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Research Promotion and Development at the Pan American Health Organization recognizes the importance of developing a new generation of public health leaders who will contribute to PAHO’s mission. Internship opportunities are available every fall, spring, and summer for young and energetic individuals entering the public health field. Although these are unpaid positions, interns will gain valuable work experience as part of an international team that promotes research for health in the Americas. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to practice and hone their Spanish language skills.

The duration of our internships is typically as follows

      • Summer: full time (32–36 hours/week) for 10–12 weeks
      • Fall/Spring: full or part-time with a minimum of 20 hours/week  

              KBR Orange Girls 2014

             Image: Research Promotion and Development interns wearing orange to take a stand on                        ending violence against women and girls at PAHO’s Washington DC Headquarters (Summer 2014)

        Over the course of their internship, interns are required to complete the following in conjunction with their internship activities:

      • Case studies - Emphasize the importance of research in advancing and promoting health so as to lead to development. To see previous case studies, click here.

      • Research Interest Group (RIG) - This is an informal discussion space in which PAHO staff members can discuss challenges, best practices and novel ideas in research. The highlight of the RIG is a presentation by an external speaker whose attendance has been organized by the intern. Previous RIG activities can be viewed here.


        Watch former interns talk about their experiences at PAHO and learn more about the career paths they have taken.

         Current Internship Opportunities


        1)    Research Communications Internship

         We seek an intern to contribute to the communications work of the research team by reaching out to our different key audiences, collaborating with them in the implementation of research initiatives that the team is involved in.

         The communications intern is a valuable assert and will be involved in improving the research strategy and strategically using the web and social media. The communications intern will be involved in the following projects:


        • Advance and manage our social media channels.
        • Contribute to the improvement of the communications strategy
        • Write case studies that illustrate the value of research (see examples here)
        • Contribute to user-friendly content on the website, including, but not limited to, the research newsletter and press releases.
        • Write for the scientific and/or general press on key aspects of research
        • Contribute to the work of PAHO with partners, such as the EQUATOR Network, for reporting guidelines, and COHRED for the HRWeb.

         2)    Public Health Research Internship

         We seek an intern to contribute to public health research on priority topics and to highlight its importance for human well-being and development.  The health research intern will be working on any of the following projects:

          • Participating in the elaboration of systematic reviews to inform policies and practice.
          • Conducting studies on trial registration and assessing the adherence to the International Clinical Trial Register Platform of the World Health Organization. This activity improves standards and observance of good practices.
          • Research policy implementation: participating in the data collection, mapping and preparation of the Health Research Web (HRWeb) that provides essential data about national health research systems in the Americas.
          • Working towards the implementation of PAHO's Policy on Research for Health (we suggest you get acquainted with it by accessing the documentation)
          • Knowledge Translation (evidence to policy and practice) especially through:
              • Evidence Informed Policy Network, a knowledge translation initiative aimed at strengthening national health research systems and the capacities to inform policies with scientific evidence in a systematic way 
              • Enhancement of PAHO’s Guideline Development process, for our technical cooperation documents to be developed through processes to ensure these are systematically informed by the best evidence 

           Eligibility Requirements

          • Minimum 20 years old.
          • Enrolled in a program as a senior undergraduate, graduate, or post graduate, with a concentration in a field relevant to PAHO’s work (i.e. Public Health, International Affairs, Latin American Studies, or a related health or social science area).
          • Strong writing, research, and organizational skills to support technical cooperation efforts. Prior research experience is a plus.
          • Ability to work independently and demonstrate initiative and flexibility.
          • Fluent in English with working knowledge of Spanish. Proficiency or fluency in the other languages of the region (Portuguese and French) is an asset.
          • Proof of health insurance coverage.
          • Not have previously participated in PAHO/WHO’s internship program at the same location.
          • Proof of U.S. citizenship or visa and work authorization if you are not a U.S. citizen. Applicants interested in interning at the PAHO Headquarters in Washington D.C. who are not authorized to work in the United States must be granted a G4 visa. Although obtaining a visa is normally the applicant’s responsibility, the Area of Human Resources Management will provide a letter of support if necessary for visa documentation. 
          • Not have any relatives as active staff working (consultants included) at PAHO (HQ, country offices, or Centers). Under the Staff regulations, relatives are defined as:
              • Subject to Staff Rule 110.7.3: The term “immediate family member” means the spouse, children, and siblings of the staff member and the children, parents and siblings of the staff member’s spouse.
              • Persons closely related by blood or by marriage to a staff member shall not normally be appointed if another equally qualified person is available. Persons closely related by blood or marriage include an immediate family member, as defined in Rule 110.7.3, and grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews, as well as any step-relatives, of the staff member or his or her spouse – Staff Rule 410.3.1  

          How to Apply

           To apply to one or both of these internships, please e-mail your CV and a cover letter stating the internship(s) you are applying for, why you would be a good candidate for that role, your dates of availability, level of language skills and a copy of your health insurance. Send all the required information to:

          This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Senior Research Advisor
          Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
          Research Promotion and Development Unit
          Department of Knowledge Management, Bioethics and Research
          Tel: (202) 974-3135

          Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

          PAHO has other internship opportunities here

          Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
          525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
          Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

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