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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



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 audiences, informing them and collaborating with them in the numerous research initiatives that our team is involved in.

The intern is key in the communications work including improving the research strategy and using the web and/or other tools strategically. As a communications intern you will be involved in the following projects:

    • Contribute to the improvement of the communications strategy and manage our social media channels.
    • Write case studies that illustrate the value of research (see examples here), as well as upload updated and user-friendly content to the website.
    • Write for the scientific and/or general press on key aspects of research
    • Write different types of contents including, but not limited to, texts for: the research portal, the research newsletter, press releases, publication in journals.
    • Contribute to the work PAHO does with partners, such as the Equator Network and COHRED.

    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.  As a research intern you will be working in any of the following projects:

      • Participating in the elaboration of systematic reviews to inform policies and practice.
      • Trial Registration, including the advancement of initiatives to facilitate adherence to the International Clinical Trial Register Platform of the World Health Organization, improving standards and observance of good practices, and addressing legal aspects of research for health.
      • 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 
      • Research Policy Implementation: participating in data collection and mapping, and preparation of the Health Research Web 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 available on our website


      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 a cover letter (stating which internship(s) you would like to apply for, your dates of availability, and why you think you would be a good candidate) and a copy of your resume to:

      Eleana C Villanueva
      Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
      Research Promotion and Development
      This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
      Tel: (202)974-3084

      Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

      For other internship opportunities with PAHO, please click here.


      Contact us: in PAHO/HQ:; in the countries: list of focal points

      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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