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The GHJRU runs a comprehensive internship programme aimed at equipping young activists and scholars with skills, knowledge and experience in the field of gender-based violence. We accept applications throughout the year from graduates, with intakes in generally taking place every quarter starting in January, and interns typically staying with us for a minimum of 3 and maximum of 12 months, however exceptions to the starting dates and length of stay can be made on a case by case basis.

Successful applicants are graduates who have already shown themselves to have an interest in the promotion of human rights - particularly the right to be free from violence, and the right to health - through the activities they have engaged in prior to applying.

Most have a specific interest in criminal justice policy, public health, and gender and women’s studies. The majority aim to continue working in this sector after they have graduated.

Interns apply either directly to the Unit or through a partnership arrangement with their university. All interns participate fully in the work and activities of the Unit. These internships are unpaid and interns must be sure that they have sufficient financial means to support themselves for the internship period.

How you spend your time at the Unit will depend on the Unit’s operational requirements but we envision that you will dedicate at least half of your time to Unit work. Interns may be assigned to a specific project as well as providing ad hoc research support to various projects, allowing you to broaden your knowledge in other areas.


The GHJRU internship is focussed on three key areas: knowledge, skills and networking.

Knowledge:  As an intern, you will work closely with the staff at the Unit on the Unit’s current projects. Previous and on-going projects focus on sexual assault and domestic violence policy, services for survivors, gender-based violence education, sexual and gender minority health, teen sexuality and experiences of SGBV.

Skills:  We place a substantial emphasis on the development of research skills, coupled with one-on-one supervision with our senior researchers. Working within an interdisciplinary environment, you’ll be exposed to a range of methodologies and, depending on the projects you work on, you may be involved with legal research, interviewing various criminal justice or health sector professionals, observational work in the field, as well as transcription, and document analysis. You will also be expected to assist with administrative tasks as we are a small team and all staff members do their share to keep things running smoothly.

Networking:  As an intern, the GHJRU will provide you with contacts to other organisations within our networks of scholars and activists working on issues surrounding violence against women, and where appropriate, key government officials. We aim to select interns who have the potential to play a leading role in addressing violence against women within the South Africa, and globally. We hope to develop a lasting professional relationship with you by providing access to resources and networks to develop your skills as a researcher and advocate. We are committed to facilitating your understanding of the reality of how gender based violence affects the lives of people in South Africa, and about the remarkable community of people dedicating their work to changing that reality.

Application requirements

To apply, please send the following items to

  • CV/resume
  • Writing sample
  • The names of at least two contactable references with email addresses and telephone numbers
  • Cover letter including:
    • Why you want to work at the Unit
    • What you are interested in working on (please review our current projects)
    • Dates you wish to intern
    • How many hours per week you will be available to intern
    • Your goals and expectations for the internship
  • If this is part of an internship programme through your University or other institution, please let us know

Only complete applications will be considered.