Applications are now open for the 2024 World Trade Organization (WTO) Support (PhD Internship) Programme. The WTO Support Programme for Doctoral Studies (also known as the PhD Internship Programme) aims to support the development of academic expertise on WTO issues in developing countries. The WTO Secretariat invites doctoral students from developing countries to conduct research at the WTO and provides them with mentoring/advice in close collaboration with the students’ academic supervisors.

General functions

  • Participants in the PhD Internship Programme are expected to advance their doctoral thesis during their time at the WTO, taking advantage of access to WTO facilities and information as well as opportunities for interaction with the general trade policy community.
  • They are not expected to undertake assignments on behalf of the WTO Secretariat.
  • A mentor is allocated to the doctoral student for the duration of his/her internship.
  • The role of the mentor is to provide the student with advice, as required, in close collaboration with the student’s academic supervisors.
  • Before the end of the PhD Internship Programme, the participant is required to give a seminar on his/her work.


From three to six months.


A candidate must:

  • be a national of a WTO member state or a country or customs territory engaged in accession negotiations
  • be a national of a least-developed country (LDC) or a developing country
  • undertake a PhD or equivalent in economics, law, international relations or in a closely related WTO discipline
  • be in the final stage of his/her PhD and therefore at the writing-up stage (75% minimum completion) of the thesis
  • work in one of the three official languages of the WTO, i.e. English, French and Spanish.

Remuneration and benefits

Interns under the PhD Internship Programme receive a daily allowance of CHF 60 (including weekends and official holidays falling within the selected period). In addition, travel expenses (economy class air fare) to and from Geneva is covered by the WTO.

Medical health insurance coverage is mandatory in Switzerland, and interns are responsible for organizing their own health insurance prior to commencing their internship at the WTO.

Method of Application

Candidates who wish to participate in the WTO Support Programme for Doctoral Studies are invited to fill out the application form and submit the required documents.

Additional information

The granting of an internship does not entail the right to a vacancy in another part of the Secretariat. Interns may nevertheless apply for external vacancies.

For More Information,

Visit the Official Webpage