Coral reefs harbour the highest biodiversity of any ecosystem globally, making them one of the most biologically complex and valuable ecosystems on the planet.  Supporting more than one billion people globally, coral reefs provide vital ecosystem services including food security, income from fisheries and tourism, and critical coastal protection from storms and floods. Coral reef and associated ecosystem services are critical to help deliver the nature-dependent United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG14 ‘Life Below Water’. Despite their immense value, coral reefs are among Earth’s most endangered ecosystems. It is estimated that more than half of the world’s coral reefs have disappeared due to climate change and a range of local threats and stressors. Although Earth's coral reefs have survived for hundreds of millions of years, scientists now predict that reefs may go extinct in our lifetime.

Launched in September 2020, the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR) coalition is a finance instrument that blends private and public funding to support businesses and finance mechanisms that improve the health and sustainability of coral reefs and associated ecosystems while empowering local communities and enterprises. The GFCR currently consists of a Grant Fund managed by the United Nations and an Investment Fund, managed by Pegasus Capital Advisors, that operate under a single Theory of Change based on 4 pillars: Protect, Transform, Restore and Recover. The GFCR Grant Fund is administratively hosted by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

The GFCR UN Global Team (UNGT) is an independent structure under the Global Fund for Coral Reefs Executive Board and manages the day-to-day activities and operations of the Grant Fund. While hosted within UNCDF, the Global Team collaborates closely with relevant focal points of the Participating UN Organizations (UNDP, UNEP, UNCDF) and the Investment Fund asset management team.

The UNGT has management, technical, and operational expertise, and one of its primary roles is to develop the Fund investment plans and manage approval of Grant Fund programme proposals in accordance with financial decisions made by the GFCR Executive Board and in collaboration with the Investment Fund partners. The Global Team guarantees that successful innovative blended finance solutions are developed in accordance with agreed-upon objectives and criteria specified in the Terms of Reference.

UNCDF is seeking an intern to be part of the GFCR. Working under the direct oversight of the Deputy Head of the GFCR and day-to-day guidance of GFCR staff, the selected interns will support the ongoing workplan and goals of the unit, according to the four different tracks outlined below. 

Applicants must specify for which track/s they are submitting an application under for consideration.
The internship managers committed to providing the interns with the training, guidance and support necessary to complete the below duties and responsibilities effectively and within the internship period. This will include, but not be limited to, scheduled meetings to assess output progress, systems training (where required) and completion of required university reports for the purpose of meeting any necessary Degree requirements.

Duties and Responsibilities

This Internship is specifically intended to support the work of the UNGT with tasks focused on the programming workstream. The intern role will work with the guidance of the GFCR Programme Analyst in performing the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Database building and management of programme proposal pipeline, activities, targets, etc.;
  • Harmonizing data and information across GFCR programmes to inform communications;
  • Support programme proposal review and the development of evaluations;
  • Prepare PowerPoint presentations and documents leading up to and following Board meetings;
  • Support in producing PowerPoint presentations and reviewing presentations of GFCR partners;
  • Coordination among programme, UNGT, and institutional partners;
  • Support in coordinating and preparing the Fund Annual Report;
  • Copy editing;
  • Other assigned tasks.


  • Prior experience and/or training in marine biology, conservation finance, international environmental policy or similar field;
  • Experience in database building; 
  • Proficiency in using the MS Office Suite, including proficient use of PowerPoint and Word applications;
  • Experience in Canva, Smartsheet is an asset;
  • Sound computer skills and experience using web-based applications, social media and content management systems;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English;
  • Effective communication skills with staff at all levels and external partners;
  • Initiative taking;
  • Strong organization skills;
  • Great attention to detail and proven experience in proof reading;
  • Ability to work well in a team;
  • Demonstration of cultural sensitivity and appreciation for different cultures and practices.

Required Skills and Experience

Educational Qualification and Work Experience:

  • Be enrolled in a postgraduate degree programme (such as a master’s programme, or higher) in public or marine science, or conservation finance, international environmental policy;
  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (such as bachelor’s degree or equivalent);
  • Have recently graduated with a university degree (as defined in (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation;
  • Be enrolled in a postgraduate professional traineeship program and undertake the internship as part of this program.


  • Fluency in English required. Knowledge of other UN languages will be considered a plus.


Although not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit additional pages or links that the hiring unit may reference in evaluating skills that are relevant to the Internship.