WHO in South-East Asia

WHO internship - frequently asked questions

If I am accepted, what kind of work will I be doing?

This will depend on the needs of the technical unit to which you are assigned, as well as your qualifications and interests. A Learning Objectives and Outcomes outlining the work is prepared and discussed with intern candidates before any internship begins.

How long is the WHO internship programme?

For the internship to be worthwhile and effective, interns will be accepted for a minimum of 6 weeks and a maximum of 12 weeks. Exceptionally, an internship may be extended with agreement from the technical unit concerned but cannot be longer than 24 weeks in duration.

Can I get financial support from WHO?

WHO does not provide financial support for interns. All successful applicants are expected to make their own arrangements for travel, lodging and living expenses during the internship period.

Do I need to be at the WHO Office full-time?

Interns are expected to work Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 16:30 for the duration of the internship.

Is an intern entitled to sick leave?

An intern is not expected to work if he/she is unwell but it is important that the supervisor be informed of any absences. Any expense relating to illness is the responsibility of the intern. Especially long periods of absence, through illness or for other reasons, should be recorded in the written performance evaluation prepared by the supervisor at the end of the assignment.

Is an intern entitled to annual leave?

No. The maximum duration of an internship is 3 months which should be uninterrupted. Time off may be exceptionally granted by the supervisor as long as the assignment is not adversely affected.

Will travel expenses to and from the duty station be reimbursed by WHO?

No, travel expenses are the responsibility of the intern.

Is the intern entitled to a per diem payment to cover expenses incurred during the internship or while working as a volunteer?

No, interns are not paid.

What is the application procedure?

Interested applicants need to submit a WHO Personal History Form (PHF) along with a Cover Letter which mentions their motivation for application, WHO work area of interest and dates of availability. Applications may be sent to the Regional Office by post (Personnel-Recruitment Unit, World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia, World Health House, Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi-110002, India) or by e-mail to perrec@searo.who.int.

Should I arrange an interview?

No, WHO will contact you if you have been selected for an interview. Nor is it necessary or advised that intern applicants send diplomas, school-related or other documents to WHO. If and when selected, the technical unit may ask for these supporting documents.

Is there anything else I should know?

Employment prospects: The WHO Internship programme is not connected with WHO employment activities and there should be no expectation of such. Interns cannot apply for posts advertised internally to WHO staff during the period of their internship and for three months following the end of their internship. However, a WHO internship is a very positive experience to have on your résumé/curriculum vitae.

Publication of Information: No papers or reports may be published based on information obtained from WHO during the internship.

For further inquiries, please email

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