government fellows. The responsibilities will include:

    • developing real-life case studies, supported by experience of the applicant’s own organisation and research developed at UNU-EGOV;
    • translating research results into relevant policy instruments;
    • applying and validating the instruments in the applicant’s own organisation/country;
    • developing and reviewing project deliverables;
    • disseminating project results in the applicant’s own organisation/country;
    • contributing to further development of UNU-EGOV.

    The candidate’s interests should be aligned with at least one of the following research areas:

    1. Managing e-governance: EGOV strategy and methodologies; EGOV diagnostic, measurement, and assessment; EGOV instruments and policies
    2. Digital transformation for sustainable governance, including:
    • socio-economic impact of digital governance: shadow economy, administrative burden reduction (ease on doing business), EGOV and entrepreneurship ecosystem
    • smart governance for sustainable cities and communities: smart governance, smart city index, smart city platforms
    • digital media and digital democracy: digital media and technologies for e-participation; use of technology for civic engagement
    • digital certification and preservation of digital memory: data and information authentication, electronic identity management (electronic identity and digital signatures)
    • emerging technologies for digital transformation of the public sphere
    1. Digital governance evolution: how to translate theories into practice and collaborative research.

    For more information about our research, please go here.

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • civil servant or international civil servant status within public administration, government or intergovernmental organisation, while holding executive or professional responsibility for public sector technology, modernisation, and innovation;
    • a bachelor’s degree in Informatics, Information Systems, Public Administration, Public Policy, Development Management, Economics, Communication Sciences, Sociology, Law, or a related discipline;
    • national and/or international-level policy and project experience;
    • knowledge of the public sector and public policy issues;
    • fluency in spoken and written English.


    Required competencies include:

    • ability to work in a team and a results-oriented mindset;
    • excellent organisational and communication skills;
    • ability to work in a multicultural and multi-ethnic environment;
    • dedication to the core UN values of integrity, professionalism, and respect for diversity.

    UNU is an inclusive employer and endeavours to create a culture of inclusiveness. Applications from suitably qualified female candidates or underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged.

    Conditions of employment

    The successful candidate shall work under a Consultant Contract (CTC) for a fixed period of three (3) months. The successful candidate will be based in Guimarães (Portugal) and will not hold international civil servant status nor will he/she be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

    A monthly payment of EUR 745 and free accommodation in Guimarães (excluding utility costs) will be provided. However, it is expected that the applicant’s own organisation covers the costs related to travel between the home location and Guimarães as well as medical, life, and travel insurance.

    Starting date

    • 1 January 2020
    • 1 April 2020
    • 1 July 2020
    • 1 October 2020
  • Applications Procedure

    Interested applicants should submit their applications (in English) by email to egov-recruitment@unu.eduindicating the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2019/UNU/EGOV/CTC/GFP/61) and must include the following:

    • Completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form (applicants must indicate in section 25 how their experience matches the requirements of the position and to which of the research areas identified above they would like to contribute to); please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations;
    • a Curriculum Vitae;
    • a supporting letter from the applicants’ own organization, pledging to support the application if successful and explicitly stating the interest of the organization in this fellowship and further collaboration with UNU-EGOV.

    There are two selection procedures each year with the cut-off date for applications on 1 February and 1 August respectively. Applications will be evaluated by the Selection Committee against the required qualifications and experience.

    Candidates selected for the second phase will be required to submit a 15-minute self-recorded video presenting his/her organisation (objectives, structure, emblematic projects, role of the candidate within), some relevant projects in which the candidate has been involved, motivation, and expected outcomes of the fellowship.

  • UNU-EGOV, Campus de Couros
    Rua de Vila Flor 166, 4810-445 Guimarães

    Tel.: (+351) 253 510 852