Monday, June 25, 2018

CFA: Fall 2018 Research Assistant Internship, The Wilson Center

Deadline: July 16, 2018

The Wilson Center announces its Fall 2018 Research Assistant internship openings. Please see the attached document and distribute it to your students, faculty, internship programs, or other interested parties. An internship announcement has also been posted on Handshake.

The majority of the interns at the Woodrow Wilson Center serve as research assistants or scholar interns for visiting scholars. Research assistants are talented college students from universities around the country who combine part-time hours at the Center with their studies and with other activities. A research assistant typically works 12-15 hours a week per scholar. (The number of hours can be adjusted accordingly to fulfill academic requirements).

A position as a research assistant is particularly appropriate for a college student planning to move on to graduate studies, or for college students wishing to develop a deeper understanding of their field of study. In addition to assisting with research, interns have the opportunity to network with experts in their chosen fields.

The Center has at least 60 research interns at any one time, many of whom are replaced at the end of each academic term. Internship appointments are generally consistent with academic semesters (i.e. Fall, Spring, Summer) and last approximately nine to twelve weeks. The start and end dates are flexible in order to accommodate varying school schedules. No internship will exceed one year in duration.

Most research assistants do an internship for academic credit and do not receive a stipend. The Center is willing to coordinate with each student and school in filling out the necessary paperwork. Students are encouraged to apply for independent grants or scholarships through their schools or outside sources to financially support them during their internship appointment. Depending on funding, a modest stipend may be available if the student is not receiving academic credit for the internship. There is more funding during the fall and spring semesters and limited funding during the summer semester.


Most scholars who come to the Wilson Center spend their time carrying out research, writing books, and making public presentations. Research assistants have the unique opportunity to work directly with these experts, as they examine issues of contemporary public policy or explore topics that provide the historical context behind today’s public policy debates. Most research assistants at the Center work with university professors who are scholars at the Wilson Center while on leave from their home institutions. Other assistants may be assigned to journalists, present and former government officials (such as diplomats and ambassadors) or, occasionally, to scholars from the private sector. The list of current scholars is attached at the bottom of this page.

In support of the scholars, research assistants spend much of their time searching for information, using online academic databases or other publications. They often perform other duties, as well, such as proofreading; editing; critiquing; checking references; compiling bibliographies; writing literature reviews; summarizing research materials; locating inter-library loan materials; and helping with software or presentational tasks. There may be some administrative tasks involved like copying or filing, but such tasks will be limited. Consequently, a strong sense of responsibility and the ability to work with a minimum of supervision are strong assets. Foreign language skills are sometimes useful, but are not required.

While at the Center, all interns are encouraged to go beyond their particular internship responsibilities and to attend our many panel discussions, conferences, symposia, and other meetings. Interns are also welcome to join staff and scholars during some social events.

The priority deadline to apply is Monday, July 16, 2018. The internship application form and detailed instructions can be found here.

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