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The CSS/ISN Internship Program

The Center for Security Studies (CSS) and the International Relations and Security Network (ISN) offer up to 10 internships per year.

Interns contribute to the CSS' research agenda and to making the ISN a widely used open-source information platform for the international IR and security communities.

The program

Applicants may choose one of the following internship options:

  1. A full six-week internship at the ISN. (Note: This option is available during the winter [January to April] and the summer mid-May to early October].)
  2. A full six-week internship at the CSS (Note: This option is only available during the summer [mid-May to early October].)

Selected interns will work are the CSS' and ISN's offices in central Zurich. They will be provided with office space or facilities as appropriate for their work.

The work

Applicants choosing to intern with the ISN are expected to contribute to the organization's partner support, content acquisition, information management, and publishing activities. These include:

  • Searching for, cataloguing and indexing high-quality digital resources on a broad range of IR and security-related issues
  • Writing for the ISN Blog
  • Assisting with daily or special project editorial activities
  • Helping with the ISN's outreach, partnership and marketing activities

Applicants choosing to intern with the CSS are expected to play an active role in the work of the Center by:

  • Contributing to the CSS' existing research projects, which can focus on such issues as European security and defense, terrorism and political violence, environmental security, risk analysis, and critical infrastructure protection. Typically, interns are allocated to a project based on their experience and the needs of the CSS.
  • Assisting senior researchers with their research, editorial and networking activities
  • Co-authoring articles with CSS researchers

Who we are looking for?

Graduate students or undergraduate students in their final year who are specializing in international relations, political science, security studies, history or other related disciplines, and who have the following skills:

  • Excellent English (written and oral)
  • A good working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications
  • The ability to read and analyze content quickly and objectively
  • A detailed knowledge of current affairs
  • A strong, ego-free work ethic and the ability to learn quickly
  • Personal initiative and a willingness to participate in, and contribute to, the activities of the CSS or the ISN

Work permits

Please note that due to Swiss labor laws only EU-25/EFTA nationals (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom) may apply for an internship.

Funding and accommodation

All applicants must ensure they have sufficient funds to cover their living expenses (accommodations and daily living costs) before arriving in Zurich. The CSS and the ISN will then pay a stipend upon completion of the internship.

Aside from providing a short list of relevant links, neither the CSS nor the ISN can assist applicants in finding lodging in Zurich. Interns should therefore make any necessary arrangements prior to their arrival.

How to apply

If you would like to apply for an ISN Internship, please submit your complete online application via the ETH job portal, including the following items:

  • An application letter (a one-page statement of purpose outlining your research interests and why you would like to work at the ISN. Please indicate when you are able to start your internship.)
  • A resume (max 2 pages)
  • Copies of academic transcripts and/or certificates
  • One writing sample, e.g. a university paper or news article in English
  • Two letters of recommendation which should be sent separately by email or regular mail to the ISN Internship Manager.

If you would like to apply for a CSS Internship, please submit your online application and consult the CSS internship page for further information.

Applications for the winter 2016 ISN Internship Program will only be accepted between 1 and 30 September 2015.

 Applications for the summer 2016 CSS and ISN Internship Programs will only be accepted between 1 and 31 January 2016.

Applications outside these time periods are not possible since the online application window will be closed.

Successful candidates will be contacted by 31 October 2015 or 15 March 2016 respectively.

The contact information for recommendation letters is as follows:

ISN Internship Manager
 International Relations and Security Network (ISN)
 ETH Zurich
 Leonhardshalde 21, LEH
8092 Zurich, Switzerland

E-mail inquiries regarding the ISN Internship Program can also be addressed to the ISN Internship Manager.

Terms and conditions

  1. The CSS/ISN accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents or illness during the internship. Successful applicants should therefore make necessary health insurance arrangements prior to arriving in Zurich.
  2. The CSS/ISN accepts no responsibility for the loss of, or damage to, any personal items during the internship. Again, successful applicants should make necessary insurance arrangements prior to beginning their internship.
  3. All interns will abide by CSS/ISN rules and regulations and will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Failure to do so will result in the termination of the internship. Both the CSS and the ISN reserve the right to terminate an internship immediately.
  4. All interns will keep confidential any and all unpublished information made available during the course of the internship.
  5. Successful candidates must provide written notice in case of illness or other unavoidable circumstances that might prevent them from completing their internship.

Further information

For further information please read the FAQs or contact us.