Research Assistant Internship, Wilson Center – Washington, DC or Remote

Fall 2020 Research Assistant Internship Openings

The Wilson Center is closely monitoring guidelines established by the CDC and other federal and state authorities surrounding COVID-19. At this time, the Center intends to continue its virtual model for the Fall, as created and honed during the Spring and Summer terms. The Center has developed a research-based, in-depth, and phased reopening plan, which considers and includes all WC community members, including its interns.

In the event that it is deemed safe for interns to come in-person to the Center, each intern and their respective supervisor will mutually determine the viability of either continuing their internship remotely, or if it is beneficial for the intern to come into the Center on an intermittently scheduled, ad-hoc basis. The Internship Coordinator will keep Fall 2020 applicants up to date with any new information as it becomes available. Applicants that have a strong preference for interning remotely for the duration of their internship are encouraged to state this in their cover letter. We encourage any interested applicants to continue to apply as usual, and to email with any questions or concerns that they may have.

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 Fall 2020 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.

Research Assistant internship opportunities are offered year-round, and are generally consistent with academic semesters. Most research assistants complete an internship for academic credit. Students are encouraged to apply for independent grants or scholarships through their schools or outside sources to financially support them during their internship appointment. Depending on funding and eligibility, a modest monthly stipend may be available if the student is not receiving academic credit for the internship. The list of scholars currently open for research assistance is below.

Nobuhiro Aizawa, Associate Professor, Kyushu University (Japan). “Rise of ‘Anglo’ Southeast Asian Professionals and its Geopolitical Impact.” (Mandarin, Thai, Vietnamese)
Lawrence Altman, Medical Writer and “The Doctor’s World” Columnist, New York Times. “Reporting on the Health of Presidents and other Political Leaders.”

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)

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)

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.”

Khalid Medani, Associate Professor of Political Science, McGill University. “From Revolution to Resolution? Sudan’s Popular Uprising and the Transition from Autocracy to Democracy.”

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)

Earl Anthony Wayne, Former Career Ambassador to Afghanistan, Argentina, and Mexico, U.S. Department of State. “Deepening North American Economic Integration.” (Spanish)

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 following reading and writing foreign language skills are useful and applicants should indicate their level of proficiency on the application form:
Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish

The priority deadline to apply is August 16th, 2020. However, internship positions are open until filled, so it is strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. All applications will be forwarded to our internship coordinator. For full details and instructions on how to apply visit

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