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Internships with the Science and Technology Innovation Program

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The Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) focuses on bringing foresight to the frontier, exploring emerging technologies through vital conversations that are not just for scientists. Internships with STIP are designed to provide the opportunity for practical experience in science and technology in an environment that successfully combines scholarship with public policy. Interns will gain valuable experience in various projects including publication research and preparation, academic research, and administrative assignments in support of both STIP and Wilson Center activities. We recommend exploring our website first to determine if your research interests align with current STIP programming.  

We offer two types of internships: graduate-level research and undergraduate-level research internships. Unless otherwise stated, internships are unpaid and require a minimum 20 hour per week commitment.

The Wilson Center is an equal opportunity employer and follows equal opportunity employment guidelines in the selection of interns.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Internship: Extended to August 16
  • Spring Internship: November 15
  • Summer Internship: March 15

Internship Opportunities

  • For graduate students, law students, or those accepted to a graduate-level program, we offer a project-based research internship. Successful applicants should have strong research and administrative skills; be detail-oriented, able to work independently, and able to work collaboratively. It is recommended that before applying to this internship the applicants review current projects being promoted on the STIP website for goodness of fit with the applicant's own research trajectory.

    Assignments may include:

    • Conducting independent research on science and technology innovation issues relevant to STIP initiatives
    • Co-authoring a journal article or Wilson Center policy brief
    • Developing grant proposals
    • Developing prototypes
    • Writing articles and blog posts for the STIP website, in conjunction with specific projects as described above.
  • Open to undergraduates, recent graduates and graduate students, unpaid, educational internship opportunities are available year-round. We do not limit by specific majors, but instead look for students who are interested in engaging with issues around STEM from a multitude of perspectives, including the applications to science, policy, and the public. A successful applicant will have a demonstrated interested in science and technology issues areas and project management skills.

    Assignments may include:

    • Drafting posts for our blog, CTRL Forward
    • Supporting staff with social media outreach
    • Assisting staff with preparation for events
    • Providing ancillary research for publications
    • Performing administrative assignments in support of STIP activities
    • Other duties as assigned
  • Our world is drowning in plastic pollution. Humans produce about 300 million tons of plastic waste every year, equivalent to the weight of the entire human population in 2018. Nowhere is this crisis more visible than in our oceans, which by 2050 could contain more plastic than fish. Further complicating this issue are city-state actors, such as the United States, EU and China, who have vastly different approaches in how to negate the issue area. The global public needs to understand the impact of plastic pollution and how to end its leakage into the ocean.

    We are seeking a research intern with an interest in exploring the ocean plastics issue in a shared role between the China Environment Forum and Science and Technology Innovation Program's Serious Games Initiative.

    The primary responsibilities of this internship would be:

    • Write or edit articles for either peer-reviewed or popular media, such as blog posts, to promote education and outreach around this issue area.
    • Conduct background research on trends in policy approaches to plastic pollution.
    • Support meetings, conferences, and other events, gaining valuable event management experience.
    • Provide logistical support for ongoing projects.
    • Curating social media content and managing website content.

    Successful applicants should:

    • Have a demonstrated background in policy or social science research.
    • Excel at writing for mixed audiences, with particular preference given to candidates with background in writing academic and popular media (blog) styles.
    • Be detail-oriented.
    • Be able to work independently and as part of a group.
    • Be enrolled in a degree program, recently graduated (within the last year) and/or have been accepted to enter an advanced degree program within the next year.
    • Have a documented interest in marine debris research, oceanic or environmental research, US-China policy, or game-based learning.

    This is an unpaid position available for 15-20 hours a week for undergraduate and graduate-level students. Applicants from all backgrounds will be considered, with likely fields of study ranging from public policy (e.g. public policy, international development, political science) to social science (education, natural resources, environmental studies, communication, science and technology studies) or regional studies (e.g. Asia or China studies). Experience conducting cross and trans-disciplinary research is an asset.  

    Interested applicants should send a complete internship application using the instructions below, and the subject line: "Intern Application: Special Project Intern on Ocean Plastics"

  • For all internships, please submit all application materials to Erin Rohn at Please specify in the subject line the intended time period for your internship with [SEMESTER] [YEAR] Internship e.g. “SUMMER 2020 Internship”. If there is a specific topic area or project, please note that in the subject line of the email, e.g. 'FALL 2020 Internship for Digital Futures Project' or otherwise clearly state the focus points in the cover letter.

    Due to the sheer volume of applications we receive, only those candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. To ensure your consideration, please submit only a completed application.

    A completed application will have the following materials, compiled into a single PDF.

    • Cover letter explaining your interest in STIP, including dates and availability and confirmation that you can serve in DC
    • CV/Resume
    • A brief writing sample ideally demonstrating your work in science and technology research.
  • International students studying in the U.S. are eligible, but they must hold a valid F-1 or J-1 visa and appropriate work authorization. All international students must obtain written permission from their designated school official or responsible officer for visas at their university stating they have valid immigration status and are eligible to intern at the Wilson Center. The Wilson Center is not able to sponsor visas for interns. If you are an international student not already studying in the U.S. on a F-1 or J-1 visa, then you must go through a university exchange program or an outside organization that will sponsor your visa. You must have the appropriate visa to apply for this internship.