GOARN Internship Application Process



Overview of GOARN

The Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) is a global technical partnership established in 2000 by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a key mechanism to engage the resources of technical agencies beyond the United Nations for rapid identification, confirmation, risk assessment and response to major international public health emergencies. The main objective of the network is to provide technical support to WHO Member States experiencing a human health emergency due to the threat of an infectious disease outbreak, including those resulting from natural and manmade disasters. GOARN contributes towards global health security by: combating the international spread of outbreaks; ensuring that appropriate technical assistance reaches affected states rapidly; and, contributing to long-term epidemic preparedness and capacity building. Furthermore, GOARN directly strengthens coordination and collaboration for alert and response to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies via the deployment of experts, materials, and provision of technical guidance when requested by WHO.

Award Details

This GOARN internship consists of a 12-week (3-month) assignment working with the GOARN Operational Support Team at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Financial support will be provided by the Dr. Philip Smith World Health Organization Student Fund to cover internship travel, room, board, and other job-related in-country expenses.

Duties will include (but not limited to) support of response activities to public health emergencies and activities related to the 5 GOARN areas of work:


  1. Any UNMC COPH Student in a degree-seeking program (MPH, MS, MHA, PhD, DrPH), or graduate from one of those programs for whom the internship is within 6 months of graduation (this year, that would include December 2022 and Spring 2020 graduates).
  2. Current students must have a GPA of greater than 3.0 and be in good academic standing.
  3. Applicants must fulfill the requirements of the “Candidate Obligations” and “Eligibility” of the WHO Internship Programme. (https://www.who.int/careers/internship-programme)

Application Components and Instructions

  1. Narrative Questions
    1. What are your reasons for pursuing a career in Public Health? (400 words)
    2. What are your reasons for applying for this internship? (400 words)
      1. How does it relate to your career goals?
      2. How will it make a difference in achieving those goals?
    3. What training, skills, and experience (paid and unpaid, and including extracurricular activities) would prepare you to contribute to the GOARN team in a meaningful way? (400 words)
  2. CV or Resume
  3. Two (2) letters of recommendation detailing why you are a good fit for this specific internship. At least one letter should come from a CoPH faculty member

Responses to Narrative Questions and CV/Resumé should be assembled into one PDF document and e-mailed to Dr. Sharon Medcalf (smedcalf@unmc.edu).

Letters of recommendation should be sent directly to Dr. Medcalf by writers.

All documents must be received by midnight on December 31st. Note that successful candidates will be expected to present their experience to the College of Public Health upon their return.

The point of contact for all questions related to this internship is Dr. Sharon Medcalf (smedcalf@unmc.edu)