University of Minnesota

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)



Background Information


Mandate and/or mission statement:

With 56 Participating States drawn from Europe, Central Asia and America, the OSCE is the world's largest regional security organization, bringing comprehensive and co-operative security to a region that stretches from Vancouver to Vladivostok. It offers a forum for political negotiations and decision-making in the fields of early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation, and puts the political will of the participating States into practice through its unique network of field missions.




Arms control

Border management

Combating terrorism


Economic activities



Environmental activities

Gender equality

Human rights

Media freedom

Military reform

Minority rights


Rule of law

Tolerance and non-discrimination


Chairperson-in-Office (CiO):

The Chairperson-in-Office (CiO) provides the political leadership of the OSCE and oversees the Organization's activities in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation. The CiO is also responsible for the external representation of the OSCE and for OSCE appointments.


The Chairmanship rotates annually, and the post of the Chairperson-in-Office is held by the Foreign Minister of a participating State. The CiO is assisted by the previous and succeeding Chairpersons; the three of them together constitute the Troika. The origin of the institution lies with the Charter of Paris for a New Europe (1990), and the Helsinki Document 1992 formally institutionalized this function.


List of recent CiOs:

2009: Dora Bakoyannis (Greece)
2008: Ilkka Kanerva, followed by Alexander Stubb (Finland)
2007: Miguel Angel Moratinos (Spain)
2006: Karel De Gucht (Belgium)
2005: Dimitrij Rupel (Slovenia)
2004: Solomon Passy (Bulgaria)


OSCE Secretary General:

The OSCE Secretary General acts as the representative of the Chairperson-in-Office and as the Organization’s Chief Administrative Officer.  In May 2009 the post was held by Ambassador Marc Perrin de Brichambaut (France), who has been in office since June 2005.


Number of Member States and/or Observer States:  

56 Participating States


OSCE Unified Budget (2009):

158,676,700 Euros


Number and location of field operations: 

19 Field Operation (May 2009)


Number of employees:

About 440 people in its various institutions, 750 international and 2,370 local staff in its field operations (May 2009).


Where does this organization advertise when there are job openings?

The OSCE offers various employment opportunities:

Contracted positions

Seconded positions

REACT - Rapid Expert Assistance and Co-operation Teams

Junior Professional Officer Programme


Researcher-in-residence programme

Election Observers

Short-term posts for policing experts

Temporary positions and consultants

More details, list of vacancies, and information about candidatures’ submission.


What is the job application process?

Off-line applications


Contracted positions

The OSCE offers fixed term contracts for positions at the Secretariat, institutions and, to a limited extent and mainly in the area of administration, at its missions. Remuneration package and terms of employment are similar to those of the United Nations Common System:

General Service (GS)

Junior Professionals (grades P1, P2)

Middle-ranking Professionals (grades P3, P4)

Management Professionals (grades P5, D)



Applicants for positions at the Professional (P) and Director (D) category are required to have a university degree, including several years of experience at national and/or international level in a relevant field of expertise. Postgraduate specialization is necessary for a number of positions.

Applicants for positions in the General Service (GS) category are required to have a good level of completed secondary education, supplementary courses related to the functions of the position and the commensurate number of years of relevant working experience.


Application Procedures

We encourage applicants for contracted positions to use the online application system provided. However, if you have any difficulties with your Internet connection you may use the offline application form found under "Links" and send the completed form quoting the vacancy number by mail to the address on the right or by email to

Please note that the online application system undergoes maintenance between 24.00 and 04.00 CET, and is therefore not available during that time


Seconded Positions Application Procedures

Having identified a vacancy notice for which you would like to apply, click on Apply Online link, select your respective participating State and follow the application method shown. If your participating State is using the on-line application form, this form will be directed electronically to your respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs and/or OSCE Delegation. If your participating State is not using the on-line method, you will be requested to contact your OSCE Delegation. The nomination process takes place in the respective countries. The OSCE is committed to achieving a better balance of women and men within the Organization. The nomination of female candidates is particularly encouraged. OSCE participating States are responsible for the compensation/benefit packages of seconded staff, therefore please direct all enquiries to the designated contact point. The OSCE pays living expenses in the form of a board and lodging allowance for those positions located in a field duty station. However, for secondments to the Secretariat and the Institutions, all costs must be borne by the nominating authority.

Secondments are generally for an initial period of twelve months, with a possibility of extension. The OSCE is a non-career organization committed to the principle of staff rotation. Seconded mission members may serve in the same mission for a maximum period of seven years, whereas the total length of service with the OSCE shall not exceed ten years.

