UNU-INWEH Internship Programme

Are you a recent graduate or enrolled in a graduate programme? Are you interested in making a difference in environmental research and policy? Do you have a commitment towards addressing issues of international importance related to water, environment and health? If so, then the UNU-INWEH Internship Programme could be for you!

Our interns have come from Canada, France, India, Mali, Mexico, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the USA, and elsewhere. UNU-INWEH provides interns a chance to work in an international environment and experience first-hand the operations of the United Nations. In this volunteer programme, interns interact with staff members and contribute towards UN water research and training projects conducted in developing countries. To see the kind of activities that interns get to contribute to, visit our Interns page. If you think that the UNU-INWEH Internship Programme could be your next step, please find out if you meet the eligibility requirements (below) and submit an application.

Interns are recruited through a competitive application process through (1) specific vacancy announcements (listed on the vacancies page) or (2) unsolicited applications (open). All interns are required to make a 3-month (minimum) to 6-month (maximum) full-time commitment.


There are no more advertised vacancies. Open applications are welcomed.

Current and Past Interns

Jana Gheuens (2018, Current)
Water-related SDG’s on Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Yurissa Varela (2018, Current)
Global Water Research

Panthea Pouramin (2018)
Gender-Health-Water Nexus

Edward Jones (2018)
Water Resources Management

Cameron Firoet (2018)
Peace and Political Stability

Nuha Elgindi (2018)
Water and Economics

Gabriela Jimenez (2017)
Water Treatment

Syed Kazmi (2017)
Water Security

George Atiim (2017)
Water and Health

Jacintah Mwachiro (2017)
Wastewater and Health

Guillaume Baggio Ferla (2017)
SDG Policy Support System

Tariq Adel Deen (2017)
Water and Security

Cecilia Soto Rios (2017)
Natural and Constructed Wetlands

Reza Ali Chaudhry (2016)
Water Security Course Framework

Alexandra Bloecker (2016)
Marine Ecosystem Services

Shona Fitzgerald (2016)
Wetlands for Pollution Abatement

Catherine Chisholm (2015)
Transboundary Water Management

Oluwabusola Olaniyan (2015)
Wastewater Management

Katherine Laycock (2014)
Sustainable Development Goals

Marsha Smith (2013)

Laura Fullerton (2013)
Water-Health Nexus

Natasha Murji (2013)
Marketing & Graphic Design

Ben Heikoop (2013)
Water-Health Nexus & Dryland Ecosystems

Stephanie Verkoeyen (2012)
Coastal Ecosystems

Nikki Hassel (2012)
Coastal Ecosystems

Barbara Johnson (2012)
Drylands & Water-Health Nexus

Naomi Stewart (2012)
Freshwater & Coastal Ecosystems

Lucie Vermeulen (2011)
Coastal Ecosystems & Gechh

Gigil Varghesek (2010)

Eligibility Requirements

  • Academic Qualifications & Fields of Interest: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree in an area relevant to UNU-INWEH’s field of work.
  • Languages: excellent spoken and written English; knowledge of other UN languages is an asset. See FAQs Section 2 for requirements concerning language certification.
  • Computer skills: ability to use office-related software (Microsoft Office) and hardware (PC).
  • Attitude: awareness and ability to adapt to a multicultural environment and a commitment to international public service are essential. Applicants should demonstrate good communication skills and show initiative and flexibility.
  • Availability: the duration of an internship is a minimum of three months (full-time).
  • Insurance: proof of insurance coverage for the entire period of the internship.

The selection will take into consideration academic achievements and research accomplishments, two letters of recommendation, and your statement of purpose. Further documents may be requested only if shortlisted. See FAQs for further information.


Terms and Conditions

There is no fixed start date for internships. Internship start-dates are defined on the basis of the respective programme/project requirements. The duration of the internship will be at least 3 months with a maximum duration of 6 months. Interns are expected to work full time and will be provided office space and facilities as appropriate for their work. UNU-INWEH does not offer any financial assistance for the internship and all candidates are required to indicate means of support for the duration of the internship.

Interns will be awarded a certificate at the successful completion of their internship. See FAQs Section 3 and 4 for details on the Terms and Conditions.



The internship programme at UNU-INWEH presents the opportunity to gain work experience within a renowned research institute, providing a good working environment, freedom and support for professional and academic development.

– Edward Jones
Working at UNU-INWEH has been one of the most rewarding and satisfying positions and will prove invaluable towards my career goals.

– Panthea Pouramin

It has been a wonderful experience working at UNU-INWEH with highly professional team. This internship has provided me an opportunity to work on global water related issues and to conduct water policies and strategies. My supervisor was so supportive all the time. This internship will definitely help me with my profession in future.

