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Internship Programme

2 people working at the Secretariat of the EFRJ - Join our internship programme

The EFRJ offers internships, which are temporary (unpaid) work opportunities at the Secretariat of the European Forum for Restorative Justice. 

Learn more about the organisation, the details of the internship programme, and apply here below. 

European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ)

The European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) is a non-governmental organisation based within the walls of the KU Leuven Institute of Criminology (university in Belgium). It was founded in 2000 with the objective to further develop restorative justice throughout Europe. Its main goal is to ensure that every person in Europe has the right to access to high-quality restorative justice services at any stage of the criminal procedure and for any type of crime. Besides its application in the criminal justice field, the EFRJ also supports restorative practices in schools, communities, at workplace etc. Currently, it counts on the support of about 400 members, including 80 organisations, dedicated to restorative justice research, policy work, practice and training in Europe and beyond. Students (below 27 years old) can also apply for an individual membership with a 50% discount on the fee: click here to know more.

EFRJ Secretariat

The EFRJ Secretariat is responsible for a wide range of activities, supported by a dynamic, small group of colleagues. Led by the Executive Director, the Secretariat is composed of different officers working on Events, Training, Policy Work, Projects, Finance, Communication and Administration. In addition to these main areas of work, the Secretariat coordinates the work of EFRJ members involved in about 10 Committees and Working Groups dedicated to the work of the organisation and/or on specific areas of application for restorative justice (e.g. violent extremism, gender-based violence, environmental justice, institutions, schools, cities). The EFRJ Secretariat executes the working plan proposed by the EFRJ Board (composed by 9 experts on restorative justice from different European countries), and co-financed by the Justice Programme of the European Commission.

Purpose and benefits of the EFRJ internship

For interns - The EFRJ internship is a meaningful opportunity for anyone showing interest in restorative justice and willing to offer their time and skills to the organisation. It is beneficial:

  • to gain work experience in one of the largest and most prominent restorative justice networks  in Europe, 
  • to gain insight into at least one of the key strategic areas and challenges the EFRJ is working with and into its approach to addressing these,
  • to learn and develop additional skills and knowledge in the field of restorative justice and related areas, 
  • to get practical experience on producing work materials and on the digital tools and platforms the EFRJ uses,
  • to better shape one’s career path and understanding what job could fit one’s interests, 
  • to have networking opportunities with international professionals working in the restorative justice field, 
  • to have free access to (one of) the paying events of the EFRJ (in agreement with the EFRJ Secretariat),
  • to have access to the EFRJ’s restorative justice resource centre in Leuven (for interns based in Leuven) and get support and advice for their individual research,
  • to attain credits to complete studies (if agreed with your educational institution), and
  • most importantly! to taste what it means working in a flexible and hospitable international team, collaborating and getting constructive feedback from an individual assigned mentor. 

For the EFRJ - The organisation benefits from the diversity, various skills and new ideas interns represent and bring to the organisation. In practice, interns are a valuable source of creativity and time commitment, supporting the work of the Secretariat by completing some tasks, proposing new ideas and involving new people in the EFRJ’s work. In the past, internship programmes served also to identify future employees: indeed, some staff members of the Secretariat started to work at the EFRJ (or at the KU Leuven, or with EFRJ members) thanks to their internship at the EFRJ. Note that no future employment with the organisation is assured. 


Eligibility requirements

Interns form part of the team of the EFRJ Secretariat. Everyone is welcome to apply. The EFRJ respects, welcomes and appreciates diversity in all its forms:

  • Profile - Interns can be students (enrolled at the university) or young people (entering the working world), as well as professionals who wish to switch career paths or gain new experiences. 
  • Diversity and inclusion – Anyone between 18 and 99 is welcomed to join the EFRJ team, independently on their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, physical (dis)abilities, etc. 

The only prerequisites required are:

  • Commitment to the EFRJ’s mission, vision and goals;
  • Fluency in English (oral and written skills);
  • Basic IT user (emails; Word documents; Google apps).

