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About our internships

A limited number of internships are offered at IRC for periods of maximum six months on specific topics. There will be two moments in the year when positions become available, but we keep the positions open till we find the right match.

Current internship positions are available below as well as more detailed information on the application process. For inspiration you can read some testimonies from previous interns below.

Current internship positions IRC headquarters in The Hague

Reference numberPosition titleRequired skills
(in addition to qualifications below)
Preferred starting dateApplication deadline


Intern for the Strategic Partnership Department with a focus on:

Knowledge of philanthropic sector desirable


Until we find the right match


Intern for the Executive Office with a focus on:
Business Strategy

Knowledge on non-profit business management is desirable


Until we find the right match

General information

Interns are supervised and their activities are decided on by the programme they join. Activities include research work, preparation of draft reports and studies, analysis of statistical data, administrative duties, supporting contact with partner organisations, assisting with IRC events and corporate communication.

Interns will receive an allowance and compensation for commuting costs. We aim to ensure a positive experience for all interns that matches the interests of IRC (see Internship Benefits below).

Successful applicants will join a multidisciplinary team and will gain direct exposure and access to the work and management of a leading water and sanitation think-and-do tank with international outreach.

Internships will be mostly based at the IRC headquarters in The Hague unless stated otherwise. Internship openings for IRC country offices in Africa, Asia and Latin America might be available and specific conditions will apply.

There is an initial trial period of one month. Hours are flexible and we will consider applications for full-time or part-time internships. IRC will not be able to provide assistance with accommodation, work permits or visas for internships if these are required.

Application procedure

Various internship opportunities become available two times a year and are posted below. We do not accept or consider unsolicited proposals or proposals that do not meet the criteria below. Applications for internships will only be considered if they include:

  • A Curriculum Vitae;
  • A cover letter explaining why you want to do an internship at IRC;
  • Two letters of reference, with at least one from a faculty member, and contact details of referees.

Applications should be emailed to:

IRC will respond to all applications that meet the criteria set and will let the applicants know whether they are successful or not. Please be advised that if you have not heard from us within two weeks of your application this means that your application has not met our criteria.


  • Applicants must, at a minimum, be enrolled in a recognised (under)graduate programme or have graduated recently.
  • Applicants should be well-organised, self-motivated and reliable, with a strong interest in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector and links with governance, policy and finance.
  • Basic computer skills are required.
  • Writing skills are required.
  • Data analysis skills are highly desirable.
  • Relevant coursework is highly desirable.
  • Good knowledge of English is required and knowledge of additional foreign languages is a plus.

Internship benefits

Internship benefits include:

  • Access to IRC and partners' events on relevant water, sanitation and hygiene topics  
  • Access to workshops and lunch discussions hosted by our thematic research areas
  • Exposure and possibility to publish articles and blogs on the IRC website and associated websites
  • Travel reimbursement within the Netherlands for public transport on the days worked
  • A token amount of 300 Euros per month (for a full-time 40 hour per week position) for a maximum of 6 months if trial period is successful

What IRC interns say about their internships

"It has been a great time for me in IRC, a unique opportunity to learn and share with an amazing group of people and more important, an opportunity to find "the missing link" in my professional training! I have learned to think out of the box of my engineering background and to discover other important elements and inspiration to keep my track on this beautiful and challenging world of water and sanitation."

Angela Salinas, Colombia (internship at IRC HQ, The Hague, 2015)

"Besides having uncovered important dynamics between sanitation, human rights, and gender in Burkina Faso, I am particularly proud of the professional skills I acquired in carrying out research in a context where documents and information are not always readily available. Thanks to IRC's professional network in Burkina Faso, as well as its presence at the local level, I was able to complement my desk research with interviews with professionals working in relevant fields. At the same time, IRC facilitated me with local contacts in the country's rural areas, which was crucial for the gathering of testimonies of women living in rural areas. This experience allowed me to gain thorough insight on the reality lived by those without access to sanitation facilities or services, which not only served as the backbone to my research, but which moreover has served as a true eye opener for me within the field of human rights. Looking back at my 6-month internship at IRC, I realise the invaluable step this experience has been for both my personal and professional development, and a stepping stone to career growth that I had not wanted to miss out on!"

Celeste Flores, The Netherlands (Internship at IRC Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou, 2015)

"One of the best aspects of joining IRC was immediately feeling part of the team, and that I was given responsibilities early. My supervisor did an outstanding job giving feedback that was helpful both in the internship as well as for my future career. I was continually challenged to test my limits and expand my skill set, and got an exceptional opportunity to see the inner workings of an NGO and the development community. All considered, interning at IRC has been a great learning experience, helping me identify my strong and weak spots and how to improve on them, as well as giving me valuable insights into the WASH sector."

Idun Rognerud, Norway (Internship at IRC HQ, The Hague, 2015)

"During my three months of working there, my advisors and other colleagues have been nothing but kind and helpful to me, which made the whole experience very enjoyable. Being and working at the organization, chatting with colleagues and attending events at work have given me exactly what I wanted: a inside look of the NGO world. Hearing about the stories of people working in tough areas,  real challenges the WASH sector is facing and the travel & work style people have made me really understand what it is like to work for a NGO and potential opportunities in the field."

Vigil Yangjinqi Yu, China (Internship at IRC HQ, The Hague, 2015)

The specific research project that I worked on was the Community Water Plus Project, that examined what types of support by NGOs to the villages is most effective regarding their water supply. The field work consisted of data collection in various rural mountain villages, and we collected data from over one hundred households [read Kim's blog about her field work]. I do not believe there is any other way to get to know this type of work without actually being part of it. Travelling to a foreign country on your own for a long period of time, meeting new people and colleagues and the fact that your successes or failures have an impact that goes beyond yourself are not things that one can learn from books. My internship with IRC was exactly what I was looking for and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering it.

Kim van Winkel, The Netherlands, (Internship with IRC India programme, New Delhi, 2015)

"It was a great time for me the time spent working with IRC's Asia team on the topic of Systemic Change in Urban Sanitation. Mentors gave me the opportunity to bring my vision within the topic while, at the same time, giving valuable insights grounded on their own professional experience. Thanks to mentors and the wider IRC's team familiar ways I felt totally part of the organization even if for three months only".

Eleonora Bonacci, Italy (Internship based in Italy for IRC HQ, The Hague, 2016)

"This internship was a fantastic experience and a great introduction to the development sector. IRC is made up of such friendly and welcoming people, everyone was very interested and ready to discuss ideas, work and insights into the industry. I worked with the sanitation team to create a rapid assessment tool for faecal sludge management. The mentors were very willing to explain and help me, as well as being receptive to my ideas and was given responsibility on a project of real importance for the company."

Georgina Sandford, UK (Internship at IRC HQ, 2016)

"This was an amazing experience. It is by far the most productive internship that I have ever had. From the beginning, we managed to overcome formidable challenges, like working from a distance and in a different time zone, together. I always felt like this was a collaborative effort and that my opinions were always respected and considered by my mentor. I regret not being able to perform the work in person at the IRC office in the Hague; however, I think my telecommuting helped me to learn invaluable communication and management skills for my future career. In the end, I had a tangible product that I could hand over to IRC and show potential employers. Another aspect of the internship that I learned a great deal from was my inclusion in the communication and collaboration of different IRC departments. This was especially nice because it introduced me to different IRC staff and helped me to see how the larger organization functioned."

Liz Kendall, USA (Internship based in the US for IRC HQ, The Hague, 2016)

"During my internship at IRC I've learned a lot from the organisation's commitment to the sustainability of WASH projects and I've enjoyed working with experienced professionals that appreciate the added value of working with younger experts. This enriching experience has helped me define my career and I would encourage all recent graduates to apply for an internship at IRC."

Laura Gonzalez Lleal, Spain (Internship at IRC HQ, The Hague, 2016)

"My experience at IRC WASH has been an enriching one. I had the opportunity to work on a cost effectiveness analysis of a hygiene promotion intervention that is taking place in Bhutan. I was able to apply the skills that I have learnt during my Master of Public Health studies at École des hautes études en santé publique (EHESP) and learn more about how IRC works in the WASH sector".

Danny Joyce, UK (Internship at IRC HQ, The Hague, 2016)

"The internship at IRC was one of the most valuable off-campus activities that I could experience prior to graduation. It offered me the opportunity to gain hands-on and real-life work experience in the WASH sector. During my internship I supported the sanitation team in developing an urban sanitation assessment tool. What I liked most about the assignment was the collaborative nature of the work. Although I was continuously challenged I always had the feeling that I was contributing to work that matters. It was a pleasure to meet and work alongside compassionate and passionate people who want to make this world a better place."

Laura Schneegans, Germany (Internship at IRC HQ, The Hague, 2016)

"Being the first communications intern at IRC was a very exciting experience. With a background in communications (BA Information and Communication Science and MA Intercultural Communication), the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector was new to me. In the first few weeks I quickly managed to learn a lot about this sector and IRC's contribution to it - thanks to the help and open attitude of my colleagues. I had very diverse tasks, which gave me the opportunity to learn many new skills and improve my existing skills – such as writing for the website. Also, it gave me great pleasure to run my own projects, for example the production of a pilot podcast series and setting up a TEDxTalk for our CEO. Our CEO? Yes, I am very pleased I am not leaving IRC after these three months. I will continue working at the communications department as a freelance writer and communications specialist."

Femke van der Meijs, The Netherlands (Internship at IRC HQ, The Hague, 2016)

"As an intern at the IRC International Programme I had not only the opportunity to enrich my research and communication skills regarding water finance but also the possibility to gain new insights into working for an international organisation in the WASH sector. Working remotely and receiving weekly valuable feedback from my mentor was also an asset as it gave me the needed flexibility to learn and contribute to the organisation while working independently. Having the opportunity to travel to The Hague for the Amsterdam International Water Week was also an outstanding opportunity to foster my understanding about the sector, expand my network, and the most important, work closer to an exceptionally passionate team which has more than doubled my interest and commitment with the sector."

Florencia Rieiro, Argentina (Internship based in the UK for IRC HQ,2017) 


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