More information about the hiring process:

    1. Once a candidate is selected by his/her respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the OSCE human resources office in Vienna selects a few candidates among all and sends their resumes to the field mission. Previous field experience, especially with the OSCE, it is crucial in this phase.

    2. When the field operation receive the candidatures (usually, up to ten), a further screening might take place according to the mission’s requirements.

    3. Selected candidates are then contacted via e-mail and called for an interview.

    4. The interview is via phone and might follow a written test, depending on the mission’s decision.

    5. The written test: the selected candidates receive notice about the written test one week/three days before it takes place. The test is sent via e-mail (Word document) and each candidate is requested to fill it and send it back in three hours. The test might vary depending on the mission/post. Usually, there are three questions for a professional position; one about personal motivations and expectations about the post; one about the candidate’s previous experience; one case study.

    6. The phone interview: candidates are then informed about the day of their phone interview. A panel of mission’s members is in charge of asking different kinds of questions for an average 45 minutes/one hour interview. Questions vary from mission to mission. However, a candidate is generally requested to talk about his/her interest for the position, previous experience, and respond to specific hypothetical situations.

    7. The successful candidate is usually contacted in the following three weeks/one month by the OSCE human resources in Vienna. However, time might vary depending on different circumstances. If not contacted, candidates usually can address queries to the mission and receive clarifications about their interviews.


REACT - Rapid Expert Assistance and Co-operation Teams


Rapid Expert Assistance and Co-operation Teams (REACT) form a pool of skilled resources available for rapid deployment to upcoming and future missions.

Applicants for participation in Rapid Expert Assistance and Co-operation Teams (REACT) must be available for deployment within two, four or eight weeks upon receipt of selection notification. Initial selection of REACT candidates takes place in OSCE participating States. Your application must be sent directly to the designated contact point in the specified country. Direct applications to the OSCE will not be considered.

More information


Junior Professional Officer (JPO)


Within its Junior Professional Officer (JPO) programme, the OSCE offers up to six slots for a period of nine months to those who have recently completed their studies, with a focus on candidates from non- and under-represented OSCE participating States.

Candidates interested in this programme are requested to apply through the OSCE desk of the respective Ministry for Foreign Affairs using the on-line application form.




The OSCE offers a limited number of places for interns which are filled subject to current needs and facilities of various Departments. The internship usually lasts between two to six months. An internship does not constitute a commitment to future employment with the OSCE. The OSCE is not in a position to provide financial assistance to the selected interns. However, housing, a round trip ticket, and transportation within the mission’s area of responsibility are covered by the mission itself. 



Students in the final year of higher education (university or other accredited institution) at graduate or postgraduate level; or recent graduates or postgraduates, i.e. within one year of graduation.

The upper age limit for applicants is 30 years.

Applicants should have a working knowledge of English, both oral and written and computer literacy.

In addition to these minimal requirements, missions may have additional requirements.


How to apply:

    1. Download the internship application form.
    2. Write a short essay explaining your motivation and send these by post, fax or e-mail to the institution or mission where you wish to apply for the internship. Please, note that it is possible to add a CV/resume, but no other documents. The OSCE recommends that applications be sent well in advance (at least 3 months) before the envisaged period of internship.

Address/Contact information


Researcher-in-residence programme

The researcher-in-residence programme is run by the Prague Office of the OSCE Secretariat. Researchers are granted access to all records and to numerous topical compilations related to OSCE field activities.  The Prague Office of the OSCE Secretariat is responsible for maintaining major CSCE/OSCE conference documents in hard copy and digital files issued since 1973 to date. Most of these records are available in the six official OSCE languages: English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

The duration of a researcher-in-residence's stay is envisaged as being from two to three months, although this period can be flexible, depending on the precise nature of the research and the schedule of the Prague Office. Selected applicants are provided with the use of an office and computer (including unlimited access to the Web and a personal e-mail account) free use of fax and copying machines. However, the researcher - or his or her sending Institution - is responsible for meeting all other costs, including accommodation.

Researchers can use this opportunity to continue ongoing projects (such as doctoral or masters' theses, development of curriculum material) or they may engage in any other project such as gathering bibliography materials for a book or a specialized article. On completion of their research project, the Office should receive two copies of their work (whether published or unpublished) to be deposited in the OSCE document collection. The work should preferably be in one of the six official OSCE languages.


How to apply:

Applications should be sent to the Senior Assistant for Documentation and Information by e-mail, fax or post, and should include:


- Statement of intention including preferred dates. Please note: the research schedule can be full up to six months in advance.

- Full outline of the project including sources of funding

- Curriculum Vitae including publications and/or academic credentials, as applicable.


For more information, see


Election observers

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) fields election observation teams to participating States to assess the implementation of OSCE commitments relating to elections and to observe the entire electoral process.