Additional qualifications and skills may support applications, but these are not required to apply. Among others, the EFRJ Secretariat is interested in (one of) the following:

  • A basic understanding of restorative justice;
  • Fluency in languages other than English (e.g. French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian);
  • Educational and/or professional background in relevant areas (criminal justice, social work, law, psychology, sociology, as well as in education and adult learning, management, administration, economy, etc.);
  • Experience in research, policy work, training, events organisation, communication, administration, finances and fundraising;
  • Capacity to use social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) and/or photo/video editing programmes;
  • Experience in working in an international environment and/or in a non-governmental organisation

General conditions

Conditions of an internship are regulated in an internship agreement signed between the EFRJ and the intern, including the following details:

  • Working place - Interns may work in person in the EFRJ office in Leuven (teleworking is still possible up to 65% of the working hours), or they can complete a remote internship, depending on the circumstances, type of work, EFRJ requests and individual needs. During the selection procedure we give priority to candidates who plan to complete in the internship in person or at least partially in person. For applicants willing to move to Belgium, please note that the EFRJ cannot assist to obtain permits or help with relocation costs.
  • Funding - Internships at the EFRJ are non-remunerated, but work related expenses (e.g. travel to EFRJ events) will be reimbursed upon previous agreement. The EFRJ may also assist the intern to get external financial support for the internship period (e.g. providing documents for an application).
  • Time commitment - Internships are minimum 6 months long (extendable to 1 year) and require a 20 hours/week work time (negotiable on a case-to-case basis: lower or higher work time can be agreed on). 

Working language - The working language of the EFRJ is English. Occasionally (for example for training events delivered in a language other than English) other languages may be used.

Running of the internship

Based on the profile/tasks of each intern, a staff member from the EFRJ Secretariat (hereafter “supervisor”) will be appointed to lead the work and serve as main contact for the intern (for example for policy interns the Policy Officer, for communication interns the Communication Officer). The supervisor will give guidance and access to all information necessary for carrying out the job.

Interns are expected to be part of the general teamwork of the organisation and to contribute to tasks that may be outside of their main area of interest (e.g. organisation of events, training events, meetings, administrative tasks). This will be discussed during the interview and noted in the signed internship agreement.

Interns may use the EFRJ office in the city centre of Leuven, that includes a vast collection of restorative justice publications (EFRJ resource centre), access to university facilities (e.g. library) and collaboration with researchers from the KU Leuven Institute of Criminology as well as with Leuven Restorative City. For all remote interns, the EFRJ offers the opportunity to join the international team and work in an inspiring and dynamic work environment, even with the virtual platforms.

At the end of the internship, an evaluation talk takes place between the intern and the supervisor and/or the Executive Director. Written reports (e.g. for university or grant purposes), references and/or certificates of participation are provided upon request of the intern.


Application & selection procedure

To better coordinate internships and to be able to assess in a transparent way all requests, the EFRJ Secretariat evaluates 2 times a year all applications received. This means that a general call for interns is always open, and short-listed applicants can expect a response within one month after the deadline:

  •  Call for the autumn internship (deadline to apply: 15 April) for internship periods running from ~ September to February (autumn semester);
  • Call for the spring internship (deadline to apply: 15 October) for internship periods running from ~ February to August (spring semester). 

The exact period of the internship may be discussed with the shortlisted candidates during the selection process. 

Before each deadline, the EFRJ Secretariat discusses the needs and capacities for hosting an intern and makes a decision about the profile searched (e.g. policy intern, communication intern, research intern, administrative intern). The EFRJ Secretariat makes the selection, with the involvement of Board members if necessary. 

Please note that, within one month after the deadline, only short-listed applicants will be contacted and invited for an interview. Because of the large number of applications, the EFRJ Secretariat may not be able to give feedback to all applicants.

The EFRJ may host a maximum of 2 interns at a time.

For the general conditions and the desired profiles and skills of the interns, deadlines for application and selection procedure, see above. 

Do you have a question about the process? Write us an email: balint.juhasz@euforumrj.org


What happens after submitting and application for an internship?

