Swiss JPO programme in UN organisations

Swiss JPO programme in UN organisations

Swiss JPO positions are an attractive entry opportunity into the United Nations. And they are reserved for Swiss nationals! Without international competition, the chances of being selected are comparatively very high.

To facilitate promising career starts of talented young Swiss professionals in the United Nations, and promote Switzerland's presence in multilateral organisations, the Swiss Confederation sponsors each year around 20 JPOJunior Professional Officer positions. 

These JPO positions are sponsored by

JPO positions are aligned with the institutional, thematic and geographic priorities set by the Swiss Confederation.

During a JPO assignment, you

  • obtain exposure to development or humanitarian work, either in the field or at headquarters,
  • experience on-the-job training,
  • and benefit from networking opportunities within the host organisation.

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General requirements

To be eligible for a Swiss JPOJunior Professional Officer position, you...

  • demonstrate a strong interest in a career with the United Nations,
  • have Swiss nationality,
  • are maximum 32 years old,
  • hold a Master’s degree in a relevant field,
  • have at least 3 years' relevant professional experience,
  • are fluent in written and spoken English and in a second UN official language (French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese or Russian),
  • fulfill other requirements specified in the job description.
Contract and duration of a JPO assignment

JPOs are UN staff members and international civil servants. As such they are contracted by the UN and report to the respective organisation.

Initially you will be hired on a one-year fixed-term contract in the professional category, usually at the P-2 level, which usually gets extended for a second year subject to your performance. A third year extension may be negotiated depending on the availability of funds, with costs split between the Swiss Confederation and the host organisation.

By financing JPOs, the Swiss Confederation expects you to use your assignment as a springboard for a long-term career in the UN. Following the JPO assignment, you will be equipped to compete for mid-level positions (P-3 level) and have good chances of becoming part of the organisation’s human resource pool.

Although there is no guarantee for retention in the UN, a JPO experience is highly regarded within the UN, with many current senior UN staff having started their careers as JPOs.


As a JPO you receive a generous remuneration package with the same benefits and compensation like other UN staff members. 

Your salary is tax exempt and corresponds to your professional category, which is normally at P-2 level. For an estimate, use UNDP's salary calculator.

In addition, you are entitled to the following benefits:

  • medical insurance for you and your family
  • inclusion in the UN pension scheme
  • relocation and installation allowance
  • rental subsidy
  • education grants for children
  • maternity/paternity leave
  • annual leave
  • rest and recuperation time if you serve in a hard-ship duty station

Social Security 
Expatriating and/or leaving a national employer for a multilateral organisation such as the UN means that you quit the national social security system. While the UN provides for a pension scheme and health/life insurance, it does not offer unemployment insurance. Below please find a couple of useful links on the topic: 

Please note that cinfo does not have the competence to further advice on social security matters pertaining to Swiss staff working in multilateral organisations.

Selection process

For positions funded by the SDC and PHRD, cinfo manages the pre-selection of candidates.

  • cinfo first pre-assesses candidates, by conducting competency-based interviews with those shortlisted, before the list of most promising candidates is handed over to the respective UN host organisation as a recommendation.
  • The host organisation then conducts a second round of interviews and a technical test to take a final selection decision.

The entire process may last several months.

How to apply

Current Swiss JPOJunior Professional Officer vacancies are advertised on the Swiss JPO portal.

  • Before applying for a position, make sure your experience matches the requirements to a great extent,
  • Prepare your application, including a motivation letter that is tailored to the requirements of the position,
  • Submit the documents in our online recruitment system.

Do you need support? Meet a cinfo coach! He or she will help you improve your application and/or prepare for an interview.

The goal is that Swiss JPOsJunior Professional Officers remain within the UN system after their assignment

Frequently asked questions

Current vacancies

0 open positions at the moment.

3 things you need to know about the JPO Programme

cinfo asked Olivier Bürki, former Head of the Global Insitutions Division at SDC, three questions about the JPO Programme.

Support for Swiss nationals

Are you interested in launching or advancing your career with a multilateral organisation?

cinfo offers additional services and information exclusively for Swiss nationals.

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