Call for applications for the 2023 session of the Fellowship Programme

The Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations (“OLA/DOALOS”), is now accepting applications for the 2023 session of the United Nations - The Nippon Foundation Strategic Needs Fellowship Programme.  

The objective of the United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Strategic Needs Fellowship is to assist developing States, particularly least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries to address identified critical needs in the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and related instruments, as well as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and other related SDGs. The Fellowship is targeted at Government officials with limited background in ocean affairs and the law of the sea who are filling key positions in their Administration and who are tasked to address the needs referred to above.  

Selected Fellows participate in a four-month training programme based on a foundation curriculum, integrated by a highly customized individual curriculum developed in consultation with the nominating State, at OLA/DOALOS at United Nations Headquarters in New York.  

                To qualify, candidates must:  

  • Be between the ages of 25 and 40  
  • Possess at least a first-level university degree or equivalent 
  • Demonstrate an ability to undertake advanced academic research and studies  
  • Be from a developing State  
  • Be Government officials dealing directly with critical issues related to sustainable development of oceans and seas (e.g. the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; national and/or regional ocean policy; the establishment of maritime zones and/or the delimitation of maritime boundaries; coastal zone management; conservation and management of marine living resources; maritime transport and shipping; maritime security; the protection and preservation of the marine environment; and/or marine science). 

It is intended that 11 Fellowships will be offered in 2023.  

Additional information on the United Nations – The Nippon Foundation Strategic Needs Fellowship is available on the Fellowship website

 The Fellowship website includes a detailed outline of the required qualifications, the application package, and further details on the Fellowship Programme. Candidates must complete the application package available by using the “APPLY NOW” button (, including by transmitting the required documents to the following email address:

The deadline for submitting the complete application package is 24 March 2023Applicants should familiarize themselves with the eligibility requirements and use only the application forms made available on the website to apply to the Programme. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. 

                Awards will be communicated individually to the successful candidates and then posted on the Fellowship website in the second half of May 2023.  The Fellowship will take place between mid-August and mid-December 2023.  

OLA/DOALOS would appreciate it if this notification could be widely disseminated through relevant networks to ensure a large and diverse pool of candidates. Nominating authorities are strongly encouraged to consider putting forward female candidates. 

Fisheye view of coral reef and divers. Photo: Wu, UN World Oceans Day Photo Competition