Jobs and Internships

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The Institute for Policy Studies is the nation’s oldest and largest multi-issue think tank promoting progressive thought.

IPS is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and encourages applications from people of color, women, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.


New Mexico Fellowship

The New Mexico Fellowship is a 1-year, paid, public policy fellowship housed at the Institute for Policy Studies in our Washington, DC office.

The New Mexico Fellowship provides the opportunity for college graduates and/or young activists residing in New Mexico to come to IPS to be trained in public scholarship, a term we define as the connection between grassroots activism and policy research. Through the fellowship, young activists sharpen their knowledge of the progressive landscape and policy world, and develop their capacities to think, write, research, and organize.  They also learn about the organizational structure and operations of a thriving non-profit in Washington, D.C.

Each fellow receives hands-on experience by working on multiple IPS projects under the individualized mentorship from our IPS public scholars. We believe that each activist brings a unique skillset to the table. Accordingly, upon acceptance, we tailor the fellowship to participants’ personal interests by pairing them with IPS projects for four three-month segments where they will become an essential part of that project’s staff.

This fellowship program seeks to help mentor a new generation of progressive leaders in New Mexico. Two of the first three IPS New Mexico fellows are back working in New Mexico non-profits, and one is studying law at the University of New Mexico.

Candidates are selected from two streams of applicants residing in New Mexico:

  • Recent college graduates (BA or MA) who would benefit from mentoring and work at IPS
  • Members of activist groups where IPS and the group feel it would benefit the individual to have training in public scholarship in Washington

The Ideal Candidate is:

  • Motivated, flexible, organized, and able to multi-task
  • Committed to bettering their writing to be accessible for multiple audiences
  • A Self-starter
  • Able to work independently and in a team
  • Passionate about and has already devoted time and effort to social justice


The New Mexico Fellow is required to come to IPS for one year (with the possibility of an extension) and is encouraged to return to New Mexico and use the skills acquired at IPS to further public scholarship and activism in New Mexico.

The New Mexico Fellowship is a full-time Fellowship with a yearly compensation of $37,000 (before taxes), paid semi-monthly. The Fellow will receive three weeks of paid vacation and 12 days of sick leave. Full medical, vision, dental, and life insurance coverage is also provided.

The New Mexico Fellow will begin on June 1, 2016, and the start date is negotiable.

How to Apply:

Applications are due by February 15, 2016 and we aim to select the fellow by late March.

  1. Cover letter including the following information:
    • Tell us about 2 or 3 projects or issue areas you’d like to work on at IPS (here’s a link to our projects).
    • Tell us about a movement that you’re passionate about and how you would like to see this movement create change.
    • What skills, experience, and/or knowledge would you bring to our team?
    • What do you want to gain from this experience to better your activism in New Mexico?
  2. Resume
  3. A 2-4 page writing sample (e.g., excerpt from a research paper, an article or letter to the editor)
  4. The contact information for 3 references

Email materials to: using “New Mexico Fellowship” as the subject line. Please also complete a short demographic survey at

Due to the large volume of applications, only applicants that are moving to the next round will be contacted by the Search Committee.  Thank you so much for your interest in the New Mexico Fellowship.  We look forward to hearing from you.

The Institute for Policy Studies is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.


Please Note: Our Application Process has Changed

Spring 2016 Internships (DC Office)

Meet our Summer 2015 Next Leaders

Deadlines: Internships are open until filled. We are seeking to fill positions as soon as possible with the expectation that we’ll be doing interviews by the end of November/early December. Changemaker Fellowship applications are due by December 10th.

Calling all emerging change-makers!

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) seeks dedicated young folks hungry for systemic transformation to join our spring 2016 internship program. The world crisis in governance and economic stability demands that we do our best to prepare to secure and sustain a more just, green, and peaceful future. At IPS we aim to compel action by sharpening young voices and new ideas through training in public scholarship, a term we define as the connection between policy research and grassroots activism. Team up with us for this program, and you can forget fetching coffee and filing folders!

Below you will find the following information:

  • AVAILABLE INTERNSHIPS (paid and unpaid positions)


Each participant in our spring program will get hands-on experience by working on one of our projects and will receive individualized mentorship and training from one of our IPS public scholars. We will also provide opportunities for professional development through brown-bag discussions, trainings and workshops, and networking events. Although we are seeking folks who can commit to working with us from January 20th to April 22nd, we are more than happy to adjust the time commitment based on individual schedules and needs. Additionally, we strongly request that applicants be available between the hours of 12:00 and 3:00 on Tuesdays to attend our staff meetings and workshops, but this availability will not affect application status.


IPS offers paid and unpaid internship opportunities. Interns may also receive academic credit, and our staff is happy to help you fill out any necessary paperwork to ensure you maximize your school funding or academic credit opportunities. IPS offers transportation assistance of $8 per day but does not offer housing assistance.

Changemakers Fellowship

The 2016 Changemakers Fellowship is a program that provides funding for two incoming IPS interns per semester. The Changemakers Fellowship is a part-time fellowship that pays $10.50 an hour for 10-15 hours weekly for 12-14 weeks. This funding may be applied towards any open unpaid internship. To apply for the Changemakers Fellowship, please complete the online application form in addition to your application for an unpaid internship.

Internships at IPS are ideal for rising scholar activists who care deeply about racial justice, economic justice, and inequality, and are ready to think creatively about new policies that better care for people and the planet. We created this Fellowship to open up more opportunities for stellar prospective interns who might not otherwise be able to join us. To be eligible for the Spring Changemakers Fellowship, you must be accepted into the internship program first. IPS deeply values building a staff of people from diverse backgrounds. People of color are strongly encouraged to apply.


