Local recruitment: Climate Change, Water Security and Migration Research Intern

Mercy Corps

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸


INTERNSHIP TITLE: Climate Change, Water Security and Migration Research Intern

INTERN WORKSITE LOCATION:  Washington DC or US Remote (East Coast)

DATES OF INTERNSHIP:  April – December 2024




Mercy Corps responsibilities

For the duration of this internship assignment the intern will receive:

●  Training and supervisory support

●  Access to Mercy Corps online tools

●  All other tools, materials and communication requirements for this project 

Intern responsibilities

Intern will remain responsible for all costs associated with:

●   Laptop for working remotely 

●   Accommodation, travel and living expenses


Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.

Mercy Corps’ global strategy review identified climate change as the greatest long-term threat to global human wellbeing and one of the two primary drivers of suffering, poverty, and oppression globally over the next decade. Mercy Corps Vision 2030 challenges us to integrate considerations of climate risk and the urgency of the global climate emergency into all we do. As such, Mercy Corps is accelerating its programming, research, and advocacy on climate adaptation and related issues.

Mercy Corps works to influence the policy, priorities, practices, and debates that affect the people we serve in fragile contexts and complex humanitarian crises. Our most compelling influence is underpinned by substantive research on issues where we have expertise and a credible voice, combined with targeted and sustained engagement of policy makers, donors, peer organizations and other leaders.

Mercy Corps’ research team lead and leverage rigorous research to advance Mercy Corps’ learning, impact, and influence on critical program and policy issues. The HQ-based Research and Learning team is organized into five sub-teams that map onto priority research areas for our agency: Peace, Conflict, and Governance; Resilience; Food Security; Economic Opportunities; and Climate Change, Migration and Water Security. 

A key priority for Mercy Corps is to expand our research and influence on issues related to climate change. The climate research team are experiencing growing demand for research and evidence support from Mercy Corps program teams and policy and advocacy colleagues. At the same time, we are seeing a rapid growth in funding opportunities related to climate research. 

The climate, migration and water security research team are looking to recruit a research intern to support with the delivery of existing research projects and provide inputs into proposals for new research funding. The exact focus of this support will depend upon need as well as the interests and expertise of the intern. Possible projects include, supporting the development of an organization-wide water security evidence and learning agenda, providing inputs into high priority research on climate change adaptation in fragile and conflict affected contexts, undertaking research on the relationship between climate change and migration.   


  • Understanding the role of research in supporting development and humanitarian programs and policy and advocacy activities. 
  • Methods and analytical frameworks for exploratory, evaluative and policy research.
  • The relationship between key issues in international development and humanitarian response including climate change and conflict, climate and migration and climate and water security. 


  • .Undertake targeted literature reviews of academic and gray literature to inform ongoing Mercy Corps projects and ensure research is underpinned by the latest academic thinking and practice. Literature reviews will inform research projects on climate change and conflict, weather and climate information services, and migration. 
  • Compile, synthesize and analyze secondary data on key issues of relevance to Mercy Corps. These activities will support the delivery of existing research projects on climate change and conflict, and water security, and will feed into the development of position papers on a range of climate related topics including climate and migration and energy as an adaptation strategy.
  • Apply robust qualitative methods including key informant interviews and focus group discussions to support the development of program focused case studies. These case studies will inform synthesis research papers on climate change and conflict, and climate change and migration. 


  • University degree in progress or recently completed (within 1 year) in relevant discipline such as climate change, water security, or migration and displacement, with a focus on developing country or humanitarian contexts. Master’s degree in progress or recently completed preferred.
  • Understanding of key debates, policy issues, program theories, and academic discourse on climate issues.
  • Knowledge of quantitative and/or qualitative research methods. 
  • Work or research experience in developing country or humanitarian context.
  • Fluency in English is required; French, Spanish, or another second language preferred.

Mercy Corps interns represent the agency both during and outside of work hours and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Mercy Corps Diversity Statement  

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.  

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact. 

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

As part of our commitment to keeping our community safe and providing a safe working environment, Mercy Corps has a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for US interns based in Mercy Corps US HQ offices. Interns must be fully vaccinated per CDC requirement or have an approved exception, either (1) sincerely held religious convictions, or (2) a disability that prevents them from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination and comply with regular testing, within 10 business days of starting.  Failure to comply may impact your internship.  

Mercy Corps Headquarters: 45 SW Ankeny Street, Portland, Oregon 97204

Mercy Corps: https://www.mercycorps.org/

In your statement, you are encouraged to discuss any relevant experience, and demonstrate your interest. Your application will be reviewed by the Mercy Corps team and shortlisted candidates will be contacted directly for interviews.  




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