Writing and research voluntary remote internships

  • Anywhere
Organization: Shelter Centre
Closing date: 27 Nov 2022

This internship is to participate in humanitarian projects directly with leading agencies, such as our ongoing review and update of the current shelter and settlement training for InterAction, for applicants seeking to explore a career in the humanitarian sector.

Young professionals with a range of skills wishing to contribute remotely to humanitarian activities are sought to join a dynamic and diverse global team for full-time internships, although applications are welcome also from candidates who have some prior commitments but are available almost full-time. The reason for this is that we work in teams and it otherwise becomes difficult to arrange meetings across availability and time zones.

We seek passionate and motivated, well-organised, results-oriented professionals with a strong interest in the humanitarian sector. Candidates will have experience in writing and research.

In addition to technical capability, teamwork, empathy, and the ability to function and add value in overcoming challenges is essential to join a dynamic and diverse global team. The successful candidate(s) will remotely join and support a talented and diverse multiskilled global humanitarian team.

The intern will be mainly involved in research, the review and development of training materials, proposal development and report writing.


Shelter Centre, www.sheltercentre.org, is a small international humanitarian NGO registered in Switzerland that does not implement operations alone but instead collaborates with agencies in direct support of their operations, as well as building capacity in the sector. Shelter Centre is dedicated to supporting collaboration, consensus, and capacity throughout the global technical humanitarian community of practice. We serve the global technical community of practice through regular global practitioners’ events and resources.

These voluntary positions are for those committed to a future career in humanitarian action, seeking experience and opportunities to inform their decisions in identifying directions. Our people are the foundation of our work and we offer weekly bilateral personal development opportunities. Giving the opportunity of professional growth, former volunteers have gone on to work with donors, UN agencies, the Red Cross Movement, NGOs, and CSOs.

Additionally, volunteers are expected to contribute to a series of ongoing projects, including but not limited to:

  • reviewing and updating for InterAction a shelter and settlement online training course, which is the most popular sector training worldwide, offered free online
  • knowledge management through the Humanitarian Library, an innovative inter-agency inter-sector knowledge management platform developed with funding from USAID by supporting the team’s efforts to surface and share practical guidelines, evidence, and learning from our activities and other organisations activities.
  • concept development of innovative new emergency shelter approaches

Main responsibilities and tasks

Informed by preliminary feedback, the intern will participate in the development of the various projects mentioned. This may involve activities including, but not limited to:

  • understanding the contexts and audiences of projects, as Shelter Centre always recognises affected populations as the primary responders
  • development of a shelter and settlement online training course
  • attend various meetings and workshops with government, international organisations and NGOs
  • data and document management
  • collaborate on report writing
  • review of existing drafts and implementing revisions
  • secondary internship activities

Applicants should also be flexible and motivated to work on other projects and activities, which may range from supporting operational technical work to collaborations with agencies.

Desired education, interests, skills, and experience

  • ideally, a university (or accredited professional institution) degree involving structured research
  • interest or experience in working at a national level, around the world, in the private sector, humanitarian sector, or civil society
  • interest or experience working within varied cultures around the world and in remote areas
  • interest or experience in project management
  • knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research and analysis methods and ease with handling quantitative data and in statistical analysis
  • fluency in French, Spanish, Arabic or other languages is an added value
  • understanding of humanitarian crises

Required education, skills, and experience

  • commitment to humanitarian action
  • self-starters with strong self-motivation and self-discipline, with practical experience in working independently
  • excellent research and writing skills, including methodologies and analysis
  • strong organisational skills and demonstrated experience in project management, multi-tasking, prioritising, and working accurately to set deadlines
  • proven ability to work effectively and harmoniously in a team of colleagues of varied cultural and professional backgrounds
  • fluent spoken and written English (minimum Level C1 proficiency)
  • general computer literacy, including in Microsoft Office and Google Drive

What do interns get?

Interns are the foundation to Shelter Centre’s work and weekly personal development opportunities are offered in exchange. The interns are further supported by their manager through a personal weekly mentoring session including the review of curricula vitae, cover letters, job opportunities, references, and writing personal reports. The team also benefits from regular personal development events involving external speakers, conferences, celebrations, and other activities organised by and at the request of the interns.


We are seeking full-time or part-time volunteers, to work remotely a total of 35 or 20 hours per week respectively, taking into consideration different time zones. Flexibility is a key consideration, bearing in mind that the Shelter Centre team is based and operates across multiple time zones to support our stakeholders and constituents from the disaster/conflict front lines to the headquarters of donors and agencies. Please ensure that you specify your core time availability and any flexibility in your application. The availability sought is a minimum of three months. Please note that applicants willing to undertake a full-time internship will be prioritised over those only able to commit to a part-time internship

The positions are virtual, meaning interns will work from home. Shelter Centre will only consider applications from individuals who hold or are likely to obtain a valid permit that allows them to reside and undertake internships in their country of work. Shelter Centre has been working online across the globe by developing a collaborative way of working for over a decade.

Successful candidates will bear their own insurance, accommodation, and living costs. Travel is not required.

How to apply

To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter which describes how you meet the ToR above to recruitment@sheltercentre.org

Closing date: 27th November 2022 (22h00, Geneva time, CET)



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