IMO Internship Programme

The Programme  

The International Maritime Organization welcomes students who wish to apply for an internship at its Headquarters in London. IMO internships are research centred. The Programme does not provide opportunities for students to be attached to the Secretariat to obtain work or practical experience. 

Objectives of the Programme

The IMO Internship Programme is solely designed for students undertaking research in activities relating to the work of the Organization for the main purpose of writing their dissertation or to further their own research. While conducting their research at the Organization, interns will also have the opportunity to observe and gain insight into the functioning of a United Nations organization. Interns may meet IMO experts and observe the proceedings of committees or governing bodies of the Organization, when appropriate.  


The IMO Internship Programme can only accommodate a limited number of students.  Therefore, acceptance into the Programme is on a 'first come, first served basis' based on fulfilment of the eligibility criteria set out below.

Students must have a university degree and be enrolled in a Master’s or Ph.D. programme. 

Applicants are considered for internship at the request of their governments, appropriate governmental authorities (if the country concerned is a Member State of IMO), or at the request of universities or institutions of higher education.

 Applicants must provide a summary of their research, clearly indicating the specific areas of the Organization's work to which their research pertains. IMO is not an academic or research organization. Applicants are advised to check the Maritime Knowledge Centre (MKC) Online Catalogue to verify whether there is sufficient material within the MKC collection to support their research. In addition, IMODOCS, the IMO Document repository, should be consulted. Current IMO official meetings documents are available in IMODOCS.

Interns are expected to conduct research on the topic indicated in their application.

Accepted interns wishing to change their research topics must advise the Organization prior to commencing their internship; failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of their placement.

Applicants must have a working knowledge of at least one of the Organization's official languages (English, French or Spanish).


Internships are offered for periods of two weeks to a maximum of three months. Starting dates are at the beginning of the month and mid-month.  

Location and hours

While at IMO, interns are based in the Maritime Knowledge Centre (MKC). Interns are expected to follow the working hours of the Organization and to be present between 9:00 am and 5:30 weekdays.  


Interns are responsible for obtaining and financing the necessary visas or other documents for entering the United Kingdom. The Organization will not assist in these processes.

Costs Incurred

IMO internships are unpaid. Interns or their sponsoring institutions are responsible for the cost of travel, insurance, accommodation and living expenses. As IMO accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness incurred during the internship, applicants are advised to obtain health insurance coverage.


The acceptance of students for the internship at IMO is subject to the clear understanding that their stay does not entail financial implications, legal obligations or liabilities for the Organization. Applications must be accompanied by signed agreements to this effect from the government agency or academic institution supporting the applicant, as well as from the applicants.

Interns are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner compatible with a United Nations environment

Students who publish a Master's or PhD thesis/dissertation subsequent to their IMO internship are required to submit a print and/or digital copy to the Maritime Knowledge Centre.


Subject to regular attendance, a Certificate of Attendance will be issued at the end of the internship.

An IMO Research Internship offers a unique opportunity to gain exposure to the work of a specialized United Nations Agency. Observing the  Organization's meetings, interacting with IMO's technical officers and staff, and meeting other students as well as maritime and shipping experts enhances the period of internship at the Organization.