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Joining the UNESCO Expert Network

16 December 2020 – London, UK

Last Updated: Dec.2020

Accreditation type: Accredited Expert

This is a rolling application. Make sure you read the information on this page before you apply, and check you fit the requirements.

? Why Apply?

Accredited Expert



Find out what is the UNESCO Expert Network, what it can bring to you, and read from our network.

From our Non-Executive Directors who advise the UK Government, to Advisors who review applications for aspiring UNESCO designations or sit on intergovernmental committees, the Expert Network is essential to our success.

Providing a range of experience and insight, all our experts have a proven academic or professional record in their field and share our passion for bringing UNESCO’s values to the UK and furthering its overarching mission for peace. They are a vital link between UNESCO and civil society, helping to anchor and influence UNESCO’s programmes.

The UK UNESCO Expert Network is composed of high-calibre experts, structured into four pillars: Advisors, Accredited Experts, University Chairs and UNITWIN Network, and our Non-Executive Directors.


Our most extensive group of experts, UK National Commission for UNESCO Advisors, form the bedrock of our work.

Advisors review applications for UNESCO prizes or prospective UNESCO designations (such as UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks). These experts help to shape the policy advice that the UKNC provides to the UK government and UNESCO.  Their work with us will be published digitally on our website and disseminated among target audiences.  Through working with the UKNC Directors and Secretariat, these advisors are able to use their expertise to influence policy, strategy and effectiveness in the UK and at UNESCO.

Anyone wishing to become an Advisor must be able to demonstrate expertise and experience in the relevant UNESCO field and what they would be able to contribute to our work. We will consider applications and invite successful candidates to join the Expert Network. 

Accredited Experts

Accredited Experts have an official role, representing the UK in UNESCO Committees, Commissions and Programmes.

The relevant UK Government department approves Accredited Experts.  They also work with us and the UK Permanent Delegation to UNESCO based with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London and Paris, to advise the UK and/or devolved governments on UNESCO related matters providing specialist advice and often representing the UK at UNESCO meetings.

Accredited Experts will often have an international reputation in their chosen field, may spearhead UNESCO designations or UNESCO-related programmes in the UK and possibly have been involved with us or UNESCO globally. They will usually serve several years in their role. 

Examples of the various UNESCO Commissions, Programmes, and Committees which involve accredited experts include:

  • UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
  • UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP)
  • UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB)
  • UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Bioethics Committee (IGBC)
  • UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee (WHC)
  • UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)
  • UNESCO’s International Geoscience Programme Council (IGCP)

UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Network

The UNESCO Chairs/UNITWIN programme seeks to foster international cooperation and knowledge sharing between higher education institutions.

Applications for UNESCO Chairs are assessed and reviewed by us and Advisors with relevant experience. Those who pass this initial stage are put forward by UNESCO for final assessment and approval. 

UNESCO Chairs must be based within an institute for Higher Education, identify a current UNESCO priority area they could contribute to and outline a detailed work programme spanning four years. We work closely with UNESCO Chairs, calling on them  to review applications and provide policy advice. 

UK National Commission for UNESCO Non-Executive Directors

Non-Executive Directors oversee the UK’s contribution to UNESCO’s global mission in the UK and officially represent the UK Government in their specialist area.

A maximum of nine Non-Executive Directors are active members of our Board at any one time. They must apply for a vacancy and their appointment is approved by the UK Government. Each Non-Executive Director is responsible for overseeing  a particular field of UNESCO’s work in the UK. They attend the UNESCO Executive Board meetings and General Conference, as well as leading on policy advice and briefings.

? The Process

Step n°1: Expression of Interest

Make sure you get in touch with the UK National Commission for UNESCO first regarding your application.

Express your interest in joining our Expert network by completing the form. It is imperative that the information provided to the UKNC on the form is as comprehensive as possible.  Applications and policy briefs require very specialist knowledge and so as much detail as possible will allow us to make the best possible matches.

Step n°2: Review and Outcome

The UK National Commission will review your application. The UK National Commission for UNESCO reserves the right to reject an application at its discretion and is unable to provide a reason for any such rejection. The result will be sent to you by email.  Hopefully with acceptance.

?   Each prize has its own deadlines and requirements

Key Information

Make sure you read the important information below before you apply. You must apply through the UK National Commission for UNESCO. Expressions of interest are welcome.

STATUS:   Open for applications

UK DEADLINE:   Ongoing (UNESCO Chairs have a separate application process which you can view here)

FOR WHO:   Experts in the fields of Education, Culture, Science and Communication and Information

If you have any questions, get in touch with the UK National Commission for UNESCO via our contact form

Begin your application

Make sure you have checked you are eligible for this accreditation before applying. Get in touch with us if you have any questions, or visit our FAQ

Submit your #Expression of Interest     

Accreditation type: Expert Network

Begin your application to join the UNESCO Expert Network

Submit your #Expression of Interest