– Syed Zaigham Kazmi, 2017 Intern

The internship at UNU-INWEH enhanced my professional skills and shifted my understanding about conventional water sources. I think that unconventional water resources could contribute to move faster towards the achievement of SDG 6: safe water and sanitation for all by 2030”

– Gabriela Jimenez, 2017 Intern

The UNU-INWEH internship programme is life changing!

– Jacintah Mwachiro, 2017 Intern

My internship with UNU-INWEH was a both a professional and personal rewarding experience. As a young professional the internship provided me with a valuable leg up over my competition and allowed me to apply the skills and knowledge I acquired during my university studies to meaning work

– Tariq A. Deen, 2017 Intern

It has been a phenomenal experience to join such a prominent organization like UNU-INWEH. This internship gives the opportunity to reflect on and observe experiences from many perspectives. I definitely enjoyed to be connected to ongoing UNU-INWEH and UN projects. My supervisor cared about my interests and arranged many opportunities to apply my scientific knowledge and research on potential tools for water security agenda. I also had the chance to speak with various specialists about their work, and assist with the co-authorship of a book Chapter for Nature Based Solutions. As a PhD scholar it was a challenging and transformative experience for me, I would encourage any student to learn more about this incredible internship opportunity.

– Cecilia Soto Rios, 2017 Intern

Conducting an internship at the UNU-INWEH helped me realize what I appreciate in good organizations that are trying to change the world by improving the human condition.

– Reza Ali, 2016 Intern

My time at UNU-INWEH provided me with the opportunity to apply my scientific background to a project in the real world. Within the Water and Ecosystems Programme, I learned how ecosystem services, policy and socio-economy are related and how they depend on each other. I especially liked the opportunity to set up my own project and to present this research to a multidisciplinary audience at the WatIF 2016 conference in Kingston

– Catherine, 2016 Intern

UNU-INWEH has provided me with an astounding opportunity to experience the application of first-hand classroom theories in the real world. It is a resourceful centre that allowed me to understand the necessity to apply research for resolving problems in water, human and sustainable development issues. It was a great privilege to work with a team of expert that allowed me to unite my varied interest of indigenous and international development in one unique combination.

– Busola, 2015 Intern

UNU-INWEH is an excellent facility for individuals looking to engage with the broader international community on a variety of water-focused policy, management, and conservation issues. The breadth of knowledge and experience amongst the team is impressive and worthwhile, and the internship was an excellent opportunity to learn more about water issues and help me progress towards a larger, more global perspective.

– Naomi, 2012 Intern

Indeed, the possibilities of working directly with high-level specialists on specific cases, touching on issues of water management in connection with the problems of desertification, population health, and climate change, among others, make the UNU-INWEH internship program in Hamilton, a perfect place for any student.

– Ibrahima, 2010 Intern

How to Apply

Interns are recruited through a competitive application process through (1) specific vacancy announcements (listed on our vacancies page) or (2) unsolicited applications (open). Both require a 3-month (minimum) to 6-month (maximum) full-time commitment.

To apply to the UNU-INWEH Internship Programme, complete the following steps:

  1. Ensure you satisfy the Eligibility Criteria.
  2. Fill out all five of the required application documents.
  3. Email or fax your application to the UNU-INWEH Internship Coordinator.
  • Only complete applications (i.e., containing all five required documents) will be considered.
  • Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
  • Your internship application will be considered valid for 12 months from the submission date.
  • If applicants do not receive a response within 12 months of submission, the application has not been retained.


Application Forms


(1) A Completed Application Form: Download (MS Wordor (PDF)

(2) A Cover Letter that Includes:

  1. A brief statement of purpose.
  2. Why you think an internship would be a valuable opportunity.
  3. Any specific skills/experience that relate to one of our programmes/projects.
  4. The letter should be written in English (1 page max.).
  5. The letter should be addressed to the UNU-INWEH Internship Coordinator.

(3) A Copy of Your University Transcript:

  • Undergraduate or Graduate transcript. Unofficial is acceptable. 

(4) Two Letters of Recommendation:

  • Signed scanned copies sent by your two referees directly to:
    (Subject Line: “REFERENCE LETTER = INTERNSHIP = Candidate’s Last Name and First Name”)
  • Signed letters can also be sent by fax +1 905 667 5510
    (Cover Page Subject Line: “INTERNSHIP APPLICATION, Candidate’s Last Name and First Name”)

(5) For Non-Native English Speakers, a Copy of Your English Language Certification

  • (E.g., TOEFL, IELTS, TOEIC); not required if the applicant has completed undergraduate and/or graduate studies with English as the medium of instruction. See FAQs Section 2 for further information on language certification.



(1) Email:

  • (Subject Line: “INTERNSHIP APPLICATION, Your Last Name, Your First Name”)

(2) Fax: +1 905 667 5510

  • (Cover Page Subject Line: “INTERNSHIP APPLICATION, Your Last Name, Your First Name”)



For frequently asked questions about the UNU-INWEH Internship Programme, please visit our FAQs page.