Global South Internship Programme

Global South Internship Programme: Nurturing Future Leaders for Sustainable Development 

The RIO+ Centre has launched the Global South Internship Program (GSIP), a signature effort to invest in the next generation of leaders from the Global South committed to sustainable development. The GSIP provides outstanding graduate-level students from the Global South with a unique opportunity to advance their career development as future champions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda in their home countries.

The GSIP aims to:

  • Provide an opportunity to students and recent graduates – particularly from the Global South – to acquire professional and practical experience with sustainable development policy and practice based in the UNDP global hub in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Contribute to building a critical mass of young professionals from the Global South with advanced skills and relevant practical experience working to promote the implementation of equitable and sustainable development and local, national and international level.

Which areas will the interns be working on?

The GSIP provide the interns with unique opportunities to learn, gather experiences and enrich his/her studies with practical insights from the multicultural and multi-ethnic staff members at the UNDP global hub for sustainable development.  The GSIP interns will support the RIO+ Centre team in delivering results in the following areas of work:

  • Area 1Knowledge for Sustainable Development: Support to the production and facilitation of policy analysis on tackling the barriers to achieving sustainable development for the bottom half (the poor and other marginalised groups), with a focus on sustainable cities, social protection for sustainable development and integrated policy and planning.
  • Area 2Leveraging the Global South’s Expertise and Experience: Identifying, cataloguing, revising and mainstreaming critical examples of the Global South’s emerging leadership on sustainable development, with a focus on innovative approaches in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Area 3Tools and Methodologies for Sustainable Development: Support to the production of practical tools, instruments and methodologies that local governments can use to advance integrated, equitable and sustainable development planning, policy and practice;
  • Area 4Communicating Sustainable Development: Support to delivering new and innovative approaches to RIO+ Centre’s communications and advocacy work, with a focus on mainstreaming the SDGs and the Agenda 2030; engaging the youth; enhancing visibility and impact of RIO+ Centre’s knowledge and policy products; and strengthening creative partnerships with arts, music and cultural activities and projects to advance citizen’s support to the sustainable development agenda.

What is the internship’s length?

The GSIP offers internship positions throughout the year, from January up to December.

Candidates can choose one of the internship length options below:

(a): 4 months

(b): 5 months

(c): 6 months

Who can be participate in the GSIP?

Candidates to the GSIP must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);
  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent);
  • Have graduated with a university degree (as defined in (a) and (b) above and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation).

The GSIP encourages applications by candidates from the following countries: (i) Developing Economies; (ii) Least Developed Countries; (iii) Economies in Transition); (iv) Heavily Indebted Poor Countries; (v) Small Island Developing States; (vi) Landlocked Developing Countries; or (vii) Fuel-exporting countries. A nominal list of countries is detailed here.

What is the required background?

The GSIP encourages students from all areas of studies to participate, ranging from international development, social sciences, engineering, business & management to communications & marketing.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate keen interest in the field of sustainable development and on UNDP’s mandate areas.

Special attention will be given to candidates that have successfully achieved an outstanding academic record as well as relevant practical experience working on sustainable development issues with government institutions, civil society and grassroots organizations, think tanks and other relevant organizations in the Global South.

Are the internships remunerated?

No. Internships at UNDP are not remunerated. The costs associated with the internship must be borne by the nominating institution, related institution or government, which may provide the required financial assistance to its students; or by the student, who will have to obtain financing for subsistence and make his or her own arrangements for travel, accommodation etc.

Candidates currently studying in a developing country with no funding from the nominating institution or government can request financial support from the RIO+ Centre as long as there is proof of their vulnerable financial status.

How can I submit my application?

Applications will be received throughout the year only via the UNDP website, here.

Required documentation to be submitted through the UNDP website:

  • Updated Résumé/Curriculum Vitae in English
  • Motivation letter in English explaining why you are an outstanding candidate for the RIO+ Centre’s Global South Internship Programme (max 800 words)

After the screening of CVs, short-listed candidates will be invited for interviews. Only those who are short-listed will be contacted.

Further information

Please contact Francisco Filho, Communications Coordinator, at or at +55 21 3621 3710.

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