Space for Persons with Disabilities

Inclusive internship

Are you keen to contribute to disability inclusion in space? The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) welcomes individuals from all over the world to embark on a journey of growth and discovery in a multi-cultural and international environment at the UNOOSA office in Vienna, Austria. UNOOSA is dedicated to fostering diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all interested persons, in particular persons with disabilities, to apply to the Space for Persons with Disabilities internship.


At UNOOSA, we believe that everyone has unique strengths and skills. We strive to create a diverse and inclusive workplace where persons with disabilities are empowered to share their perspectives and shine. We understand that diversity makes us better as an organisation and helps us become more effective as partners to our stakeholders in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

This internship under the Space for Persons with Disabilities project is a unique opportunity for individuals to build skills, expand their professional network and gain work experience under the supervision of dedicated UN staff members. This internship is open to all qualified applicants. Persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Although persons with and without disabilities can benefit from internships, this targeted internship takes on additional significance due to the low employment rate of persons with disabilities. Through this internship, we hope to provide valuable on-the-job learning opportunities to realise the potential of every individual.


To qualify for the internship, the following conditions must be met:  

  • Applicants must meet one of the following requirements: (a) be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher); (b) be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent); or (c) recently have graduated with a university degree (as defined above );  

  • Be computer literate in standard Microsoft Office applications;    

  • Have a demonstrated keen interest in the work of the United Nations and have a personal commitment to the ideals of the Charter;    

  • Have a demonstrated ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs, which include willingness to try and understand and be tolerant of differing opinions and views;

  • Be fluent in English, i.e. oral and written proficiency is required.


There are typically two rounds of internship applications each year. The internship is posted on the UN Careers website. All applications must be submitted through the UN Careers website. If necessary, the website may be adjusted for accessibility needs by selecting one or more accessibility features, or you may create the application offline and then upload it to the portal.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online before the deadline stated in the internship job opening. Application will not be accepted after the deadline.

If you face any technical difficulties, please contact the support centre via the  Careers Portal or  Inspira.

Selection process

Qualified candidates will be invited to an interview with the hiring manager. The interview process supports the candidates by removing barriers that may limit the ability of the candidates to showcase their capabilities and potential. 

The internship

The intern will contribute to various administrative tasks and substantive assignments under the Space for Persons with Disabilities project. Interns and supervisors will jointly create an internship work plan that defines what the intern will accomplish at the end of the assignment.


Reasonable accommodations may be provided upon request to assist persons with disabilities in carrying out their functions. Accommodations might include, but are not limited to flexible working arrangements, part-time working hours, working remotely, adjusting desk placements, or giving instructions in written formats.   

Development opportunities

  • Networking with UNOOSA staff
  • Social interaction with UN interns in Vienna and globally
  • Participating in relevant workshop or training


We value the feedback of our interns. There will be a mid-term evaluation and end-of-internship evaluation between the interns and supervisors where the interns have the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and provide feedback while receiving feedback from their supervisors regarding their performance.

Further information

  • Duration: The internship lasts for three months and may be extended up to six months, pending on the needs of the office and the availability of the intern.
  • Working arrangement: In view of the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the intern is expected to work remotely for the full duration of the internship.
  • Costs and remuneration: United Nations interns are not paid. All costs related to travel, insurance, accommodation, and living expenses must be borne by either the intern or the sponsoring institutions.

Current opening

Application for the Space for Persons with Disabilities Summer/Fall 2023 internship is now open. Apply here   by 23 April 2023. 

Hear from our interns

"My internship at the UNOOSA Space for Persons with Disabilities Project, was an enriching opportunity to learn more about disability inclusion in space science and in society. As a highlight, I was thrilled to assist in the article featured on the webpage to mark the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) 2021  that  includes examples where important achievements have been made by and with persons with disabilities . I am passionate about  human rights , and I had a chance to learn more about how the principles of equality and non-discrimination are applied . I would encourage other students to apply for this internship as it is a chance to learn more about the positive impact that can be made by increasing diversity. "  - Ruby Nyaoro, Kenya

"This is a unique opportunity to apply my research skills to an exciting and important area of space science and disability inclusion. Working with ADHD can be challenging in a standard workplace environment. UNOOSA's approach to designing their internships has enabled me to apply myself to the best of my ability and given me the flexibility to work in a way that makes sense for me.  I am delighted to have been able to make genuine impact in an internship designed to make best use of my skills as both a researcher and person with ADHD. "  - Alice Oates, United Kingdom

"This internship is probably the best first working experience for myself as a neurodiverse theoretical physics graduate. Together with my supervisor, we customized my assignments and workload according to my abilities. I was terrified of the responsibility to work at UNOOSA at first, but I received the right amount of guidance and freedom to balance my perfectionism with pragmatism. Given the many topics and aspects we worked on, I was able to gain insight into what still needs to be done for the world, as well as my possible role in that, and further clarify my path going forward. " - Veronika Bachleitner, Austria

Hear from others

"I encourage all students, especially students with functional diversity/disabilities to apply to this opportunity. This internship promises ​a safe work environment that enables students from all academic preparations to experience meaningful work towards establishing a space science field in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals."  - Dr. Wanda Diaz-Merced, blind astronomer

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