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Home-based Sustainable Energy Research Intern at UNDP (paid internship): APPLY NOW!

Sustainable Energy Research Intern

Location :

Home-based – reports to Office in New York, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Type of Contract :


Application Deadline :

26-Jan-24 (Midnight New York, USA)

Post Level :

Sustainable Energy Research Intern

Duration of Initial Contract :

6 months

Languages Required :


Expected Duration of Assignment :

6 months


UNDP is the knowledge frontier organization for sustainable development in the UN Development System and serves as the integrator for collective action to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Energy is one of UNDP’s six signature solutions – alongside poverty and inequality, governance, resilience, environment, and gender equality – to support countries towards three directions of change: structural transformation, leaving no one behind and resilience.

As per UNDP’s new Strategic Plan 2022-2025, the first objective of UNDP is increasing energy access for those furthest behind. By speeding up investment in distributed renewable energy solutions, especially for those hardest to reach and in crisis contexts, it aims to increase access to clean and affordable energy for 500 million people.

Second, UNDP will work to accelerate the transition to renewable energy through systems changes that support inclusive, green economies, particularly in countries with low levels of renewable energy generation or poor energy-efficiency improvement rates. This work will capitalize on technological gains, clean energy innovations and new business models in the energy sector.

The newly established UNDP Sustainable Energy Hub will be the arrowhead of UNDP’s new Strategic Plan objectives. The Sustainable Energy Hub will build on UNDP’s existing Energy Portfolio, covering over 100 countries to harness clean energy and support the energy transition as well as on UNDP’s Climate Promise, UNDP’s Sustainable Finance Hub, and UNDP’s Digital offer.

The Sustainable Energy Hub will develop and operationalize, policies, programmes and partnerships to support the realization of UN/UNDP’s Energy Compact, a commitment to help increasing access to clean and affordable energy for 500 million people by 2025, and accelerating and supporting the transition to renewable energy.

Recognizing that change will be disruptive, UNDP will work to ensure that such transitions are just, and that their impact on vulnerable people is understood and duly mitigated.

The Sustainable Energy Research intern will work closely to the Sustainable Energy Hub to support the UNDP’s vision to catalyze unprecedented action and partnerships to provide access to sustainable, affordable, and reliable energy to 500 more million people by 2025, and work to accelerate the transition to renewable energy through systems changes that support inclusive green economies. The intern will provide day-today- research, on the three pillars the Hub is focusing on: closing the gap of energy access, accelerating a just energy transition and increase energy resilience in crises and fragile context.

UNDP is looking for talented, motivated, and enthusiastic intern that will work closely to the SEH to support the with research and analytical skills.

Sustainable Energy Research Intern Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of key functions:

  • Research and analysis for strategic documents and materials for the UNDP energy narratives.
  • Support the team with the Country Office requests.

Research and analysis for strategic documents and materials for the UNDP energy narratives.

The Sustainable Energy Research Intern will support to the Sustainable Energy Hub team in research and analytical activities that include:

  • Assist the SEH team on research activities related to the UNDP energy key thematic areas, e.g., energy access, energy transition and energy resilience in fragile context, to identify trends and patterns, including literature review, gathering data, drafting reports and other documents.
  • Analyze and synthesize data, research findings, and policy documents related to sustainable energy, renewable energy, energy access, and energy transition.
  • Conduct literature reviews and provide policy briefs on key topics, e.g., mini-grid development, productive use of energy, clean cooking, transition issues (e.g., decarbonization strategies, data and digital in energy, innovation, carbon markets/energy pricing approaches, just transitions etc.)
  • Identify and conduct suitable research and analytical work to prepare regular reports and updates on energy for sustainable development and the integrated agenda on SDG7 and other SDG7, e.g, social protection, gender equality, governance, climate, etc.
  • Provide hands-on support to analyze and visualize various types of data and prepare reports to communicate the findings to the Sustainable Energy Hub.

 Support the team with the Country Office requests on energy.

The Intern will support the management and tracking of UNDP’s energy portfolio, including the tracking of country office requests for support from the Sustainable Energy Hub.

  • Support the Country Office request providing ad-hoc literature review, briefing note and policy research.  
  • Contribute to publication and research paper under the supervision of the SEH Director
  • Work with Country Offices to ensure they receive the right support from the SEH team.
  • Support the Hub’s team in developing partnerships with national and local stakeholders to promote energy access, just energy transition, and energy resilience.

Sustainable Energy Research Intern Competencies


  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.


  • Background in research and empirical analysis with a focus on sustainable energy for development.
  • Background in data analytics and research skills relevant to the topic of energy access in off-grid settings   a just energy transition, energy resilience in fragile contexts;
  • Knowledge of policy, innovative business models, and financial mechanisms in low-carbon energy to disrupt existing markets and to bring energy and development benefits to developing countries.
  • Knowledge of the social, gender, and governance impact of the just transition.



  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, in a simple, concise and persuasive manner.


  • Ability to work and build partnerships with multiple stakeholders and partners across a wide range of disciplines;
  • Demonstrated ability in strategic thinking;
  • Strong organizational, reporting and writing abilities;
  • Able to work independently and remotely with minimal supervision;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored, even under pressure;
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude;
  • Openness to change and ability to receive/integrate feedback.


Demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a collaborative team and process.

Sustainable Energy Research Intern Required Skills and Experience

Applicants to the UNDP internship programme must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher) in fields such as Energy, Data Management, Economics, Business Administration, Social Sciences or related disciplines;
  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent) in fields such as Energy, Data Management, Economics, Business Administration, Social Sciences or related disciplines;
  • Have graduated with a university degree (as defined above), and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation.


  • Relevant work/voluntary/internship experience in research activities related to climate change or sustainable energy, multi-stakeholder initiatives at the domestic and/or international level;
  • Knowledge of/familiarity with research activities needed to design and/or implementation of development projects to promote energy investment.  Hands on experience preferred;
  • Experience working with a wide set of energy stakeholders, such as the private and financial sector, government, and civil society is an advantage;
  • Field experience in energy-related projects in developing countries contexts is desirable;
  • Knowledge of, and/or prior experience within, the UN system is considered an advantage.

Language requirements

  • Excellent oral and written communication skulls in English language is required;
  • Knowledge of French is considered an asset.


Institutional Arrangements

The interns will report to the Director of the UNDP Sustainable Energy Hub.

Interns’ Expenses

Interns may be given a stipend under conditions prescribed in the section on stipends, below.  Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, passports, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of:

(a) The nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students; or

(b) The intern.


Where an intern is not financially supported by any institution or programme, such as a university, government, foundation or scholarship program, a stipend intended to help cover basic daily expenses related to the internship, such as meals and transportation at the duty station, will be paid by UNDP.

The stipend will be paid on a monthly basis and part-time internship arrangements are prorated accordingly.

Where an intern is financially supported by an institution, government or third party, UNDP will, subject to the rules of such institution, government or third party, pay the intern the difference, if any, between the external financial support provided and the applicable UNDP stipend.  No other payments of any kind will be made to an intern by the office in connection with an internship agreement.

Interns will accrue leave at the rate of 1.5 days per month. Any accrued leave days not used by the end of the internship will be forfeited. Any unjustified absences during the internship period exceeding a total of nine days, will be deducted from the monthly stipend.



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