Internships at the GIGA

  • Internship at the GIGA Information Centre

    The GIGA Information Centre offers internships to students of library and information sciences, as well as to students enrolled in social science programmes with a regional focus, who are interested in gaining experience in a specialist library with integrated discipline-specific information.

    Interns at the Information Centre will learn about our STAR | Libraries library management system as well as the key work processes in a specialist library, namely:

    • developing inventory (i.e., selecting and acquiring printed and electronic media)

    • cataloguing books, book and magazine essays, Internet publications (full texts), and other publications in the K10plus union catalogue

    • indexing content with an international thesaurus in the specialist database Word Affairs Online (WAO)

    • managing journals and licences

    • supporting users

    • researching in the OPAC, the specialist database, and IREON

    • procuring and delivering documents (e.g., interlibrary loan)

    Depending on the student’s area of interest and language skills, the internship can be located in one of the regional sub-libraries (Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, or the Middle East). Alternatively, the internship can focus on a separate project, for example, in the fields of information technology development or library and information science. The GIGA Information Centre will work with the student to further develop ideas and support the intern in implementing them.

    The minimum period of an internship is two months. Unfortunately, we cannot cover expenses or offer any other form of payment.

    To apply, please send an informal email with a tabular CV and information about your current course of study, language skills, and areas of interest. Please also specify the time period during which you would like to undertake your internship with us (if possible, provide alternative dates).

    Please note: Due to the current Corona situation, we regret that it will probably not be possible to carry out an internship at the Information Centre in 2021.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Urte Schneider.

    We are also keen to provide topics for practice-based theses or run work-based projects together with you. If you are interested, please contact Jan Lüth, Head of the GIGA Information Centre.

    Internship at the GIGA Institute for African Affairs

    The GIGA Institute for African Affairs offers internships to students in their master’s studies who are excited about our research. Interns at GIGA will receive comprehensive insights into the daily work of their supervising researchers and research projects. Interns are invited to all events of the Africa institute as well as many additional seminars, talks and courses taking place at the GIGA. Internships are supposed to be a learning experience. Therefore, based on their skills and interests, interns can contribute to ongoing project work or propose an original research contribution.

    Requirements and general conditions

    • Candidates must be enrolled in a master’s program at an EU-university (preferably in social sciences, economics, African studies or a related field).

    • Fluency in English (written and spoken) is a requirement, other language skills, such as German or languages spoken in Africa, are an asset.

    • Former internships or work experience are not a requirement.

    • The duration of an internship can range between a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of three months.

    • The internship is unpaid.

    • Part-time internships can be discussed on individual basis with the intern’s direct supervisor. Candidates, who rely on a part-time job or have child care responsibilities, are thus equally encouraged to apply for an internship. The maximum length of three months, however, remains.

    • Due to the pandemic, we also offer remote internships.

    Application procedure

    The application documents should be written in English and include a cover letter, a tabular CV (without photo), an academic transcript, and optionally references from relevant prior work experience.

    In your cover letter you should clearly articulate in which research projects and with which researchers you would prefer working during your internship period. Being able to show how your interests (for instance, stays abroad, extracurricular activities, classes taken, career ambitions) and skills (for instance of language, coding or literature) correspond to specific IAA projects is key to evaluating your application. We value enthusiasm and a pro-active attitude, so, use the cover letter to show your excitement about our research and state your motivation for the internship clearly.

    Information on projects and researchers is available here. Note that associated scientists do not provide internship supervision. Please, also mention your desired time period.

    Internship at the GIGA Institute for Asian Studies

    The GIGA Institute for Asian Studies awards a limited number of internship places to students of social sciences and regional studies. We always endeavour to provide our interns with a broad overview of our activities at the institute. Interns will also have the opportunity to author their own research article.

    It is possible to undertake an internship in either the field of research or the library. Those interested in an internship should at least hold a BA in a relevant discipline. Study programmes in regional and social sciences as well as political science with a focus on Asia are predominantly considered. We also offer distance and hybrid internships.

    The internship is unpaid. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide interns with any financial remuneration. Intern must finance themselves throughout their internships and are responsible for arranging their own accommodation.

