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.


Communications Assistant

Are you an excellent writer with an eagle eye for details? Do you thrive under ambitious deadlines? Are you looking for a progressive workplace where you can use your communications skills to support a dynamic team of public scholars working to change the world? If so, look no further!

Founded in 1963, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) is the nation’s first progressive multi-issue think tank.  We are a community of scholars and activists committed to putting bold ideas into action to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence, and military power.

We are seeking a Communications Assistant who will work with the Communications team and our nationally renowned experts to assist with the release of groundbreaking reports, publish commentaries and talking points, and help garner media attention for work that is shifting the narrative on inequality, race and gender justice, foreign policy, and climate justice. Under the supervision of the Communications Director, the Communications Assistant will be responsible for a variety of day-to-day activities that support IPS’s goals of growing the community and audience for our work.

Primary Responsibilities

External Communications Support (60%-70%)

  • Drafting various communications to supporters, including INSIDE IPS quarterly newsletter, the annual report, e-newsletters, etc.
  • Assisting with distributing IPS’s e-newsletters.
  • Posting and managing online content as needed.
  • Assisting with event logistics, including securing venues, dates, times, etc.
  • Posting events to IPS’s website and coordinating online outreach with the social media manager.
  • Maintaining internal Google calendar of IPS events.
  • Other projects as assigned.

Media Outreach Support (30%-40%)

  • Supporting Institute-wide and project-specific media outreach, including conducting media research and assisting with media requests.
  • Assisting in drafting press materials, including press releases, statements, and media advisories.
  • Tracking media hits and maintaining the IPS online press room.

Essential Skills and Experience

  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Highly organized, meticulous, and have strong attention to detail.
  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, PR, marketing, or related field and/or 1-2 years of relevant experience in a professional setting.
  • Experience with Convio/Luminate Online, WordPress, and Adobe Creative Suite a plus.

Salary and Benefits

This is a temporary, one-year position with the possibility of becoming a permanent position after the first year. The selected Communications Assistant is expected to commit to a full-time schedule (IPS has a 37.5 hour work week) from February 1, 2016 until January 31, 2017.

The salary range for this position starts at $37,000 and is commensurate with experience.  Excellent benefits include generous vacation and sick leave, paid holidays, 403(b) plan upon hire, employer-paid health insurance, fully paid life insurance, fully paid long-term disability, optional short-term disability, and flex time.

IPS 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.

How to Apply

Please send the following materials in a single PDF to with “Communications Assistant” in the subject line.  

  1. A cover letter explaining your interest in communications work and any related experience.
  2. Your resume, including three references.
  3. Writing sample(s) not exceeding 4 pages in length.

Application deadline: Friday, December 11, 2015.


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.