WHO Patient Safety and Risk Management Internship 2019 in Geneva
  • Voluntarily

Established on 7 April 1948, The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations with the function to act as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work.

In October 2004 WHO launched a patient safety programme in response to a World Health Assembly Resolution (2002) with the aims of coordinating, disseminating and accelerating improvements in patient safety worldwide. WHO’s strategic objectives in the area of patient safety are to provide global leadership for patient safety and to harness knowledge, expertise and innovation to improve patient safety in health care settings. WHO’s unique convening role at the global level provides a vehicle for improving patient safety and managing risk in health care through international collaboration, engagement and coordinated actions between Member States, institutions, technical experts, patients, civil society, industry, as well as development partners and other stakeholders.

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WHO has been instrumental in shaping the patient safety agenda worldwide by providing leadership, setting priorities, convening experts, fostering collaboration and creating networks, issuing guidance, facilitating change and building capacity, and monitoring trends by placing the patient at the centre of improvement strategies for safer health care.

This internship offers the opportunity to work in the Patient Safety and Risk Management Unit (PSU), under the supervision of the Coordinator, Dr Neelam Dhingra-Kumar. The intern will contribute to one or more projects concerning medication safety, education & training (how to create and promote multidisciplinary teams), global patient safety networks and partnerships (how to strengthen interaction among the global patient safety community); monitoring and evaluating impact (WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge), safety and quality culture, patient safety incident reporting and learning (how reporting impacts quality improvement), and healthcare risk management. The main responsibilities of the intern include: participation in meetings, taking notes, and liaising with external experts.

Internship Location and Expected Dates

The intern will be based in WHO Patient Safety and Risk Management Secretariat, Avenue Appia 20 CH-1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland

  • Duration of the internship: a minimum period of 12 weeks and a maximum period of 24 weeks.
  • Internship will be allocated for the above duration starting within the period of April 2019.


WHO Offer-

  • Review progress regularly and provide adequate feedback and coaching/mentoring during the internship.
  • Provide office space and related support facilities to enable the intern to undertake the assignment;
  • Not sign any agreements, proposed or required by a sponsor, university or equivalent institution;
  • Prepare a written evaluation of the intern’s performance and provide the intern with feedback at the end of the internship;


  • The intern should have the following skills/attributes:
    • To be able to work together in a team and respect fellow colleagues;
    • To have an excellent command of English in both written and verbal communication;
    • Keen interest in public health;
    • Self-motivated and demonstrates ability to use initiative.
  • Eligibilities: WHO may accept applicants who meet all the following conditions as interns:
    • Enrolled in a course of study at a university or equivalent institution leading to a formal qualification (graduate or postgraduate) (applicants who have already graduated may also qualify for consideration provided that they start the internship within six months after completion of their formal qualification);
    • To have completed three years of full-time studies and be at least twenty years old at the time at the time of application;
    • Applicants who are fluent in English and preferably in other WHO working languages e.g. French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, or Spanish;
    • Applicants who are not related to a staff member of WHO (e.g. son/daughter, brother/sister or mother/father);
    • Applicants should not have previously participated in WHO’s internship programme.
    • Terms and Condition of Internship: 
      • When accepting an internship, the intern agrees to:
        • Conduct themselves at all times in accordance with the standards of conduct expected of a person working in an international environment;
        • Refrain from any conduct that would adversely reflect on IPSF or WHO and not engage in any activity that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of either organization;
        • Not disclose or make use of any unpublished or confidential information that comes to their knowledge in the course of their internship;
        • Not disclose any circumstances that could give rise to a potential conflict of interest related to the subject of the activity in which they will be involved during the course of their assignment (Declaration of Interest);
        • Follow the IPSF Internship Guideline for Interns and do as required on the guideline;
        • Devote themselves full-time to the assignments of the receiving unit for the period of the internship.
Eligible Regions: Open for All

Application Process

  • All IPSF members who meet and comply with the requirements above are eligible to apply. WHO PSU will be responsible for the final selection of applicant(s). Successful applicant(s) undertaking an internship will not be financially remunerated by IPSF. The applicant(s) will be responsible for their own accommodation and travel expenses.
  • As part of the application, please submit:
    • A curriculum vitae (CV) in English (maximum 2 pages);
    • Confirmation of membership in IPSF (from your Contact Person or from the IPSF Internal Relations Chairperson if you are an Individual Member);
    • A cover letter in support of the application mentioning the areas of interest and motivation for applying (maximum 2 pages);
    • Enrollment letter from University (certified by Dean or Head of study programme) or a diploma for recent graduates.
  • Please submit electronic copies of your full application to Ms. Bidhata Khatri, IPSF Internship Coordinator, at [email protected] no later than 8 February 2019 23:59 GMT +0. Please use the subject line “WHO Patient Safety Internship 2019”. Only PDF format of all applications will be accepted and applications will only be considered if all relevant documents are included.
  • IPSF will complete the 1st round selection process and WHO PSU will make the final selection.

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Application Deadline: February 8, 2019

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

If you have any questions about the internship, please do not hesitate to contact IPSF Internship Coordinator at [email protected] or IPSF Chairperson of Pharmacy Education, Mr. Daniel Semmy at [email protected]
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