Communications and Public Outreach Intern

Organizational Unit: Communications and Public Information
Duty station: Ottawa, Montréal or Toronto, Canada
Duration of the internship: 3 months
Expected start date: 1 October 2020

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is the world’s leading organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. We work to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home, and we provide shelter, food, water, medical care and other life-saving assistance to refugees around the world.
UNHCR is seeking an enthusiastic Communications and Public Outreach Intern who is a solid, multi-purpose writer with a keen interest in developing content for both specialized and general audiences. This is a unique opportunity to gain experience within an international humanitarian organization, working with the Communications and Public Information team to raise the profile of UNHCR’s work through the creation of a wide array of communications materials. Whether it’s crafting copy for a public outreach campaign or helping conduct research for high-level briefing notes, this role will provide insight and experience in communications work as well as administrative and team support. It sits alongside a second intern role, focused on social media and digital engagement.

Duties and responsibilities
• Support with general writing requirements and editing as needed, including by producing briefing notes and talking points for a high-level audience;
• Take complex information and package it in plain language for the general public;
• Conduct interviews and write compelling stories for publication on digital platforms;
• Conduct research on current refugee issues and provide key points and summaries in support of wider communications material;
• Assist with creative partnerships, including drafting research and attending relevant meetings;
• Help drafting creative pitches for relevant public outreach and advocacy campaigns, and provide support throughout their life cycles, including by using digital campaign tools;
• Create, work with and update databases and media lists;
• Manage email, filing, and administrative duties as required;
• Complete other duties as assigned.

Minimum qualifications required
• Excellent written and oral communication skills, with a strong capacity to provide accurate information clearly and concisely;
• Proven experience in writing for a wide variety of supports for both internal and external audiences, or keen interest in learning how to do so;
• Keen eye for a good story, and high level of maturity and diplomacy when conducting interviews;
• Strong organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to learn quickly;
• Capable of multi-tasking with several competing requests and effectively manage priorities;
• Comfortable learning and demonstrating problem-solving skills to complete project deliverables;
• Proven ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment;
• Functions effectively in a virtual team environment, with strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills;
• Basic knowledge of public policies around refugee issues, and motivation to work in mobilizing the public in support of refugees;
• Bilingualism (English/French) is a strong asset.

In order to be considered for an internship, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:
• Recent graduate (those persons who completed their studies within one year of applying) or current student in a graduate/undergraduate school programme from a university or higher education facility accredited by UNESCO; and
• Have completed at least two years of undergraduate studies in a field relevant or of interest to the work of the Organization.
An individual whose father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister is a staff member of UNHCR, including a Temporary Appointment holder or a member of the Affiliate Workforce, is not eligible for an internship.

Interns who do not receive financial support from an outside party will receive an allowance to partially help to cover the cost of food, local transportation and living expenses.

To apply
Interested candidates should submit their CV along with a motivation letter by email to by 11 September 2020. We welcome portfolios or work samples. Please indicate the title of the position in the subject line of your message. Shortlisted candidates will be required to fill out a UN Personal History Form (P11).

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions.
UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.