• Last updated: 27 Mar. 2023 14:39

NATO Internship Programme

Application and selection process

We invite you to use the e-recruitment system, TALEO, to submit your application. We are unable to accept spontaneous applications, or applications sent by mail or email.

To apply for a NATO internship, you must submit your application during the open call, which takes place from April to May every year.

We encourage you to apply well in advance of the deadline! It may take us up to three working days to address any requests for support (including for technical issues). Therefore, if you contact us on the final day of application period, we may not be able to respond before the portal is closed.

You do not have to fill in the entire application form in a single session. You can save your information as a draft and log in later to amend and/or finalise it until the closing date. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date.

In your application, please provide as many relevant details as possible for the position you are interested in. We advise you to read the requirements of each internship position carefully, and to apply only if you meet those requirements. You may apply to a maximum of three positions.

Selection process

What happens once you have submitted your application through NATO's e-recruitment portal?

  1. Application review

The screening and evaluation of applications are conducted in May and June.Your application is reviewed by the Internship Programme Office to ensure that you meet the required qualifications of the position(s) for which you applied before being referred to hiring managers. If your application is not successful at this stage, you will be informed.

  1. Selection

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted in May or June and invited for an interview. Final selections will be made between July and September. Successful candidates will be invited to begin their internships either in March or September of the following year. If selected, the start date of your internship will be determined based on the needs of the NATO body and your availability.

  1. Offer and security clearance

If selected for an internship, you will receive a conditional offer letter via your TALEO account stating the period of internship, the internship placement you have been selected for, and documents you must complete in order for NATO to launch your security clearance procedure. Unsuccessful candidates at this stage will be informed.

The security clearance procedure varies from one country to another, but takes on average between six to eight months to complete. You will be responsible for following your progress via your national delegation to NATO. Contact information for your delegation will be provided in your conditional offer letter. You must gain a security clearance prior to the start of your internship. In the event that the security clearance procedure takes longer than expected, it may be possible to postpone the start date of your internship.

Additional requirements before your start date:

Upon the start of your internship, you must prove that you have obtained health insurance for the duration of your internship. You will be required to fill out a request form for a special identity card and submit it to NATO's Privileges and Immunities Office, which will liaise with the Belgian authorities. This special identity card will serve as a residence permit during your stay in Belgium. You are exempt from this procedure if you hold Belgian citizenship.

Employment after completion of your internship:

Internship placements do not guarantee further employment by NATO. In order to gain employment by NATO at any point following your internship, you must participate in the standard recruitment process.


See below an indicative timeline for the application and acceptance procedure. Due to a high number of applications, dates may vary slightly.

Online Application

April – May



Final Selection

July to September

On-boarding Period

Main intakes take place in March and September of the year following the application, depending on the security clearance procedure. For example, if your application in April 2024 is successful, your starting date will be 1 March or 1 September 2025. The security clearance procedure varies from one country to another, but takes on average between six to eight months to complete.