HCSS General Internship (CLOSED)

The HCSS internship is a dynamic and varied opportunity in research, analysis, data, communication, design, networking, copy writing, and policy development. We are an independent think tank specialized in global trends, security, and geo-economics. Interns contribute to high-impact products for clients including governments, international organizations, research organizations, the private sector, and NGOs.

HCSS is looking for talented interns all year round; the next positions will open in JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023. The deadline for applying is 09-12-2022. 

The HCSS internship offers an excellent springboard for future careers in a wide range of fields, interns are involved as full-fledged team members in research-projects. Activities can range from conducting background research, data collection and analysis, co-writing reports and papers, to being involved in the organization of workshops and conferences. This way, interns gain valuable work experience in a professional environment, which helps them in their future development and careers in both the public and private sector. Also, the HCSS internship offers the opportunity to build and expand your professional network. Want to know more about the experience of HCSS general interns? Look out for the HCSS Internship Blogs entries from our current interns!


Candidates should have a first rate academic background, strong transferable skills, and a keen interest in the topics covered by HCSS research.

Further requirements include:

  • A strong basis of analytical, writing and synthesizing skills
  • Ability to think creatively and out-of-the-box
  • Very good communication skills in English, both orally and in writing.
  • Knowledge of advanced internet search strategies
  • Ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment
  • Flexibility and ability to multi-task
  • Positive professional attitude
  • Strong work ethic and willingness to learn
  • Some quantitative research skills

The following attributes are considered a strong asset:

  • Prior work or internship experience
  • Proficiency in Dutch, Arabic or other languages
  • Being a native English speaker
  • Strong quantitative research skills. If you have a background in data science (specifically R or Python) you may also be interested in our Data Internship. 

Water, Peace and Security Project

Within the general internship, one candidate could be selected to work exclusively on the Water, Peace and Security project. The Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnership was founded in 2018 to pioneer the development of innovative tools and services that help identify and address water-related security risks. WPS is an award-winning initiative that tries to turn the current vicious water-conflict cycle into a more virtuous water-peace cycle. HCSS contributes to WPS engagement in Iraq.

To support WPS work, we are looking for motivated candidates with a particular interest in water-related security issues. As HCSS is leading WPS work in Iraq, knowledge of the Arabic language would be an added bonus. Throughout the internship, successful candidates can contribute to cutting-edge research on various water-related topics; from raising awareness of potential water-related conflicts, and supporting dialogues with Iraqi stakeholders at the local, provincial, and national levels, to organizing training modules and workshops that focus on the different elements of the water-security nexus. The application process for the WPS internship follows the general internship procedure below. If you wish to apply for the WPS internship, please mention it in your motivation letter and choose the specified writing sample.


  • Candidates must be enrolled as a student at a university during the whole internship period.
  • An internship period of six months is highly preferred, although shorter periods can be discussed (absolute minimum is 4 months). Please indicate your availability in your cover letter. Interns should be able to commit to working 40 hours a week.
  • If successful in obtaining a position, candidates are asked to provide a certificate of good conduct (‘Verklaring Omtrent het Gedrag’), available from the Dutch Ministry of Justice. Candidates residing outside of the Netherlands should provide a certificate from their country of residence.

Frequently asked questions:

Can I apply if I am no longer a student (recently graduated)? HCSS internships are for enrolled students. Without a proof of enrollment, valid for the entire duration of the internship, you are not eligible. Your application will not be considered.

Is it possible to do a part-time internship? Currently HCSS does not offer parttime internships within the General Internship Program.

Application Procedure

To apply, send the following items to info@hcss.nl, using ‘General Internship 1/2023’ as the subject line.

  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of references
  • A cover letter
  • Proof of university enrollment, valid for the entire duration of the internship
  • Copy of official transcript of academic grades
  • A one-page writing sample (excluding bibliography if relevant) answering one of the following questions:
  1. Consider a trend which could affect the security of the Netherlands in the next decade. What is being done to address the issue? What more could be done?
  2. Consider a way in which the Netherlands could exercise more effective foreign policy without increasing military expenditure. What are the advantages and limitations of this approach?
  3. Consider a policy which could help the eurozone improve its competitiveness. What are the advantages and limitations of this policy?
  4. Consider a tool or methodology which could add value to HCSS products. What are its advantages and limitations?

Writing sample for the Water, Peace and Security Project:

Elaborate on an existing water-related security challenge and provide 2-3 options to manage and mitigate the impact in a country or region at risk.

Notes regarding the application procedure:

  • Please ensure that your application is complete before sending it in. Providing a list of references with contact details as part of your CV (at least two) is a mandatory requirement- we will not request them at a later stage.
  • The whole application should be written in English including the writing sample.
  • Please apply only if you are available for the above mentioned start date. HCSS recruits interns all year around; later start dates will be announced in due time.

Practical Information

The HCSS internship is paid: € 675,- per month.

HCSS only considers candidates that submit a complete application and fulfill all eligibility requirements. Successful applicants will be invited for an interview.