Internship Programme


The objective of the CITES Secretariat internship programme is to provide an opportunity for graduate and postgraduate students from diverse academic backgrounds to support the work of the CITES Secretariat and to enhance their educational experience through practical work assignments. It allows selected candidates to gain insight into the work of CITES and provides practical experience and training in various relevant professional fields.

The CITES Secretariat’s internship programme is coordinated by its Administration Services Team.  At the end of an internship period, a written evaluation of the intern’s performance is prepared by the staff member acting as his/her supervisor and a meeting is organized to provide the intern with constructive feedback.

Students from a range of disciplines are able to apply, and depending on qualifications, are selected for internships that relate either to the Secretariat's core activities or to technical functions. The programme affords interns the opportunity to work in a multi-cultural international organization.

Eligibility requirements

i) The applicant must be an under-graduate (BA/BSc.) or in a graduate (Masters) or post-graduate (PhD) programme, and must continue to be enrolled during the period of the internship and after.  Applicants should therefore be enrolled in a recognized university course of study in fields related to the work of the CITES Secretariat (including natural sciences, international / environmental law, international relations, law enforcement, information and communications technology, translation, editing, economics, human resources and/or public administration) at the time of application and during the internship.

ii) Applicants should be able to work in English; knowledge of any other working language of the Convention (French or Spanish) is an advantage.

Applicants pursuing their studies in countries where higher education is not divided into undergraduate and postgraduate stages should have completed at least four years of study and be a student at the time of application and during the internship.

Terms and conditions

a) Internship is on a full-time basis spending five days a week for a period of not less than three months and not exceeding six months.

b) Upon selection for an internship placement, an ‘Internship Agreement’ is forwarded to the confirmed candidate for signature and returned together with proof of medical insurance coverage for the entire duration of the internship. This must be done prior to the agreed starting date.

c) There is no promise of employment either during or upon completion of an internship with the CITES Secretariat.

d) An intern with the CITES Secretariat is not a staff member of the CITES Secretariat, therefore, the privileges and immunities agreed between the CITES Secretariat and the host Government do not apply to interns.

e) An intern undertakes to conduct himself/herself at all times in a manner compatible with his/her responsibilities as an intern of the CITES Secretariat.

f) An intern may not communicate at any time to the media or any other external source any information which has become known to him/her by reason of association with the CITES Secretariat that he/she knows or ought to have known has not been made public. He/she may not use any such information without the written authorization of the CITES Secretariat and such information may never be used for personal gain. These obligations also apply after the end of the internship period.

Expenses and medical coverage

An intern is not financially remunerated by the CITES Secretariat. Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of the intern or his/her sponsoring institution.

The CITES Secretariat accepts no responsibility for medical insurance for the intern or for any costs arising from accidents and/or illness during the internship period. An applicant is required to provide evidence of adequate medical insurance coverage.

The CITES Secretariat is not responsible for any claims by an intern or third party in the case of loss or damage to property, or death or personal injury as a result of actions or omissions on the part of the intern during the internship period.


Applications from prospective interns may be forwarded by e-mail or normal mail directly, or through a sponsoring institution to:

CITES Secretariat
Internship Programme
Chemin des Anémones
1219 Châtelaine, Geneva
E-mail address: [email protected]

Applications should include the following:

  • A recent detailed Curriculum Vitæ;
  • Letter of endorsement from his/her educational institution, attesting to the fact that he/she is currently a registered student and will continue to be enrolled for the envisaged period of the internship. A letter from any one of the following personnel is suggested:
    • Dean of Students or Dean of Faculty
    • Registrar
    • Placement Office
  • An explanatory paper indicating the reason for requesting an internship and intended goals to be achieved if selected.

To view the Internship Application form, please click here.