Geneva Internship Program (Winter 2023)

Geneva Internship Program (Winter 2023)

La date limite pour postuler est passée.


International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)


Please note that this internship program is only open to students studying in Swiss Universities. 

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 120 people, plus over 150 associates and consultants, come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.

Overview of the IISD Geneva Internship Program

The IISD Geneva Internship Program offers students studying in Switzerland the exciting opportunity to acquire direct practical experience with IISD’s office in Geneva.

IISD’s Geneva office has teams focused on the following main areas:

  • Economic Law and Policy (ELP): Our team of lawyers, financial analysts, modellers and policy analysts focus on areas of economic policy-making essential to sustainable development, including investment, trade, public procurement and infrastructure finance, and sustainability standards. Our program hosts the International Investment Treaty Forum, the only global platform for government officials exclusively from developing and emerging economies to share experiences and lessons learned from investment negotiations. The program also works on the financial valuation of sustainability for infrastructure projects with the SAVi methodology. This aims to attract public and private finance for sustainable infrastructure. More info.
  • Energy: Our team of economists, engineers, policy analysts, communications specialists and advocates provide practical guidance in two key areas. Our Global Subsidies Initiative(GSI) works to help shift public and private financial flows away from fossil fuels and into clean energy. Our sustainable energy supply and just transition teams work to help countries reduce and phase out fossil fuels in socially responsible ways that are consistent with a 1.5° limit in average global temperature increase. We do this through international processes—including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Sustainable Development Goals and the G20—as well as long-standing programs of in-depth national work in Canada, India and Indonesia and a growing team in South Africa. More info.
  • Resilience: Our team of climate experts works with governments, civil society, communities and businesses to help them manage climate- and conflict-related risks. IISD also serves as the secretariat for the National Adaptation Plan(NAP) Global Network, which aims to enhance national adaptation planning and action in developing countries through the coordination of bilateral support and in-country actors. More info.
  • Communications: All of IISD’s teams based in Geneva—Economic Law and Policy, Energy and Resilience—are engaged in ongoing communications activities targeted at policy-makers, international organizations, policy research communities, media and the general public. Core communications activities include the development of outreach products (blogs, newsletters, press releases, op-eds, infographics and videos) and the management of social media platforms. Depending on project needs, they may also include event management, webinars, data visualization, website design, the development of communications strategies and the exploration of innovative communications tools.
  • Project Management l Monitoring & Evaluation: The PMs (Project Managers) at IISD are responsible for overseeing the smooth delivery of projects by managing the logistics, operations, budget, timeline, and scope of grant agreements, reporting deliverables to donors, and supporting partner outreach tracking. They maintain regular contact with the accounting and contracting teams to monitor project spending and procurement and with IISD experts and contractors to assist in keeping work on track and on time. Our M&E team oversees the monitoring of projects activities, the evaluation, and reporting.
  • Tracking Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The IISD Tracking Progress Program runs a range of programs dedicated to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) globally; one such project is the Geneva 2030 Ecosystem co-convened in partnership with the SDG Lab at UN Geneva. The project engages a range of stakeholders from UN entities, NGOs, academia, governments and the private sector in knowledge exchange, collaboration, and innovation to accelerate implementation for the SDGs.

Timelines and Duration

  • IISD is seeking interns for Winter 2023 (January to April).
  • The deadline to apply is November 1, 2022*
  • Internships are for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 4 months (or more upon university approval) for 15 hours a week during the term time and a maximum of 40 hours a week during university vacation.
  • If the internship is an official part of your course credit, working hours can be full-time, contingent upon a joint agreement with the university.

* Selected candidates will not be contacted for interview until after the deadline date.

Eligibility Requirements

To be considered for an internship, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a graduate (MA, MSc etc.) or Ph.D. degree program with a university-based in Switzerland during the dates of the prospective internship.
  • Be fluent in English speaking and writing.
  • Have excellent academic performance as demonstrated by recent university or institutional records.

Additional consideration will be given to any past professional experience. It will be considered an advantage if applicants can demonstrate: an academic or professional experience that is relevant to the focus area of the IISD team to which they are applying (ELP Economic Law and Policy / Energy / Resilience / Communications / Project Management & Monitoring & Evaluation / SDGs Tracking Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals); professional competence in any languages in addition to English; and a written statement of support from academic supervisors or professional referees.

All applications must include a cover letter and a CV.
Your cover letter should specify one IISD Geneva program with which you would like to seek an internship and why (ELP Economic Law and Policy / Energy / Resilience / Communications / Project Management & Monitoring & Evaluation / SDGs Tracking Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals).