Internship or Volunteer Experiences

We offer a variety of opportunities for undergraduate or graduate students still in university, and for professionals, to participate in the work of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). All opportunities offer a unique experience in one of many exciting public health fields. CARPHA offers hands-on experience of 6-11 weeks for interns, and welcomes dedicated volunteers for similar or potentially longer periods.

Organizational Setting

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is the new single regional public health agency for the Caribbean and began operation in January 2013. The Agency is well-placed to provide leadership on a number of issues requiring a regional response. These include:

  • Emergency responses to disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding);
  • The surveillance and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that have reached epidemic proportions such as obesity, cancer, heart disease and diabetes;
  • The surveillance and management of communicable diseases (CDs), including HIV / AIDS; re-emerging diseases, like tuberculosis in association with HIV/AIDS; and new communicable diseases that are now endemic in the region;
  • The surveillance and prevention of injuries, violence and job related illnesses;
  • Contribution to global health agreements and compliance with international health regulations.

The Agency is the Caribbean Region’s collective response to strengthening and reorienting our health systems so that we are equipped to address the changing nature of public health challenges. The approach is people-centred and evidence-based.

Duties and responsibilities

Under the guidance and direct supervision of a senior staff member of CARPHA, interns will be assigned projects and tasks that are relevant to their educational backgrounds and interests and provide them with an opportunity to apply and advance their knowledge and develop skills while supporting the implementation of CARPHA projects.

The internship will substantially increase understanding of the issues faced by a unique international health organization. Typical tasks will include literature review, data manipulation and analysis, policy research, and writing for reporting. Specific responsibilities will be based on each intern’s experience, knowledge, and skills and on project needs at the time of the internship.

Interns are expected to develop and strengthen their knowledge and understanding by reading relevant CARPHA and other regional publications.

Responsibilities for volunteers will depend upon the placement.

Learning opportunities

  • General understanding of the work and mission of CARPHA, the role of CARICOM and stakeholders and partners at regional and global level;
  • Insight and hands-on experience of CARPHA’s regional public health role;
  • Experience of working in an international organization and in a multicultural environment;
  • Opportunity to support delivery of activities that improve the health of the Caribbean people.

General Terms and Conditions

  • Age requirements: The minimum age requirement is 20 years for both interns and volunteers.
  • Both the Internship and Volunteer Programmes operate on a non-remunerative basis. Costs and arrangements for travel, visa, accommodation and living expenses are the responsibility of the volunteer, intern or the sponsoring institution.
  • Travel documents: Applicants are also responsible for obtaining the necessary visas and arranging their travel. They are required to have valid medical insurance cover for their stay.
  • The purpose of the Internship and Volunteer Programme is not to lead directly to further employment with CARPHA but to complement an intern’s studies. Therefore, there should be no expectation of employment at the end.
  • Volunteers and interns may not apply for posts advertised internally to CARPHA staff during the period they are with the Agency or for external posts three months following the end of their time with CARPHA.
  • Proficiency in the use of office-related software (MS Office), and excellent writing skills are essential.
  • Research skills are an asset. 
  • Fluency in English is essential. Knowledge of French and/or Spanish is an asset.

How to apply

Please submit your request in writing preferably at least three months in advance. Your application must include:

  • a covering letter (maximum 200 words) detailing the reasons for applying to CARPHA and your interest in public health
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae/resume that includes:
    • date of birth, age and gender;
    • job experience, previous internships or volunteer work.
  • two letters of reference (one each from your current academic supervisor and your most recent employer) to be sent directly by email, using their official university/organisation email address, to the contact email below. They should detail their post, department, University/Organisation and provide a telephone number (not mobile/cell number).
  • a writing sample, in English, that answers the question “Why did you pick this internship/volunteer programme? Did you consider alternatives? How are policy decisions arrived at in public health?” (maximum length 500 words).

In your covering email be sure to specify the exact dates of your availability and to provide your precise contact details (telephone, fax and/or e-mail).

Kindly submit your request by email with "CARPHA INTERNSHIPS" or “CARPHA VOLUNTEER”, as appropriate, in the header to: HRM@carpha.org. You may also use this email for enquiries.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.