Research Assistant Internship, The Wilson Center (Washington, DC)

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is looking for qualified students (advanced undergraduate or graduate) interested in being part-time research assistant interns in the Spring 2021 semester. An intern typically works 12-15 hours a week per scholar (the number of hours can be adjusted accordingly to fulfill academic requirements).

In support of the scholars, scholar interns spend much of their time searching for information using online academic databases or other publications. Other duties also include proofreading, editing, critiquing, checking references, compiling bibliographies, writing literature reviews, summarizing research materials, locating inter-library loan materials, and helping with software or presentations. 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 minimum supervision are strong assets. Foreign language skills are sometimes useful but are not required.

In addition, this program seeks to further the agency’s mission by providing the recipient with an introduction to the relationship between the world of learning and the world of public affairs. The recipients, as future scholars and/or leaders, will be afforded the opportunity to experience first-hand the importance of engaging academics and public servants toward a common purpose. It is hoped that these opportunities to work with distinguished scholars and practitioners will add a valuable practicum experience to one’s classroom training.

The priority deadline to apply is November 22nd, 2020. However, internship positions are open until filled, so it is strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Please find below a tentative list of scholars needing assistant for the Spring 2021 semester:

  • David Atwill, Professor of Asian History, Pennsylvania State University. “In China’s Shadow: The Ascendency of High Asia, 1900 – 1960.” (Mandarin, Russian, Tibetan, or Mongolian)
  • Lawson Brigham, Distinguished Professor of Geography and Arctic Policy, University of Alaska, Fairbanks. “The Russian Maritime Arctic: Region of Great Change in the 21st Century.” (Russian)
  • Nicola Casarini, Senior Research Fellow, Instituto Affari Internazionali, Italy. “US and EU Perspectives on China’s Trade, Financial and Monetary Power: Towards a Common Transatlantic Approach or Divergence?” (Chinese)
  • Elizabeth Chalecki, Assistant Professor of International Relations, University of Nebraska, Omaha. “Rethinking Sovereignty in a Changed Climate: the National Security Role of Commons-Based Geoengineering.”
  • Haleh Esfandiari, Former Director, Middle East Program. Writing a book about women in Qajar, Iran during the nineteenth century. (Persian)
  • Francis Gavin, Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the inaugural Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. “Thinking Historically: A Guide for Statecraft and Strategy.”
  • Haifeng Huang, Professor of Economics, Peking University HSBC Business School, China. “Waste Management for Global Sustainability: Comparing China-US Policies and Practices.” (Mandarin Chinese)
  • Kent Hughes, Former Director, Program on America and the Global Economy, Woodrow Wilson Center. Working on a research project about labor force development in the Middle East. (Mandarin Chinese, Arabic)
  • Bradley Jardine, Schwarzman Scholar, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. “Containing Afghanistan: Central Asia’s Growing Sino-Russian Security Nexus.” (Mandarin Chinese)
  • Dalia Kaye, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation. “The Making of U.S. Iran Policy: The Construction of Iran as an Abnormal State and its Consequences for American Foreign Policy.”
  • Conor McGlynn, Schwarzman Scholar. “China’s Rise in International Standard Setting for High Technology.”
  • Ricardo Mora-Tellez, Professor of Social Science, Princeton University. “Is the Decline of Unauthorized Mexican Immigrants the Result of Worse Employment Prospects as a Consequence of the U.S. Recession or More Permanent Changes in the Mexican Economy and Demographics?”
  • Thomas Oatley, Professor of Political Science, Tulane University. “The Carbon Peace, the Climate Crisis, and the Fragility of International Order.”
  • Asher Orkaby, Professor, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University. “The Tenuous Taboo: Chemical Weapons in the Middle East.” (Arabic)
  • Andrew Oros, Professor of Political Science and International Studies, Washington College. “America’s Aging Allies in Asia: National Security and Demographic Change in the Indo-Pacific.” (Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, or Taiwanese)
  • Sergey Radchenko, Professor of International Politics, Cardiff University. “The First Fiddle: A History of the Cold War and After.”
  • Maria Repnikova, Assistant Professor of Global Communication, Georgia State University. “In the Shadow of the United States: The Rise of Chinese Soft Power in Africa.” (Mandarin Chinese)
  • Darren Touch, Schwarzman Scholar. “Middle Powers Navigating Great Power Rivalry.”
  • Aili Tripp, Wangari Maathai Professor of Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison. “Why do Authoritarian Regimes in Africa Adopt Women’s Rights?”
  • Earl Anthony Wayne, Former Career Ambassador to Afghanistan, Argentina, and Mexico, U.S. Department of State. “Deepening North American Economic Integration.” (Spanish)
  • Edward Wong, Diplomatic Correspondent, The New York Times. “The Empire Reborn: China’s Rise and Transformation of Global Power.” (Mandarin Chinese)
  • Robin Wright, Former Washington Post Journalist and Joint Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace and Woodrow Wilson Center. “The Middle East at a Crossroads—from North Africa to the Persian Gulf.” (Arabic or Persian)

The WWICS Internship Application Form and detailed instructions can be found at:

The application materials consist of:

  • a completed WWICS Internship Application Form
  • Cover Letter (indicating academic interests or areas of interest)
  • Current Resume (indicating relevant coursework)
  • 3-to-5 page Writing Sample or excerpt of a recent research paper with separate Works Cited page
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (do not have to be sealed by recommender); highlighting writing, research, and/or language skills would be helpful; *if you don’t have recommendation letters readily available, please include three references
  • Transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable)

Please submit your application materials in ONE COMPLETE PDF via email to Elinor Harty at


Please Note:

  • Most interns are unpaid and doing an internship for academic credit.
  • Because of the large number of applicants, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
  • Interviewed candidates will be contacted within approximately 4-6 weeks of the prescribed deadline. However, we may receive last minute intern requests from other scholars.

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