Political Science and History Summer Associate, RAND Corporation (Various Locations)


The RAND Corporation’s reputation is built on quality and objectivity. RAND provides an exciting intellectual environment and opportunities for career growth. We hire highly qualified applicants and provide challenging assignments. Diversity is an essential operating principle at RAND. We look for unique backgrounds, original views, and diversity in academic training, work experience, and ideological outlook. We are committed to Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

RAND’s Summer Associate Program introduces outstanding graduate students conducting national security-related work in political science; history; public policy; public administration; international relations; or area studies to the RAND Corporation, an institution that conducts research on a wide range of domestic and international social policy issues as well as national security problems.

RAND advises a variety of defense clients on policy-level decisions relating to defense programs, military systems, future force structure and doctrine, homeland security, and national military strategy. Working with multi­disciplinary teams, national security researchers apply quantitative and qualitative skills to analyze policy problems of national and international importance, and communicate the results of these analyses to decision makers.

Summer Associates experience the following at RAND:

  • Typically work at RAND for a 12-week period during the summer;
  • Receive a bi-weekly paycheck during their assignment with RAND;
  • Conduct research that can be completed during their time at RAND and present the results of this research to the RAND community via a 15-30 minute briefing at the end of their three-month assignment;
  • Are closely mentored by one to two established RAND researchers;
  • May be located in Santa Monica, CA, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, PA, or Boston, MA depending on the match with mentors;
  • Are highly encouraged to network and interact with other researchers outside of their primary mentorship team and area of expertise;
  • Are invited to attend a number of seminars from researchers both within and outside of RAND.


The position is designed for full-time doctoral students in political science, history, public policy, public administration, international relations or area studies or other related fields who: (1) have completed at least two years of graduate work leading to a doctorate or professional degree (e.g., law or medical degree); and (2) are within two years of completion of this doctorate or degree.

A keen interest in working on applied, policy-oriented research questions is necessary. Applicants are strongly encouraged to explore RAND’s website (www.rand.org) for details on RAND’s ongoing research portfolio. Unfortunately, we do not know in advance which projects may require summer associates.

In connection with national security or defense projects, many positions require that applicants be eligible to receive, or currently hold, a security clearance from the United States government.

Additional qualifications required:

  • Excellent analytic skills;
  • Proven ability in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods;
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English, both verbally and in writing;
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a multidisciplinary team;
  • Strong commitment to RAND’s core values of quality and objectivity;
  • Proof of legal right to work in the United States is required upon hire;
  • U.S. Citizenship is not necessary except when required for certain types of project work (e.g., the project contract requires it or the project work itself requires a security clearance)


For more information and to apply, click here.

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