Equitable Access

Global Health Internship Scholarship: A Pilot Study

WHO-HQ Winter ‘15-‘16 Internship



1234Each year, over 600 interns participate in the WHO-HQ internship programme in Geneva, Switzerland. These internships are part of WHO’s commitment to build future leaders in public health. However, in 2013 only 20% of interns were from low- and middle- income countries (LMICs), which have 80% of the world’s population and disease burden.

The Network of WHO Intern Alumni, in partnership with Child Family Health International, are administering a scholarship opportunity to financially support two candidates from an LMIC and cover the costs of an internship at WHO Headquarters Geneva in the Winter 2015/16 cycle. This forms part of a wider project to support more balanced multinational participation amongst junior candidates in international health training, and build an evidence base on their impact and utility for national health systems.

Funds for this pilot scholarship were raised via a successful Kickstarter campaign with the support of the Royal Society of Arts. While that campaign has ended, those interested can contribute here towards the initiative.


Scholarship Administration

Eligibility: Only candidates born and living in an LMIC (as classified by the World Bank) will be eligible for the scholarship.

Selection: Selection will be based on quality of candidate application, strength of recommendation, their potential for and commitment to future leadership. Applications will first be screened and those ineligible notified and excluded. Remaining applicants will be anonymised and scored by two independent reviewers. The top 10 applicants will be passed to the external panel who will be invited to rank them. This panel will consist of at least 3 independent senior global health experts, 1 NWIA and 1 WHO-HQ Intern Board representative.

Internship Opportunity: Candidates will be responsible for completing the online (eRecruit) WHO internship application. More information is available here.


Monitoring & Evaluation

Supported interns will complete a reflective report of their experience, including feedback on the pilot study. Interns will be followed up annually over a five-year period to track their career progression, including the impact of the internship programme.

Scholarship administrators will complete a report on the success and lessons learned from the pilot study. Data on the demographics of applicants will be reported, to evaluate the role of financial support programmes in increasing internship accessibility.

A short documentary will be filmed by colleagues of the Global Health Film Initiative on the wider issue of global health internships, which will serve as an advocacy tool for future engagement with donors and stakeholders.



Scholarship Timeline


Global Health Internship Scholarship Application

Interested and eligible candidates should complete the Scholarship Application Form. It is due by 30 September 2015, by email to admin@internalumni.org. All questions can be directed to admin@internalumni.org.



Is this scholarship run by the World Health Organization?

No, this initiative, and the Network of WHO Intern Alumni, is entirely independent from the World Health Organization. Submission of a scholarship application does not guarantee nor in any way affect your chances of being selected for a WHO Internship.

How do I apply for a WHO Internship?

Internship applications must be submitted through eRecruit, WHO’s Prospective Employee Web Portal. More information is available here.

When will I hear back from you about my scholarship application?

We will immediately confirm receipt of your application.

We will notify you by mid-October at latest if your application is ineligible.

We will continue with internal candidate ranking; however, we cannot fully process your application until we receive from you your letter of acceptance for a WHO Internship. Scholarship funds will be awarded by December 2015.

I don’t want to be in a documentary. Can I still receive the scholarship?

Unfortunately, not. Creation of the documentary is a key outcome of this pilot scholarship, as it will build the case for the need for equitable access to junior training opportunities in global health. Selected candidates must be willing to be featured in and to film themselves / their hometowns for the documentary.

I want to collaborate with your group on this work. How can I get in touch?

Contact us at admin@internalumni.org. We’ve lots of work streams ongoing and are keen to connect with likeminded individuals and organisations.

How can I donate towards this scholarship?

One-time or recurring donations can be made here. Thank you very much for your support!