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WHO Young Professionals Programme

The Young Professionals Programme (YPP)

WHO Headquarters offers opportunities for young professionals from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to engage in WHO’s work and build skills and competence in key public health areas. This is a structured programme which incorporates additional exposure and experience at country level and career support.

Young Professionals will be assigned to regular WHO positions and will be fully immersed in WHO’s technical work.  Young Professionals will benefit from career support, networking, mentoring and tailored learning opportunities throughout this period to support them in achieving their personal career goals. To enhance their knowledge and widen their professional network, the YP may be posted in a different WHO office on short term learning assignments. 

Eligibility criteria

The following eligibility criteria in addition to the minimum requirements of the position will be used to shortlist candidates: 

*To be no older than 35 years on 31 December of the year of application.

*To be a national of a country eligible for the Programme: List of Eligible Countries.

*To hold a relevant university degree obtained in your home country or other eligible country.

*Have an intermediate level of English

YPP Vacancies

Please apply by 6 December 2021, 11:59:00 PM (CET)

Young Professionals Programme (YPP) - Frequently Asked Questions


I am 36 years old. Am I eligible for a YPP position?

Unfortunately, you are not eligible for a YPP position in WHO. You must be 35 years old or younger on 31 December of the year in which you apply.

Am I from an eligible country?

The list of eligible countries is available on the YPP vacancy notices.

I am from a developing country, why am I not eligible?

Only candidates from Least Developed Countries as defined by the United Nations (as at 11 February 2021) are eligible for the YPP. More information can be found at Least Developed Countries (LDCs) | Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

I do not have an advanced university degree. Am I eligible for any of the YPP positions?

No. An advanced university degree in a relevant field of the advertised position is a requirement to be eligible to apply for YPP positions. A relevant university degree must have been obtained in your home country or other eligible country. The list of eligible countries is available on the YPP vacancy notices.

I will obtain an advanced university degree after the closing date of the vacancy notice. Can I apply?

No. You must already hold a relevant degree at the time of application.

I do not have two years of experience. Am I eligible for any of the YPP positions?

At least two years of relevant work experience is required to be eligible to apply for YPP positions.

I am a PhD student. Will the years of PhD study be counted as years of experience?

This depends on the focus of your PhD as well as the skills used and tasks performed during the PhD programme.

I have two years of work experience including internships. Is my internship experience counted as part of my work experience?


In which language do I need to be fluent?

You will be required to have at least an intermediate knowledge of English. However, the language requirements depend on the position. The specific requirements will be indicated in each vacancy notice.

I have more than one nationality. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes, if one of your nationalities is in the list of eligible countries. Please indicate the nationality of the eligible country when you apply.

I am not eligible for a YPP position. Are there other options to join WHO?

Yes. We recommend that you regularly review the vacancies listed on our Careers page.

The application and selection process

Can I apply to as many YPP vacancies as I want and re-apply if I am unsuccessful the first time?

There is no limit to the number of YPP vacancies to which you can apply. Please ensure to tailor a specific cover letter for each application. Should you be unsuccessful with one of your applications, you may consider applying to other YPP vacancies of interest and where you meet the minimum eligibility criteria and position requirements.

Do I need to provide documentation to prove that I have passed an officially recognized language test?              

During the recruitment process, you will be requested to demonstrate your language capabilities.

Can I contact a WHO staff member in the department in which I am interested for further information?

No. If you are selected for a YPP position, the relevant contact person from the WHO Office will be in touch with you.

How long will it take until I hear back?

Response time to candidates may vary between vacancies. We recognise that it takes much effort to submit an application and our response to you is important. We will endeavour to respond as quickly as possible so that you can know if you have been shortlisted to the next stage of the process.

If I am shortlisted, how will I be assessed?

The selection process may include asynchronous video assessment, technical evaluation and interview. 

What type of visa or other permissions do I need?

In order to enter Switzerland to reside and work, you will most likely need a Swiss entry visa type “D” for “prise des fonctions”. You may consult here the visa requirements applicable to your country of nationality.

Human Resources will inform selected candidates on visas and permits as appropriate.

General Information

What type of contract will be offered?

Selected candidates will be offered a temporary contract at the P2 level.

What is the contract length of YPP?

The initial period is one year with the possibility of extension.

What is the remuneration?

WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the YPP position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 48,805 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 3,384 per month for Geneva, Switzerland. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children. The amounts stated above are as of October 2021, and are only indicative.

Will WHO cover the cost of my travel to WHO Headquarters if I am offered a contract?


Can my spouse and children join me in the duty station?

Yes. They may travel in order to join you at the official station provided that your appointment runs for a minimum of six months from the date of the family member’s arrival.

Will I be covered by a health insurance? How about my family members?

All WHO staff members are covered by the WHO Staff Health Insurance (SHI). Family members can also be covered by SHI if requested.

Will WHO help in finding suitable accommodation?

We regret that the Organization is unable to assist in finding accommodation. Should you be selected for a YPP position, Human Resources may be able to provide some guidance.

Will it be possible to continue to work at WHO after the YPP programme?

Applications to staff positions are welcome at any point.