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International Conservation Policy internship

Kew’s Science Policy team is looking for interns to work on a range of projects related to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

Cactus specimens (Ferocactus spp.) smuggled into the UK (Photo: N.Smyth)


Interns must have a postgraduate degree in biology, science, environmental law or a related subject such as geography or environment science. Interns should be IT proficient and have strong research and database skills. Common sense, initiative and an eye for detail are also desirable. Interns will have a significant level of responsibility, and should be confident at working independently. Enthusiasm for biodiversity conservation and international environmental policy is essential. 

Placements will be for a minimum of 3 months, although 6 months is preferred as it provides an opportunity for interns to gain substantive work experience in international conservation policy and research. Please note that this a voluntary position. Lunch and travel expenses (within the Greater London area) will be reimbursed. 

Your role in the CITES team

The CITES team also supports the UK government in a range of international negotiations, and produces capacity building tools to promote best practice internationally.

Current Projects include:

  • CITES Conference of the Parties (COP) preparations and briefs - Preparation for the 17th global CITES COP meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. Your role: assist in gathering scientific information to prepare the UK brief on documents and species listing proposals, researching the species to be discussed, reviewing mechanisms to support implementation of the trees listed at the last meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties and assisting in preparation of documents.
  • CITES Capacity Building – Supporting implementation of CITES in UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs). Your role: assisting in the preparation of a materials to assist UKOTs in the implementation of CITES.
  • Invasive species policy for botanic gardens – revision of the policy surrounding the issue of invasive plant species in botanic garden collections and dealing with the issue of invasive species in the horticultural trade. Your role: help to craft and communicate policy in this challenging and exciting area an interest in biosecurity and invasive species is desirable.
  • Implementation of timber listings in CITES – reviewing the amount of reference materials available to support conservation of CITES listed timber species. Your role: help to gather information on timber reference materials available to the CITES community to help tackle illegal wildlife trade.  

How to apply

Please send a covering letter and CV to Noeleen Smyth by 31 March 2016