    Possible fields of work include, among others

    • research assistance

    • involvement in research projects (both in consultation with the relevant staff member)

    Your application should include an informal cover letter in English indicating your preferred start date and internship duration, a tabular CV, and your university transcripts. In addition, you should provide the names of two researchers with whom you would most like to undertake your internship. Please note that associated academics do not take on internship supervision.

    Internship at the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies

    The GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies offers a limited number of students the opportunity to complete an internship during the semester or a semester break. Economic and social sciences, political science, and economic geography are the primary areas of study considered.

    An internship at the institute provides insights into the work of a regionally oriented research and information centre. Trainees will be involved in ongoing information and research projects, with the possibility of making an independent scientific contribution.


    • Completed or almost completed undergraduate studies

    • Good language skills in English, Spanish, and/or Portuguese

    • Interest in questions related to economic, social, and political development in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean

    • Knowledge of a Latin American country or subregion (e.g., through detailed research as part of a term paper or through impressions gained during study visits)

    • Interest in and knowledge of developmental issues

    • Statistical knowledge if possible

    The internship is unpaid. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide interns with any financial remuneration. Interns must finance themselves throughout their internships and are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. The duration of an internship should be at least two months and cannot exceed three months. A university enrolment certificate valid at the time of the internship is absolutely necessary.

    Written applications must be sent at least six months in advance of the start date and should include the following documents:

    • A letter of motivation stating with which researcher and in which research field – connected with the researcher – you wish to complete the internship (justification), as well as the desired dates (with alternatives if possible). Please note that associate researchers and doctoral researchers do not undertake internship supervision.

    • Tabular CV

    • Other supporting documents (certificates, etc.)

    Internship at the GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies

    The GIGA Institute for Middle East Studies focuses on current socio-political developments in the area between North Africa and the Middle East. Within this framework, the institute regularly offers a limited number of internships to students of regional studies and social sciences, which can be undertaken during the academic semester or during the semester break. Through our internships we aim to provide students with the best possible insights into the scientific work and decision-making structures of our institute. The specific arrangement of each internship will be primarily determined by the institute’s current workload and the student’s respective qualifications and interests.

    We offer two-month internships (January/February, March/April, etc.). Please note that you can only apply for these periods. Unfortunately, the institute cannot offer any financial remuneration to interns. You also have to arrange your own accommodation in Hamburg during the internship.


    • enrolled at a university during the internship

    • completed Grundstudium (basic studies) or bachelor's degree

    • interest in the social, political, and economic development of North African and Middle Eastern countries

    • interest in and knowledge of development-theory and/or political-science issues that relate to the Middle East

    • good level of English and French or another regional language

    • good computer skills (e.g. word processing and production of tables)

    Possible duties:

    • research and analysis (under guidance of a scholar)

    • assisting with the preparation of workshops, conferences, and meetings

    • carrying out preliminary work for research projects and our Research Programmes

    • contributing to scientific articles (e.g. GIGA Focus Middle East or GIGA Working Paper)

    • translating texts

    Written applications must be submitted in English no later than four months before the desired internship start date and should include:

    • an informal covering letter detailing your motivation for wanting to undertake an internship at our institute (e.g. your engagement in Middle East–related topics, stays in the region, etc.) and your preferred internship period (if possible, provide alternative periods)

    • a CV (German tabular style)

    • any additional documents which will support your application (references, certificates, etc.).

    Team GIGA

    There are currently over 90 highly qualified scholars conducting research at the GIGA. The research carried out at the GIGA is supported by staff in the three main departments GIGA Information Centre, Publications and Communications and Administration.


    Join the GIGA team! Here you can find our current vacancies in the academic and service departments as well as information on our Doctoral and Visiting Fellow Programme, career development, and training.

    Diversity and Equal Opportunities

    As an independent, internationally oriented institution with a global approach to scholarship, the GIGA is highly committed to diversity, equal opportunities, and the reconciliation of work and family life. Learn more about our institutional culture.

    Sustainability at the GIGA

    The GIGA sees sustainability as an important guiding principle informing its entire operations. Through its research and other activities, the GIGA strives to support society’s responses to the major challenges of today. Find more information on sustainability at the GIGA here.


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