• Last updated: 12 Apr. 2011 12:15

NATO Internship Programme

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the NATO Internship Programme?

    The NATO Internship Programme was introduced in 2004. It has four main objectives:

    • To provide interns with an opportunity to learn from the NATO community and get a thorough understanding and balanced view of the Organisation.
    • To provide the Organisation with access to the latest theoretical and technical knowledge that the intern can apply through practical work assignments, as well as with additional staff resources.
    • To expand the understanding of NATO in Alliance countries.
    • To contribute to creating a more diverse workforce.

    Internships are offered in the following NATO Divisions:

    • Defence Investment
    • Defence Policy and Planning
    • Executive Management
    • NATO Office of Security
    • Operations
    • Political Affairs and Security Policy
    • Public Diplomacy.
  • What are typical tasks of interns?

    Tasks will depend on your background, the Division to which you are assigned, and the period during which you will do your internship. In the past, interns have been assigned the following duties:

    • Assistance in drafting and preparing official documents.
    • Attending and summarising council and committee meetings or conferences.
    • Research.
    • Supporting public relations.
    • Media analysis.
    • Supporting technical and administrative services.
  • When can I do an internship?

    There is only one call for applications per year: from April until July for the following year.  Dates are always available under the Applications Section of the Internship Programme webpage.

    Once a Call for Applications has been closed, the selection process starts usually in July. All candidates will be notified by e-mail. 

    Internships start in March and September and last in principle 6 months. Exceptions will only be granted in case of urgent Divisional requirements and for candidates holding a grant or a scholarship. Even then, internships should last at least five months.

  • Who is eligible to apply?

    In order to apply for an internship at NATO, you must fulfill all criteria outlined below:

    • Age: you must be over 21 years of age at the time of your application.
    • Nationality: you must be a citizen of a NATO member state.
    • Educational Status: you must be a university student or a recent graduate (in other words, you have obtained your highest degree less than a year ago).
    • Studies: if you are currently studying, you must have successfully completed at least two years of post-secondary studies and be enrolled in your third year at the time of your application.
    • Languages: you must be thoroughly proficient in at least one of the official languages of the organization (English and French).

    Nationals of NATO partner countries (PfP/EAPC) should contact their delegation at NATO HQ directly for information on internships. More information is available at the following link: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/51288.htm

  • Can I apply if my country is not a NATO Member State?

    No, only nationals/citizens of NATO Member States can apply to the NATO Internship Programme.

    Nationals of NATO Partner Countries (PfP/EAPC) who would like to do an internship at NATO through a parallel programme, should contact their delegations at NATO HQ directly for information on options for internships.

  • Are there any additional requirements?

    • Insurance: Interns are responsible for their own health and accident insurance. They may, however, be covered at their request and their expense by accident insurance for occupational risks (invalidity/death) during the period of internship.
    • Administrative Formalities with Belgian Authorities: Interns will be responsible for fulfilling all administrative formalities required by the host nation. In December 2006, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to introduce a special ID card for all temporary staff, consultants and interns. Thus, you do not need a visa for your internship but if you are from a non-EU country you will need a tourist visa to enter Belgium.
  • How can I apply?

    You can find more information about the NATO Internship Programme and application procedures on the NATO Internship Programme main page.

    In order to apply, you are asked to submit:

    • to fill out the on-line Application Form at:
    • a CV
    • a Letter of Motivation (500 words) indicating why you want to participate in the Internship Programme and why you chose a specific Division

    Please note that we will only consider electronically submitted applications and that we cannot deal with phone, mail or fax enquires. Incomplete applications will not be processed. Due to the high number of applications we will not be able to get back to you in case information is missing. Applications arriving after the deadline will not be considered.

  • Can I join the Internship Programme if I hold a scholarship or grant?

    Yes. If you hold a grant or scholarship for your internship at NATO HQ or you join through a National Programme, you are not bound by the specific application and onboarding deadlines. All regulations except rules concerning payment or related to payment, do apply to these interns as well.

    You can simply fill out the on-line Application Form, submit your CV and a letter of motivation (500 words). Please take into account the Security Clearance Process that depends on your national authorities and might take from eight weeks to 18 months.

  • Are there any specific security requirements?

    Depending on the type of work to be performed, participation in the Internship Programme will normally be subject to receipt of an appropriate security clearance from your national authorities. The required time to receive the Security Clearance depends on the national rules of NATO Member States and may take from eight weeks to 18 months.

    The clearance process starts once you have been selected. You will receive a “Pink Form” to fill in and to return by mail to NATO HQ in Brussels. Your national delegation will contact you with regard to your national procedures.

    Thus, you are strongly recommended to return all documents required as soon as possible and not to make any travel arrangements before having received your clearance.

  • Are NATO internships paid?

    Remuneration:  Interns receive a lump sum of € 800 per month. The salary is not exempt from taxation. Interns may receive emoluments from outside sources (such as scholarships or grants).

    Travel: Interns will be reimbursed for their travel expenses on taking up duty and on leaving the service based on a return economy ticket and for an amount of up to 1,200 Euros.

  • What are my chances of employment at NATO after the internship?

    Internships are not directly linked to recruitment. However, interns may be recruited after completing their internship as long as the conditions and rules established for employment in the category of staff in which he/she will be recruited have been fully respected and applied.

  • What are my obligations and responsibilities?

    Interns are required to exercise the utmost discretion regarding facts and information that comes to their knowledge during their internship. They remain covered by this obligation after the internship. The Organisation reserves the right to terminate the internship and take action against an intern who does not respect this obligation.

    Interns are not permitted to draw files from registries. The Head of Division/Office will assess the need for access to classified information in both paper and electronic form.

  • What can do if I fail the eligibility screening by mistake ?

    Unfortunately the information provided under Eligibility cannot be changed or deleted.

    Please be informed that every candidate bears responsibility for the information provided as it creates a disadvantage for other candidates.

    Our eligibility criteria are outlined very clearly on our website. In addition, we warn candidates upfront with the following statement:

    ‘’Please read and answer the questions below very carefully, as these will determine your compliance with eligibility criteria for an application for one of the two internship sub-programmes. Failure to meet any of the above criteria will automatically prevent you from proceeding any further with your application. It is your responsibility as a candidate to respond to these questions accurately.’’