Internship with WHO – University of Copenhagen

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Global Health > Jobs & internships > 2018 > Internship with WHO

12 January 2018

Internship programme - Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization (VPI) unit, Communications team - Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark

Grade No grade
Contractual Arrangment Intern
Contract duration Minimum six weeks and maximum six months
Closing Date 26 January 2018
Primary Location Copenhagen, Denmark
Organization EU/DAF Division of Administration and
Schedule Full-time


The European Region (EURO) of WHO is made up of 53 Member States.  All share the common value of the highest attainable standard of health as a fundamental human right. WHO’s mandate revolves around six core functions:

  • providing leadership on global health matters;
  • shaping the health research agenda;
  • setting norms and standards;
  • articulating evidence-based policy options;
  • providing technical support to countries;
  • monitoring and assessing health trends. The Regional Office, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, translates these functions into direct support to member states in the region.

The Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization (VPI) programme is part of the Division of Health Emergencies and Communicable Diseases. VPI supports Member States through advocacy, publications and capacity building to help national immunization programmes achieve the goals and objectives of the European Vaccine Action Plan 2015-2020.

European Immunization Week (EIW) is an annual campaign led and coordinated by VPI with the goal of increasing vaccination coverage by raising awareness of the importance of immunization among parents and caregivers, health care professionals, policy and decision-makers, and the media. All Member States in the European Region are invited to take part each year, and the initiative is supported by partners, including the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and Rotary International.  

Objectives of the WHO internship programme:

The WHO internship programme has three objectives: (a) to provide a framework for assigning students from diverse academic backgrounds to WHO programmes, where educational experience can be enhanced through practical work assignments; (b) to expose students to the work of WHO and (c) to provide WHO programmes with the assistance of students specializing in various fields.

Description of Duties


The project objectives are to increase collaboration with immunization stakeholders in the European Region related to EIW (eg international partners, professional associations, parent groups, patient associations), support Member States in developing and implementing EIW campaigns and support VPI in promoting EIW materials and activities on various online channels.


Under the direct supervision of VPI’s Communications, Web and Information Officer, the intern will support the programme’s work through the following activities.

  • Identify and reach out to potential partners/stakeholders to co-promote EIW activities/messages;
  • Assist with preparing and scheduling of materials (in English and/or Russian) on WHO social media channels and the WHO/Europe website, and in monitoring and sharing social media activity related to EIW;
  • Compile information on and promote country activities.

Learning areas

  • The intern will learn about the working of WHO, how international recommendations are converted into policy and action in countries, specifically as related to immunization programmes and policies, and how international agreements, such as the European Vaccine Action Plan guide this work. S/he will learn about the context of immunization and vaccine-preventable diseases in the European Region and how WHO is helping countries to protect and promote public health through the equitable extension of vaccines and immunization services and by ensuring high demand for vaccines and vaccination.
  • The intern will gain experience as a member of an international team and as an integral part  of an international health promotion campaign.  
  • The intern will participate in programme and division meetings and have the opportunity to attend any presentations of invited experts to staff on a variety of health issues.

Required qualifications


  • Have completed at least three years of full-time studies (bachelor's level or equivalent) in communications, information technology, social sciences or health related field at a university or equivalent institution; AND be enrolled in a course of study at a university (applicants who have already graduated may also qualify for consideration provided that they start the internship within six months after completion of their formal qualification). 


  • Core competences
  • Team work
  • Respecting and promoting individual and cultural difference
  • Communication

All interns should possess the following skills in line with the WHO core competencies:

  • Communicating effectively orally and in writing
  • Showing willingness to learn from mistakes
  • Producing and delivering quality results
  • Working collaboratively with team members

In addition, interns need to be familiar with commonly used computer programmes, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Knowledge of specialized computer programmes in statistical software may be an advantage.


The following experience would be an advantage:
  • supporting or managing social media campaign for non-profit or international organization;
  • writing of social media content;
  • social media monitoring;
  • writing for other online platforms (such as blogs) in English and/or Russian;
  • writing of reports related to promotional or marketing campaign;
  • graphic design.

Use of language skills:

  • Native English or Russian language skills.
  • Working knowledge of other European language(s) are an advantage.
Additional Requirements:
Be at least twenty years of age on the date of application. Be able to work full-time. Not be related to a staff member (e.g. son/daughter, brother/sister or mother/father). Have not previously participated in WHO's Internship Programme. Hold a valid passport of a WHO Member State.
Have an interest in Health policies.

Additional Information:
Please note that internships at WHO are very competitive and only a small number of applicants will be accepted every year.  Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
WHO Internships are not paid. Living abroad is expensive and finding accommodation can be challenging.  All intern candidates should be aware of these factors before they consider applying for a WHO Internship.
Interns will be responsible for applying, obtaining, and financing the necessary visas – if needed.
WHO accepts no responsibility for medical insurance of interns or costs arising from illness incurred during an internship Interns are not eligible for appointment to any position in WHO for a period of three months following the end of the internship.
If selected for a WHO Internship, you will be required to provide certified copies of proof of enrollment in a course of studies, transcript of university course work/records of current studies, supporting letter from a Professor, and proof of personal medical insurance (illness) coverage.

Interviews are usually used as a form of screening.
We strongly recommend that candidates also upload a motivation letter in their application. 
Please find application detail and further information on WHO original website