Search our content

Home  /  About us  /  Working at SHAPE  /  Internships  /  FAQ


What is the SHAPE Internship Programme?

Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) is pleased to introduce its Internship Programme and provide current and recent students with the opportunity to intern with the SHAPE international community at Mons, Belgium. The internship programme has four main objectives: To provide interns with an opportunity to learn from the SHAPE community and gain a thorough understanding of the organisation and NATO in general. To contribute to creating a more diverse workforce through encouraging Divisions/Offices to take on interns of different nationalities, origins and backgrounds with a view, in the mid to long-term, to providing SHAPE with a younger and more diverse pool of potential future job applicants. To provide SHAPE with access to the latest theoretical and technical knowledge that the interns can apply through practical work assignments, as well as with additional staff resources. To expand understanding of NATO in Alliance countries by having interns return to their countries and/or universities after completing the internship and share their experience, as well as to help NATO branding by being an Ambassador of SHAPE.


What are typical tasks of interns?

Tasks will depend on your background, the Division to which you are assigned, and the period during which you will do your internship. In the past, interns have been assigned the following duties:
  • Assistance in drafting and preparing official documents.
  • Attending and summarising council and committee meetings or conferences.
  • Research.
  • Supporting public relations.
  • Media analysis.
  • Supporting technical and administrative services.


When can I apply for an internship at SHAPE?

The 2021 call for applications for SHAPE internships is open and will close on 29 February 2020. Applications received after the above mentioned date will not be considered. There is one call for applications per year with two starting dates, in January or in September the following year. The intern will have to specify the desired period of internship, January or September. Applications received until 29 February 2020 will be included in the candidate’s pool for the 2021 internship programme.


Who is eligible to apply?

  • Age: Applicants must be over 21 years of age at the time of their application. Normally, candidates should not be over the age of 35 unless they are engaged in a PhD programme and their field of study or thesis subject is of particular benefit to SHAPE.
  • Nationality: Applicants must be a citizen of a NATO member state.
  • Educational Status: Candidates must have completed a first degree at university. However, depending on the project, candidates may be required to have obtained a specific degree. The programme is open to current MA/MSc and PhD students or recent graduates (degree obtained within the last 18 months).
  • Languages: Proficiency in one of the two NATO official languages is essential and a working knowledge of the other is desirable. Since the working language in the headquarters is mainly English, candidates must be proficient in the use of the English language. 


Can I apply if my country is not a NATO Member State?

No, only nationals/citizens of NATO Member States can apply to the NATO Internship Programme.


Are there any additional requirements?

  • Insurance: Interns are responsible for their own health and accident insurance. They are covered by accident insurance for occupational risks (invalidity/death) during the period of internship.
  • Administrative Formalities with Belgian Authorities: Interns will be responsible for fulfilling all administrative formalities required by the host nation. In December 2006, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to introduce a special ID card for all temporary staff, consultants and interns. Thus, you do not need a visa for your internship but if you are from a non-EU country you will need a tourist visa to enter Belgium.


How can I apply?

You can find more information about the SHAPE Internship Programme on this website.
In order to apply, you are asked to submit the online Application Form and one file (PDF or WORD) including a CV and a Letter of Motivation (500 words) indicating why you want to participate in the Internship Programme and why you chose a specific Division
Please note that we will only consider electronically submitted applications and that we cannot deal with phone, mail or fax enquires. Incomplete applications will not be processed. Due to the high number of applications we will not be able to get back to you in case information is missing. Applications arriving after the deadline will not be considered.


Can I join the Internship Programme if I hold a scholarship or grant?

Yes. Whether you hold or not hold a grant or scholarship for the internship at SHAPE, this has no influence on the selection process.


Are there any specific security requirements?

Depending on the type of work to be performed, participation in the Internship Programme will normally be subject to receipt of an appropriate security clearance from your national authorities. The required time to receive the Security Clearance depends on the national rules of NATO Member States and may take from eight weeks to 18 months. The clearance process starts once you have been selected. Your national delegation will contact you with regard to your national procedures. Thus, you are strongly recommended to return all documents required as soon as possible and not to make any travel arrangements before having received your clearance.


Are SHAPE internships paid?

  • Remuneration: Interns receive a lump sum of € 1,086.70 per month. The lump sum is not exempt from taxation. Interns may receive emoluments from outside sources (such as scholarships or grants).
  • Travel: Interns will be reimbursed for their travel expenses on taking up duty and on leaving the service based on a return economy ticket in accordance with ACO regulations.


What are my chances of employment at NATO after the internship

Internships are not directly linked to recruitment.


What can I do if I fail the eligibility screening by mistake?

Unfortunately the information provided under Eligibility cannot be changed or deleted. Please be informed that every candidate bears responsibility for the information provided as it creates a disadvantage for other candidates. Our eligibility criteria are outlined very clearly on our website.


Search our content:


Rue Grande
7010 Mons

Media Operations

Public Affairs Office
Attn: Media Section
7010 Mons