The EFRJ Secretariat will get in touch with you within one month after the deadline. You can expect 3 different scenarios:

  • Shortlisted applicants - If your profile matches with the EFRJ Secretariat’s requirements, you will be invited for an (online) interview;
  • Waiting list - If your profile matches with the EFRJ Secretariat’s requirements but we had already shortlisted 2 candidates, you will be placed on the waiting list and, in case during the first round of interviews someone will drop out, you will be contacted for an interview;
  • Non-acceptance - If your profile does not match with the EFRJ Secretariat’s requirements, we may reject your application. In some cases, we may advise you on other (national/ international) organisations or institutions that may better fit your interests and skills. 


“I keep very fond memories from my internship at the European Forum for Restorative Justice. The team is very welcoming, and they make you feel instantly as one more in the restorative justice family. Following this internship was a great opportunity to learn about the great advocacy work the EFRJ does at a local, EU and international level, and to meet incredible professionals from the restorative justice field.”
Georgina Colomé Ginella
Policy Intern (2020-2021)
“The EFRJ was the first time and place where I felt like my work was valued and appreciated, and the first time I felt like a real translator beyond the walls of a university. It is a great place to develop and learn new skills, hand in hand with an amazing and passionate team who is working towards making our society a fairer place through the tool of restorative justice.”
María Belío Bergua
Translation Intern (2021)
“Being an intern for the EFRJ allowed me to develop not only academically in the field of restorative justice, but also to learn about personal life-changing stories and experiences. The EFRJ introduced me to the world of restorative justice, its great minds and hearts, the truth, honesty, kindness and helpfulness that characterises this community and their interactions. My time spent as an intern with the EFRJ has challenged my world view, allowing me to realise the many forgotten/unrecognised positive aspects of humanity.”
Hanga Hasznos
Intern (2020)
“The internship at the EFRJ was very valuable and educational for me. By gaining experience in the field of restorative justice, I was motivated to develop myself further in this direction. I am very thankful for these experiences and especially for the great people I have met. I would advice anyone who aspires to work in the field of restorative justice, an international NGO, or in academia related to restorative justice or critical criminology to do an internship at the EFRJ. It is a great working place and an inspiring environment.”
Sofie Doorman
Intern (2019)
Submit your application

Please, fill in this form if you would like to submit an application for an internship with the EFRJ. You can download the questions here. This document helps you to prepare your responses in advance and simply copy/ paste them when you are ready to submit your application. You will receive an automatic response in your email, confirming your submission and explaining the next steps and deadlines of the EFRJ Secretariat concerning all internship applications.

This is a rolling application form (open permanently). We evaluate applications 2 times a year. Applications submitted before 15 October will be considered for the following spring and summer semester (February - August); and applications submitted before 15th of April will be considered for the following autumn and winter semester (September - February). The actual internshiop period may be slightly adjusted (in agreement with the candidate), and can be shorter or slightly longer than the given months above.



Country of residence
In 200 words, what relevant studies and/or work did you experience until now?
In 200 words, why do you want to complete an internship at the EFRJ and what is your commitment to the EFRJ’s mission, vision and goals?
In 200 words, what personal traits and technical knowledge can you bring at the EFRJ?
Languages - English level
Think about your reading, listening, speaking and writing language skills
Please, write here other language skills indicating for each one your level (beginner, intermediate, fluent or native)
IT skills
Length of the programme
Please, indicate here your ideal lenght of the programme. Internships can be 4-6 months and extendable to 1 year but please, indicate here below if you would like to propose another length. 
How many hours/ week can you dedicate to the EFRJ?
Where/ how do you plan to complete your internship?
If you plan to work from the office in Leuven, do you need a laptop?
In which area would you prefer to be involved? Choose max 3
In which areas of application of restorative justice are you mostly interested? Choose max 3
Maximum 2 pages in a PDF format
One file only.
50 MB limit.
Allowed types: txt, rtf, pdf, doc, docx, odt, ppt, pptx, odp, xls, xlsx, ods.

Here you can download and print the full call as a pdf, to better prepare your application, if needed.

Internship EFRJ