Summer Intern Positions (paid)

Website Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Deadline Feb. 1 for summer

Deadline for summer 2020 internship applications: February 1, 2020

More information:

Please note: Intern duties may vary depending on the Center’s needs and the abilities and interests of each intern. Not all of these positions may be available every semester. For more information about a specific Center project, please contact the internship coordinator.

Internship Descriptions by Department

General Education Requirements:  At a minimum, applicants must be undergraduate students. Additional education preferences are noted below.


The Communications Office seeks to inform state and federal policy debates by disseminating Center reports and analyses to the news media. Framing research into a clear message for public consumption is a complex process. The Communications intern will assist in all stages of this process, including, but not limited to, tracking media coverage, updating and maintaining contact lists, distributing Center publications, occasionally drafting press advisories, and helping the Center engage in social/new media.

Requirements: Candidates should have a general interest in journalism and/or communications, good research skills, effective written and verbal communication skills, the ability to work well independently and a general understanding of Center-related topics.

Fundraising and Development

The Development department is responsible for communicating effectively with funders about the Center’s work, meeting grant requirements, and identifying and cultivating new sources of funding. The intern will have opportunities to learn about each of the Center’s program areas, as well as a critical area of non-profit management. Among other tasks, the development intern will research funders and philanthropic trends, help maintain and improve information systems, and provide support to the Center’s growing individual donor program.

Requirements: Candidates should have a strong academic background, organizational skills, and an interest in the Center’s mission. Database experience is a plus.

Federal Fiscal Policy

The Federal Fiscal Policy team informs the debate over federal budget priorities by analyzing major federal budget and tax proposals.  Our work places particular emphasis on the adequacy of funding for programs that assist low- and moderate-income families and the effects of tax proposals on households at different income levels.  We also analyze long-term budget challenges and trends in the level of federal revenues, income distribution, and tax burdens.  The federal fiscal policy intern will research specific subjects related to these policy areas, collect and analyze economic data, and assist in our monitoring of related research and policy developments.

Requirements: Candidates should have an interest in federal fiscal as well as low-income policy issues, strong quantitative and writing skills, and some prior research and/or data analysis experience.  Strong preference is given to candidates who are able to work full time over the duration of the internship.

Education: Preference given to current and recently graduated undergraduates.

Government Affairs

Each semester, two interns play a collaborative role in supporting the Government Affairs team. Interns get a unique opportunity to contribute to the Center’s policy areas, primarily by tracking congressional budget and appropriations proposals and legislation affecting budget/tax policy and safety net programs. Intern duties include: tracking current legislation and amendments moving through the congressional process; attending hearings/markups and other policy events; summarizing policy debates; monitoring statements from policymakers and experts; maintaining a SharePoint database containing contacts for congressional staff and coalition partners; maintaining vote/policy stance/target grids; formulating responses to questions and requests for information from external partner organizations and individuals; and preparing briefing materials.

Requirements: Candidates should have strong research, writing, and communication skills; effective problem-solving skills; and an ability to multi-task and juggle competing deadlines.

Education: Preference given to undergraduate students.

Food Assistance

The Center’s Food Assistance division works at both the state and federal levels to strengthen federal food assistance programs, primarily the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), by analyzing proposed changes in government policies, designing and sharing new ideas to improve the programs, providing technical assistance to policymakers, conducting research on the programs, and working with federal and state nonprofits on these issues.  The food assistance intern compiles and analyzes data, assists with research projects and monitors legislative developments related to SNAP, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and other nutrition assistance programs.

Requirements: Candidates should have an interest in nutrition assistance, demonstrated quantitative skills, experience working with Excel and the ability to pay close attention to detail.  SPSS/STATA experience is a plus, but not necessary.

Education: Public policy and law students with interest in nutrition policy are strongly encouraged to apply.

Health Policy

The Health Policy division is involved actively in policy discussions related to Medicaid, children’s health insurance, and other health care issues that affect low- and moderate- income families.  The health policy intern assists in all aspects of this process including research, qualitative and quantitative analysis, data collection and management, and strategic problem solving with the ultimate objective being to develop an understanding of how various administrative policies and legislative proposals will affect families, and federal and state budgets.

Requirements:Candidates should have a demonstrated interest in health care policy, general familiarity with the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs, basic quantitative analytic skill, and the ability to synthesize a great deal of information.. 

Housing Policy

The Housing Policy division works with federal, state and local housing agencies and advocates to improve the effectiveness of federal low-income housing programs — particularly the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The housing intern performs in-depth analyses of research reports and program data on relevant policy issues. The intern also performs a variety of other tasks, including attending and reporting on hearings, conferences and meetings.

Requirements: Candidates should have a strong interest in poverty issues generally and housing policy in particular, as well as experience with housing and/or homelessness issues.

Education: Preference given to graduate students.

Health and Housing Integration Project

The Housing Policy Division works with the Health Policy Division on policy issues related to how the health system can work better for people with mental health and substance use disorders.  This work is focused in three areas:  improving housing access, better integrating primary and behavioral health care, and improving health for those involved in the criminal justice system.

