Skip to main content
SemesterSummer 2024
DeadlineMarch 22, 2024




Since 1997, the Wilson Center's China Environment Forum (CEF) has been the “go-to” resource for convening policy, business, research, and NGO practitioners from around the world on the most pressing energy, water, and pollution problems facing China. We play a unique, nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around China’s energy and environmental challenges, identifying new areas for collaboration. CEF is currently diving into ocean plastics, focusing on US-Asia collaboration and the creation with the Wilson Center’s Serious Games Initiative to create an educational video game on plastics.

The China Environment Forum offers rewarding internships to students who are studying or have experience related to environmental and energy challenges in China and trans-boundary environmental issues related to China. Currently, our vanguard project focuses on circular economy and ocean plastic waste issues in China and Southeast Asia, so additional background in these fields is a plus. CEF provides interns with experiences that enhance their professional research, writing, and communication skills and prepares them for careers in environmental, energy, and climate policy. 

CEF is no longer recruiting summer intern(s). This role will be paid ($17.45/hr.), and will start in June 2024. We are looking for candidates who can work for 25-30 hours per week for an in-person internship from June to August 2024, with the potential to extend. 

UPDATE: Summer 2024 applications are now closed and candidates have been selected. Please check back for the Fall 2024 cycle. 

Check out some pictures from our internship program in the gallery below!

CEF typically selects 2 research and/or communications and design interns for each academic semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer terms of approximately three to four months). However, appointments can be made throughout the year for periods of varying length. No internship will exceed one year in duration, and all internships must be served in Washington, D.C.

These internships are designed to provide the individuals selected with the opportunity for practical experience in an environment that successfully mixes academic study with public policy. Current and past research topics have included the ocean plastics pipeline, choke points of water-energy-food confrontations in China, building US-China clean energy networks, food safety and waste management issues, agrifood systems, and communications. Interns will have opportunity to publish in the New Security Beat as well as relevant publications.

The primary responsibilities of this internship would be:
  • Writing or editing articles for peer-reviewed or popular media, such as blog posts, on topics related to China and the environment
  • Researching from Internet, library, and interview-based sources to support ongoing projects
  • Events management, including planning and logistical support for conferences and panels
  • Fundraising through the preparation of grants for research proposals
  • Curating social media content and managing website content
  • Preparing and designing publication and outreach materials
  • Attending events related to the environment and current issues at Wilson Center and around Washington, D.C.
Successful applicants should:
  • Have strong English editing and writing skills
  • Bonus for possessing a high fluency in both written and spoken Mandarin Chinese (with a comfort level enabling translation of documents) OR conversational Chinese
  • Possess strong research skills such as in academic or non-profit work
  • Be detail-oriented and able to handle multiple tasks
  • 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 China, environmental studies, or both
  • Be skilled in major social networking sites, including X, Facebook, LinkedIn, Weibo etc.
  • Prior experience and skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign and strong knowledge of information graphics and data visualization best practices is preferred.

Application Process and Materials

CEF is offering a paid ($17.45/hour) internship. As a general rule, we expect individuals to be able to devote 25 - 30 hours per week, depending on your schedule.

International students are eligible, but they must hold a valid F-1 or J-1 visa and appropriate work authorization, especially if they are receiving compensation for the internships. All international students must obtain written permission from their Designated School Official or Responsible Visa Officer at their university stating that they are in valid immigration status and eligible to do an internship at the Center.  Applicants must have the appropriate visa to undertake the internship. The Wilson Center is an equal opportunity employer and follows equal opportunity employment guidelines in the selection of its interns.

To apply, please submit via email to :

1. A resume/CV

2. A cover letter explaining your interest in CEF and/or specific research interests

3. A writing sample (maximum 5 pages). As the responsibilities of this internship consist mainly of researching, writing, and editing, please submit a short writing sample (something you have written in the past) and elaborate on these skills in your CV and cover letter.

China Environment Forum
Woodrow Wilson Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

Due to the high volume of applications that we receive, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview. To ensure your consideration, please submit only a completed application.

China Environment Forum Internship Program