The exact hours vary from internship to internship. In general, an average of 15 hours per week is expected for unpaid internships in the spring. Please see each internship description for its specific time requirement.

Paid Internships Available:

Communications Internship

The Communications intern will gain valuable experience while supporting the Communications Team with media monitoring, web content maintenance, social media, and copy editing. This internship will offer opportunities to work closely with our communications department as well as with IPS’s nationally renowned experts on the economy, foreign policy, environmental issues, etc.  Applicants should expect to commit to 10-12 hours a week.

The ideal candidate will be familiar with IPS’s core issue areas, motivated, flexible, and organized, able to work independently and with a team, and have excellent written and verbal communication skills. They should also possess strong attention to detail, great interpersonal skills, patience, and humor. We have a strong preference for candidates who have knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite and who major in or have commensurate experience in Communications, PR, Marketing, Journalism, or similar areas of study.

Unpaid (Funding available for Changemaker Fellows):

Climate Policy Internship

The Climate Policy Program works in partnership with grassroots groups and policy advocates in the U.S. and abroad on environment and development issues with a focus on climate change, energy, environmental justice, and economic issues.

The ideal Climate Policy Intern should possess an understanding of the connection between economic, racial, and environmental justice. We are looking for someone with very strong writing and research skills to support policy research, drafting policy agendas, translating policy and political debates into popular and compelling writing/graphics and partner gatherings. The Climate Policy Project seeks an intern who can commit 10-15 hours a week.

Global Economy Project Internship

This project conducts research and analysis of a wide range of economic issues, including inequality, Wall Street reform, tax fairness, executive compensation, low-wage workers, and international trade and investment. Interns are typically involved in research and writing to produce policy papers, op-eds, and other project materials. Global Economy Interns also sometimes help develop and implement communications strategies on these issues.

New Internationalism Project

IPS’ New Internationalism Project includes organizing as well as research and writing. Areas of work include ending the Afghanistan and Iraq wars as well as the Syria-centered global war on terror, challenging U.S. policy that supports Israeli occupation, and working on a number of UN-related issues. Interns for the New Internationalism project should have interest and experience in international developments, opposition to U.S. interventionism, and good research and writing skills.

A background in Middle East studies and/or organizing experience in peace or international solidarity movements is especially helpful. Interns will be involved in research, preparation of educational materials and organizing within the anti-war movement. The project director spends some time on the road, so applicants should be comfortable working with a fair amount of independence and maintain flexibility on days and times in the office. There will be opportunities to be published in IPS publications and affiliate media outlets.

OtherWords Editing and Writing Internship

This project edits and distributes commentaries that amplify progressive ideas in the national conversation. It empowers readers to become more engaged citizens. About 1,700 newspaper editors subscribe to this editorial service’s weekly editorial package that consists of six or more op-eds and columns. This work also runs in online media outlets.

OtherWords interns help with two or more aspects of running the project, such as: drafting tweets, searching for images, uploading online media hits to the website, proofreading, and fact-checking. They also write their own op-eds and blog posts related to current events, drawing from their own experiences and expertise on topics that they choose in conjunction with the editors. The applicants selected will work closely with OtherWords Managing Editor, Emily Schwartz Greco.

Ideal OtherWords applicants will have excellent writing skills, be news junkies (so they can quickly digest the information conveyed in the service’s commentaries), and have worked on a school paper or gotten comparable journalism experience prior to this internship. OtherWords seeks interns who can commit to 15 hours a week.

Criminalization of Poverty Internship

This project conducts research and reporting on the various components of the criminalizing of poverty. It maps and lifts up movements and policies that are working to transform intersectional injustice into intersectional justice.

Through research and writing, the Criminalization of Poverty intern will delve into criminal justice reform issues and look at poverty through this lens with a focus on race and gender. This person will focus on the movement of families of incarcerated youth, school-to-prison-pipeline, and juvenile justice. In addition to stellar writing and research skills, social media and graphic design skills are a plus. This project is seeking an intern to work 15-30 hours per week.


IPS encourages applicants to apply for more than one internship.

Please send the following materials to with “SPRING 2016 internship” and your top 2-3 internships of choice in the subject line.

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter
  3. 2-page writing sample

For your writing sample, we say, go wild! This can be a blog piece, an essay excerpt, a letter to the editor for a newspaper, an article in your school’s newspaper, etc. Feel free to provide a couple sentences of context if you’re excerpting your selection from a larger piece. The important thing is for us to get a sense of something you’re passionate about…oh, and, we’d love to see if you can string a sentence together, too.

For your cover letter please make sure to include the following information:

  • Top 2-3 internships of interest (can include a mix of paid and unpaid positions)
  • Tell us about a movement that you’re passionate about and how you would like to see this movement create change.
  • What skills, experience, and/or knowledge would you bring to our Spring internship program?
  • Time commitment including start date, end date, hours per week and days of flexibility

If you’d like to apply for the Changemakers Fellowship, please fill out the form here in addition to sending your materials to

Any questions can be directed to Emily Norton, the Next Leaders Program Manager, via email at

Spring 2016 Application Deadlines: Internships are open until filled. We are seeking to fill positions as soon as possible with the understanding that we’ll be aiming to schedule interviews during the last week of November and first week of December 2015. Changemaker Fellowship applications are due no later than December 10th.

The Institute for Policy Studies is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.