Call for WHA internship at the Global Health Centre of Graduate Institute of Geneva

Applications are now open for an IFMSA internship program in the Global Health Centre of the Graduate Institute of Geneva! The internship will be focused on the World Health Assembly (WHA), the annual meeting of the World Health Organization and one of the most important global health events of the year.


  1. What is the Graduate Institute of Geneva

The Graduate Institute is an institution of research and higher education. Selective and cosmopolitan, it is located in the heart of International Geneva and specialises in the study of the major global, international and transnational challenges facing the contemporary world. The Global Health Centre (GHC), established in 2008 at the Graduate Institute, is unique in Europe as a research centre integrated into an institute of international relations and development. Strategically located in the heart of Geneva, the ‘health capital of the world’, the Centre focuses on combining the practice and analysis of global health at the interface with foreign policy, trade and development. The GHC examines the characteristics and mechanisms of global health governance and multi-stakeholder governance for health at the beginning of the 21st century and engages in capacity building in global health diplomacy. It also builds partnerships with a wide range of actors at international, regional and national levels.


What is involved in the internship?

This internship program would be for a qualified IFMSA member to support the work of the Global Health Centre during a 3-month period in the lead up to, during, and after the 72nd World Health Assembly. The objectives of the internship program are as follows:  

  1. The intern will gain knowledge and skills in high-level global health diplomacy and policy analysis
  2. The intern will gain a deep understanding of the importance of the World Health Assembly to global health decision-making
  3. The intern will contribute meaningfully to the work of the Global Health Centre and will assist the Centre to achieve its required work in regards to the World Health Assembly

It is expected that the Intern will attend the World Health Assembly as part of the IFMSA delegation during their internship. Please note that if the successful applicant is not already a part of the IFMSA PreWHA delegation, they are not guaranteed to be able to attend the PreWHA in the four days leading up to the WHA due to logistical constraints.


When, where and how?

    • When – The intern will need to be available to start the internship any time between 15 April 2019 and 1 May, and they would then stay for 3 months.


  • Location – the internship would take place at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland


  • Finances – This is an unpaid internship. There is no financial support for interns. Interns would need to pay for their own accommodation in Geneva, flights and other living expenses. Additionally, the intern would have to fund their own health and work insurance during the internship (it is compulsory to have insurance)
  • Visas – The intern must hold a European passport in order to be able to receive a Swiss working permit


Am I eligible to apply?

This Internship opportunity is open to students who are members of IFMSA National Member Organizations. Anyone who meets the below criteria is eligible to apply:

  • Holds a European passport so that they can get a work permit in Switzerland
  • Must be enrolled in a course of study (graduate or post-graduate) at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a formal qualification
  • Must have excellent oral and written skills in English (a necessary requirement)
  • You have demonstrated interest and/or experience in the topics of global health policy and diplomacy
  • Critical thinking skills and the ability to work independently


How can I apply?

  • Fill in this application form – this is an online form, no need to do anything else than to fill in & click on submit. Before filling out this form, you will need to prepare the following documents:
    • Maximum 2-page CV/resume
    • Maximum 2 page Motivation Letter outlining:
      • Your relevant experience for the internship (in the field of global health policy/diplomacy)
      • Your interest in the key topics of global health diplomacy and policy – you may wish to look at the provisional agenda for the World Health Assembly  (found here) to see what particular topics are of interest to you
      • Your motivation to undertake the internship
    • Letter from your university certifying your student status
    • Completed Candidature Form (link) – form must be signed and stamped by your NMO President
  • All of these things need to be completed/sent before 29th March 2019, 23:59 GMT.
  • In case of any document missing, the application will be considered as invalid.
  • It is recommended that you use the IFMSA How to Write an Application Manual (link) while you are making your application, to ensure it is of a high standard

A number of shortlisted applicants will be recommended to the staff at Graduate Institute. Please keep in mind that the administration of the Graduate Institute will be in charge of making the final decision.


Selection criteria

The following criteria will be taken into account while evaluating your application:

  • Candidate’s relevant experience in global health policy/diplomacy
  • Candidate has proven interest in global health, and shows deep insight into key global health issues
  • Candidate’s motivation to participate in the internship program


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email the Charlotte, the Liaison Officer to the World Health Organization, at [email protected].


Enquire now

Give us a call or fill in the form below and we will contact you. We endeavor to answer all inquiries within 24 hours on business days.