The Health/Housing policy integration intern will work within the housing department and perform in-depth analyses of research on housing’s impact on health care costs and outcomes.  This includes writing blog posts and fact sheets to explain to potential partners and other stakeholders the key issues related to integrating housing and health financing and service delivery.  Other tasks include engaging health care providers and national partners in housing advocacy, attending meetings/conferences on health and housing issues, and researching and summarizing legislative and regulatory actions.


  • Candidates must have some experience in health and/or social services policy; a background on housing, homelessness, or disabilities issues is a plus.
  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills.
  • Solid interpersonal skills, both in person and over the phone.
  • Experience networking with community providers and organizing for advocacy purposes is a plus.
  • Ability to work full-time (40 hours per week over the summer) is a plus.
  • Experience writing blog posts, articles, and fact sheets is preferred.

Education: Preference given to grad students, but anyone with the requisite experience is encouraged to apply.

Outreach Campaigns

In Memory of Stephanie Jean-Charles

The Center conducts a national outreach campaign aimed at assisting low- moderate-income working families and individuals in obtaining federal tax benefits for which they are eligible. These include the recently expanded Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. The Center provides an annual community outreach kit, training and technical assistance on conducting effective outreach activities to thousands of national, state and community-based organizations, human services providers, state and local government agencies, businesses and others across the country. The outreach intern helps maintain communication with these partner groups and with others that would like to become involved in the campaign. He or she will track the use of creative outreach strategies, help develop new materials, and research policies and procedures that affect the ability of eligible individuals to obtain tax benefits they have earned.

Requirements: Candidates should have experience working with organizations serving low-income communities, strong communication skills, and facility with spreadsheets.

State Fiscal Policy

The State Fiscal Project (SFP) at the Center conducts research and analysis of tax and budget developments in the states, with a particular focus on how they affect low-income families and individuals. Areas of research for SFP include budget and tax reform, taxes and economic development, anti-poverty programs and tax policies, criminal justice, higher education, K-12 education, and immigration. SFP also coordinates and provides in-depth assistance to a nationwide network of state-level fiscal policy organizations.

The state fiscal policy team offers internships in the areas of research, communications & development, and outreach:

  • Research interns engage in policy research, assist research staff in preparation of materials for presentations, gather information from state groups in the Center’s network, and collect and analyze data from a range of sources to track state economies and finances.
  • Communications interns write a bi-weekly newsletter, post content for our online community, track media mentions, assist with prospect research and grant reports, event planning, and database management, and complete other special projects.
  • Outreach interns play a critical role in our work to strengthen the advocacy and campaign strategies of groups in the Center’s state network. Interns research, track, and provide background summaries on key state and federal policy action, attend and report on meetings of partners, allies, and other related organizations, and complete other special projects.
  • Development interns will support efforts to build and strengthen State Priorities Partnership organizations, gain experience in management and fundraising issues applicable throughout the non-profit sector, assist in planning state policy events, and collect and analyze data from a range of sources to track state economies and finances.

All interns help with tracking and monitoring of news coverage of key state policy developments and provide administrative assistance. Preference will be given to candidates who can work full-time.


Research candidates should have an interest in state fiscal policy, strong quantitative skills and experience working with Excel. Preference given to recent graduates and graduate students with majors in economics and/or public policy.

Communications candidates will have exceptional research, organizational, and writing skills, strong attention to detail, an interest in political communications, basic experience with content management systems, and ideally some experience in nonprofit fundraising. Preference will be given to students of journalism and communications.

Outreach candidates should be interested in the role nonprofits play in shaping policy debates.  Prior experience with community organizing or on issue or political campaigns is a plus.  Experience with communications like letters to the editor, petition language, and writing executive summaries, and with event planning and meeting organization background also a plus. Relevant education includes political science, public policy, law, and others.

Development candidates should have an interest in the Center’s mission.  Candidates should also have good academic standing, strong writing skills, attention to detail, and working knowledge of excel.

Family Income Support Division

The Family Income Support division works on federal and state policy issues related to income assistance and welfare-to-work programs for people with low and moderate incomes, and studies trends in income inequality, poverty, unemployment, and the effectiveness of various government policies in supporting economic well-being.  The Income Support intern will conduct quantitative analyses of Census Bureau survey data — such as research on trends in deep poverty, economic insecurity, and the impact of government income-assistance programs in averting poverty — and assist in tracking developments in state welfare-to-work programs or other income-support policies.

Requirements:Candidates should have strong quantitative skills, computer programming skills (STATA, SPSS, or SAS), and knowledge of programs for low-income families. 

State Priorities Partnership Opportunities

The State Priorities Partnership brings together nonpartisan, independent, nonprofit organizations in over 40 states. These organizations have diverse backgrounds and missions, but they share a commitment to rigorous policy analysis, responsible budget and tax policies, a particular focus on the needs of low- and moderate-income families. The organizations broaden the debate on budget and tax policy through public education and the encouragement of civic engagement on these issues.

State Policy Conference and Trainings

State Policy Conference and Trainings interns support the State Priorities Partnership’s annual state policy conference, the SPP new staff training, and other trainings hosted by the State Fiscal Project team. Interns help coordinate event logistics, manage website/app/registration software, generate reports, and attend meetings related to conference and training planning.

Requirements: State Policy Conference and Trainings candidates should be interested in the role nonprofits play in shaping policy debates. Strong writing and Excel skills are required for generating summaries and reports. A background in event planning and experience with software management are also a plus.

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