IPSF Call for World Health Organization – Patient Safety and Risk Management Internship 2019


About WHO Patient Safety

Established on 7 April 1948, The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United  Nations  with  the  function  to  act  as  the  directing  and  coordinating  authority  on international health work.

In  October  2004  WHO  launched  a  patient  safety  programme  in  response  to  a  World  Health Assembly  Resolution  (2002)  with  the  aims  of  coordinating,  disseminating  and  accelerating improvements in patient safety worldwide. WHO’s strategic objectives in the area  of patient safety are to provide global leadership for patient safety and to harness knowledge, expertise and innovation to improve patient safety in health care settings. WHO’s unique convening role at the global level provides a vehicle for improving patient safety and managing risk in health care   through   international   collaboration,   engagement   and   coordinated   actions   between Member  States,  institutions,  technical  experts,  patients,  civil  society,  industry,  as  well  as development partners and other stakeholders.

WHO  has  been  instrumental  in  shaping  the  patient  safety  agenda  worldwide  by  providing leadership, setting priorities, convening experts, fostering collaboration and creating networks, issuing guidance, facilitating change and building capacity, and monitoring trends by placing the patient at the centre of improvement strategies for safer health care.

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Please read more at for WHO internship information.


Scope of the internship

This internship offers the opportunity to work in the Patient Safety and Risk Management Unit (PSU),  under  the  supervision  of  the  Coordinator,  Dr  Neelam  Dhingra-Kumar.  The  intern  will contribute to one or more projects concerning medication safety, education & training (how to create and promote multidisciplinary teams), global patient safety networks and partnerships (how to strengthen interaction among the  global patient  safety community); monitoring  and evaluating  impact  (WHO Global Patient  Safety  Challenge),  safety  and quality  culture, patient safety  incident  reporting  and  learning  (how  reporting  impacts  quality  improvement),  and healthcare  risk  management.  The  main  responsibilities  of  the  intern  include:  participation  in meetings, taking notes, and liaising with external experts.


Candidate Profile

The intern should have the following skills/attributes:

●     To be able to work together in a team and respect fellow colleagues;

●     To have an excellent command of English in both written and verbal communication;

●     Keen interest in public health;

●     Self-motivated and demonstrates ability to use initiative.



WHO may accept applicants who meet all the following conditions as interns:


●     Enrolled in a course of study at a university or equivalent institution leading to a formal qualification (graduate  or postgraduate) (applicants who have already graduated may also qualify for consideration provided that they start the internship within six months after completion of their formal qualification);

●     To have completed three years of full-time studies and be at least twenty years old at the time at the time of application;

●     Applicants who are fluent in English and preferably in other WHO working languages e.g.

French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian, or Spanish;

●     Applicants   who   are   not   related   to   a   staff   member   of   WHO   (e.g.   son/daughter, brother/sister or mother/father);

●     Applicants should not have previously participated in WHO’s internship programme.


Terms and Condition of Internship

When accepting an internship, the intern agrees to:


●     Conduct themselves at all times in accordance with the standards of conduct expected of a person working in an international environment;

●     Refrain from any conduct that would adversely reflect on IPSF or WHO and not engage

in any activity that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of either organization;

●     Not disclose or make use of any unpublished or confidential information that comes to their knowledge in the course of their internship;

●     Not  disclose  any  circumstances  that  could  give  rise  to  a  potential  conflict  of  interest related to the subject of the activity in which they will be involved during the course of their assignment (Declaration of Interest);

●     Follow the IPSF Internship Guideline for Interns and do as required on the guideline;

●     Devote themselves full-time to the assignments of the receiving unit for the period of the internship.

Please consider your visa requirements before applying.


When offering an internship, WHO agrees to:

●     Review  progress  regularly  and  provide  adequate  feedback  and  coaching/mentoring during the internship.

●     Provide office space and related support facilities to enable the intern to undertake the assignment;

     Not sign any agreements, proposed or required by a sponsor, university or equivalent institution;

     Prepare a written evaluation of the  intern's performance  and provide the  intern with feedback at the end of the internship;

     WHO internships are not paid. Travel costs, travel arrangements (including visas), and living accommodations are the responsibility of the intern.


Internship Location and Expected Dates

The intern will be based in WHO Patient Safety and Risk Management Secretariat, Avenue Appia 20 CH-1211 Geneva 27 Switzerland

     Duration of the internship: a minimum period of 12 weeks and a maximum period of 24 weeks.

     Internship will  be  allocated  for  the  above  duration starting  within the  period  of  April 2019.


Application Guideline

All IPSF members who meet and comply with the requirements above are eligible to apply. WHO PSU will be responsible for the final selection of applicant(s). Successful applicant(s) undertaking an internship will not be financially remunerated by IPSF. The applicant(s) will be responsible for their own accommodation and travel expenses.


As part of the application, please submit:

-    A curriculum vitae (CV) in English (maximum 2 pages);

-    Confirmation of membership in IPSF (from your Contact Person or from the IPSF Internal

Relations Chairperson if you are an Individual Member);

-     A  cover  letter  in  support  of  the  application  mentioning  the  areas  of  interest  and motivation for applying (maximum 2 pages);

-    Enrollment letter from University (certified by Dean or Head of study programme) or a

diploma for recent graduates.


Please submit electronic copies of your full application to Ms. Bidhata Khatri, IPSF Internship Coordinator, at [email protected] no later than 8 February 2019 23:59 GMT +0. Please use the subject line “WHO Patient Safety Internship 2019”. Only PDF format of all applications will be accepted and applications will only be considered if all relevant documents are included.


IPSF will complete the 1st round selection process and WHO PSU will make the final selection.


If you have any questions about the internship, please do not hesitate to contact IPSF Internship Coordinator  at  [email protected]  or  IPSF  Chairperson  of  Pharmacy  Education,  Mr.  Daniel Semmy at [email protected].