ODIHR does not recruit observers directly. Observers generally are seconded to the ODIHR by the OSCE participating States. When a decision is made to observe an election, the ODIHR requests long and short term observers by notifying the delegations of OSCE participating States in Vienna. The procedure for recruiting observers varies from country to country, but the process is generally co-ordinated by the respective foreign ministries. As a rule it is the sending States that cover the costs of the observers.

For information on national procedures for recruiting observers, please contact the relevant permanent delegation to the OSCE in Vienna.


Short-term posts for policing experts

Experts with appropriate qualifications and interested in working for the OSCE as consultants on short-term contracts (less than six months) are invited to register with the OSCE Policing OnLine Information System and then create their policing expert profile in the Policing Experts Database.


Temporary positions and consultants


Temporary positions

From time to time and on an ad-hoc basis, the OSCE requires services of temporary IT assistants, finance assistants, administrative assistants, secretaries, clerks, messengers, receptionists, cleaners and drivers to act as leave replacement or to assist during peak periods.

If you are not currently working and/or would like to work for short periods, please complete the off-line application form and send it to



If you have extensive experience as a consultant with international organizations and would like to be added to our roster of consultants, please complete the off-line application form and send it to Expertise is sought particularly in the fields of IT systems and general administration. When applying, please indicate that you would like to be included in the "OSCE Consultants" roster.


Does this organization take volunteers? 



What are the basic requirements for prospective applicants? 

Rapid Expert Assistance and Co-operation Teams (REACT):

Applicants for participation in Rapid Expert Assistance and Co-operation Teams (REACT) must be available for deployment within two, four or eight weeks upon receipt of selection notification.


All fields of expertise, except civilian police:


Senior Management

Education: Advanced education/certified training course in relevant field. Advanced degree in a management discipline an asset.

Experience: Minimum 10 years of relevant, diversified and progressively responsible professional experience including at least 5 years at the management level relevant to the actual position.


Senior Professional

Education: Advanced degree in a relevant field.

Experience: Minimum 6 years of relevant professional experience.

Middle Management

Education: Advanced education/certified training course in a relevant field desirable.

Experience: Minimum 6 years of relevant, diversified and progressively responsible professional experience including at least 3 years at the management level relevant to the actual position.



Education: First level university degree or equivalent experience.

Experience: Strongly preferred minimum 2 years of relevant professional experience including minimum 1 year in a relevant field.


Other specific job area requirements:

Candidates must also meet the minimum requirements for the specific field(s) of expertise:


Administration and Support

Administration and support work provides a variety of day-to-day specialized support services for the substantive activities of the organization and required to make a field activity operational.

Civilian Police

International civilian police work within the OSCE involves assessing, monitoring, advising and mentoring the local civil police.


Democratization work may include strengthening civil society, political party development and promotion of good governance.

Economic and Environmental Affairs

Economic and environmental work in the OSCE context focuses on ways of identifying the risk to security arising from economic, social and environmental problems.


Education work aims at developing and implementing educational reform programmes in collaboration with local and international players.


Election work involves organizing, implementing and overseeing the full range of elections-related matters.

General Staff /Monitoring Functions

General staff / monitoring functions in OSCE field activities take a variety of forms.

Human Rights

Human rights work involves monitoring, investigating and reporting on the human rights situation, analyzing relevant laws and practices and intervening with national authorities to address human rights violations.

Media Affairs

Media affairs in OSCE field activities provides press and public information as well as media development services.

Military Affairs

Military affairs-related work involves among others the monitoring certain military activities and gathering information on the military situation and developments in the mission area.

Political Affairs

Political affairs work involves analyzing and reporting on issues relevant to the OSCE mission mandate in the host country.

Rule of Law

Rule of law work aims at enhancing the administration of justice by training of judges, prosecutors and lawyers, as well as police and correctional officers.


Field Operation Members



Ability to work in English

Certified excellent physical condition

Possession of a valid automobile driving licence and ability to drive using a manual transmission

Ability to cope with physical hardship and willingness to work extra hours and in an environment with limited infrastructure


Highly Desirable:

Ability to operate windows applications, including word processing and e-mail

Demonstrated ability and willingness to work as a member of a team, with people of different cultural and religious backgrounds, different gender, and    diverse political views, while maintaining impartiality and objectivity

Cultural sensitivity and judgement

Flexibility and ability to work under pressure and with limited time frames



Previous international work experience and/or experience in field missions

Knowledge of other languages

Management and supervisory experience

Negotiation/mediation experience



Contact information:

OSCE Secretariat
Wallnerstrasse 6
1010 Vienna

Tel: +43 1 514 36 6000
Fax: +43 1 514 36 6996




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