The Organization makes every effort, within existing resources, to have appropriate learning options available and accessible to you at work. For more specialized or technical training, or to deepen your knowledge and education, there may be a need to go outside the UN learning community. Explore the options here that may allow you to pursue study of professional benefit to you and the advancement of the knowledge base within the UN System.



Substantive and technical skills
Staff members may participate in workshops, research seminars, online courses and other learning opportunities at external institutions if certain conditions are met, including funding availability in your department, office or mission. Managers can consider using an external provider for specialized training for their teams. Consult your learning focal point about funds availability and department-wide priorities.

Sabbatical Leave Programme
This programme enables staff with at least five years of service to apply for a sabbatical leave of up to four months. The purpose is to enhance one’s professional development through an independent research project that would also benefit the work of the United Nations. Applicants need to identify an academic institution or organization that can provide support and/or guidance for the proposed research.

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International Organization Studies Workshop
The Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) and the United Nations Secretariat jointly sponsor this Workshop each year to enhance professional development in international organization studies and encourage new directions in international organization research. Participants are expected to present a research paper of publishable quality in the workshop. 

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United Nations Institute for Training and Research
UNITAR is a training arm of the United Nations System conducting development and research activities around the world to develop capacities in the fields of Environment; Peace, Security and Diplomacy; and Governance. UNITAR’s online catalogue of events includes e-learning, training and training-related courses, workshops and seminars; briefings; conferences and public lectures; side events; and meetings. Access the catalogue and other resources on the UNITAR site:

Fees for UNITAR learning may be requested within Departments and Offices under the programme for the upgrading of substantive and technical skills.

United Nations System Staff College
The Staff College strengthens UN system inter-agency collaboration and supports continuous learning and staff development in partnership with UN leaders and agencies, external experts, and academic institutions. It has a variety of learning and training activities in Turin as well as at HQ, regional and country levels. A number of open-enrolment courses are offered for professional development in the United Nations, including face-to-face residential workshops, seminars and training courses in addition to e-learning courses and knowledge-sharing events.

The Staff College also designs and delivers customized programmes to meet the needs of inter-agency groups, networks, UN departments, peace operations and other UN entities.

Consult the UNSSC website at www.unssc.org or email info@unssc.org.

Fees may be covered by Departments and Offices under the programme for upgrading of substantive and technical skills.



As part of their career development, staff members may consider continuing their education during their UN career. Different options can be explored with your manager, such as taking special leave without pay to participate in a full time education programme, or taking a course part time while availing yourself of flexible work arrangements

Important documents: