WIPO Careers

Pursuing a career at WIPO means being part of a unique United Nations agency dedicated to making intellectual property work for innovation and creativity.

Our staff work in multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural teams in a stimulating international setting. We work with governments, intellectual property (IP) practitioners, civil society and the private sector to administer global IP services, develop international law and standards, set up collaborative networks, and build capacity in the use of IP for development. The majority of staff positions are based at our Geneva headquarters.

"I am given the opportunity to work on things that I care passionately about" – Glenn Mac Stravic, Head of Brand Database Section.

Important notice for applicants: WIPO has introduced a new IT platform for all its recruitment activities. If you wish to apply for vacancies, you will need to create a new username and password, and complete your profile in the new system. Step-by-step instructions are available in the Guide for applicants. For more information, please see our FAQs or contact us.

Contract types

There are two types of contract for staff positions:

  • Fixed-term: Usually granted for an initial period of one-two years, and may be extended further subject to business needs and individual performance.
  • Temporary: Granted for a period of up to one year, and may be extended to a cumulative length of two years.

Categories of staff position

Regardless of contract type, staff roles fall into three categories: Directors (D), Professional (P) staff and General Service (G) staff, each with their own grading structure.

Professional staff and Directors

Professional staff and directors are recruited internationally for roles which require a high level of professional knowledge, functional skills and management ability.

  • Legal specialists
  • Financial management specialists
  • Communication specialists
  • Public information specialists
  • Program and project management specialists
  • Information and communications technology specialists
  • Translators and revisers
  • Human resources management specialists
  • Operations specialists
  • Procurement specialists
  • Auditors
  • Economists
  • Statisticians

The Taleo recruitment platform allows you to sign up to receive job alerts for specific job families.

General service staff

General service staff provide our essential administrative and technical support, and are normally recruited locally.

  • Legal
  • Office management
  • Human resources
  • Finance and administration
  • Procurement
  • Information and communications technology
  • Patent and trademark processing
  • Program management

The Taleo recruitment platform allows you to sign up to receive job alerts for specific job families.

National Professional Officers

National Professional Officers are locally-recruited staff serving at a non-heaquarters duty station. They perform professional functions requiring local expertise.

  • Legal specialists
  • Financial management specialists
  • Communication specialists
  • Public information specialists
  • Program and project management specialists
  • Information and communications technology specialists
  • Translators and revisers
  • Human resources management specialists
  • Operations specialists
  • Procurement specialists
  • Auditors
  • Economists
  • Statisticians

The Taleo recruitment platform allows you to sign up to receive job alerts for specific job families.

Meet our staff

Meet the Senior Management Team and Directors (on Flickr) | Activities by unit | Organigram of WIPO's structure PDF, Organigram of WIPO's structure

"It’s the diversity in activities that makes working at WIPO so attractive" – Eun Joo Min, Senior Legal Counsellor, Building Respect for IP Division.

"I can assist the creative people of the Caribbean to obtain value to the work that they are doing" – Carol Simpson, Head of Caribbean Section.

“WIPO offers the chance to increase competencies throughout professional life” – Yves Ngoubeyou, Senior Program Officer, Regional Bureau for Africa.

"The work at WIPO really helps people to get to know and use the intellectual property system" – Patricia de Paula Freitas, Program Officer, SMEs and Entrepreneurship Support Division.

Benefits

WIPO aims to be an employer of choice, offering competitive conditions of service, a rewarding work environment, opportunities for professional development, and a family-friendly, work-life balance.

Remuneration

Remuneration in the Professional and Director categories is made up of two main elements: the base salary, plus the post adjustment element which varies according to the cost of living in the country where the job is based. The post adjustment is added to the base salary in order to provide equivalent living standards at different locations.

The salary scale for professional and director categories PDF, Professional & Director categories salary scales comprises five Professional levels (P-1 to P-5) and two Director levels (D1 and D2). These scales are applied worldwide by all organizations in the United Nations Common System.

Staff in the General Service category are recruited locally and paid according to the local salary scale PDF, General Service salary scales.

Other benefits

Staff are eligible for 30 days of annual leave per year on a full-time basis (or the pro-rata equivalent). They are covered by the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Scheme, and by worldwide medical and dental insurance.

Other benefits, which vary according to category and level, may include:

  • Dependency allowance
  • Education grant for schools and first-level university education
    (up to 75% of expenses)
  • Home leave for staff member and dependents
  • Life insurance
  • Maternity/paternity/adoption leave
  • Travel and removal expenses, and an appointment grant
  • Rental subsidy

Applying for a staff position

WIPO seeks to recruit staff from a wide range of backgrounds, and with diverse experience, languages and expertise.  We are committed to matching the best candidate to each role through a thorough review of all applications. Our recruitment process can therefore be lengthy as it involves several steps, usually including pre-screening, a written test, and a final interview with the Appointment Board. On average, it takes about 19 weeks between publication time and the final decision.

Competencies are a combination of skills, attributes and behaviours which are essential for all staff.

Core competencies for all WIPO employees:

  • Communicating effectively
  • Respecting individual and cultural differences
  • Team spirit
  • Managing yourself
  • Producing results
  • Embracing change
  • Respecting ethics and values

Managerial competencies for staff with supervisory functions:

  • Creating a stimulating work environment
  • Planning and managing resources
  • Promoting change, innovation and learning
  • Building and promoting partnerships
  • Leading WIPO to the future (for Directors and above)

Our recruitment principles

  • For each post we seek to appoint the strongest candidate, who will meet the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity.
  • We select on the strength of candidates' qualifications, experience and demonstrated competences for the job.
  • We seek to recruit staff from as wide a geographical basis as possible.
  • We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all candidates who meet the minimum requirements, irrespective of gender, racial, ethnic or social origin, color, religion, belief, or sexual orientation.
  • We are committed to achieving gender balance at all levels of the Organization.

Tips for applicants

  • Understand the requirements of the position you are interested in, and only apply if you meet them all.
  • If you are invited for an interview, come prepared. Familiarize yourself with the work of WIPO and the position you are applying for.
  • Be ready to share concrete examples and situations from your previous professional experiences that illustrate your ability to perform the duties of the job you are applying for.
  • Make sure to familiarize yourself with the WIPO competencies.