Research Internship, Foreign Policy, Brookings (Washington, DC)


Thinking about a career in public policy? Committed to improving the world we live in? Think Brookings – one of the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tanks!

Interns spend approximately 10 weeks working alongside leading experts in government and academia from all over the world. Brookings also offers students the opportunity to intern in departments such as communications, human resources and central operations management. The mission of the Internship Program is to provide students with a pre-professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work experience related to their field of study or career interest. Students engage in career exploration and development as well as learn new skills.

Interns will have the opportunity to attend internal meetings, local think tank events, professional development workshops, and public Brookings events. In addition, interns may participate on Brookings sports teams and network with other interns throughout the Institution.

This external sponsorship/academic focused internship, beginning in June 2020, is an opportunity for undergraduate students in their junior or senior year and graduate students with an interest in foreign policy, particularly in issues related to geopolitics and globalization, to apply principles and theory learned in the classroom in a professional environment. The internship is offered on the basis of academic credit and/or external financial support.

Applicants must be willing to commit to a minimum number of hours per week (no less than 20 hours per week, during regular business hours), with some flexibility around an academic course schedule.

The intern will develop research skills and acquire in-depth knowledge by conducting research assistance for a project analyzing the return to geopolitical competition among global powers in the maritime realm; the centrality of maritime trade to globalization; the implications of the deep- sea energy revolution; and the important interaction between climate change and ocean. In addition, the intern will help with research projects involving our Latin America and Global China workstreams.

The intern may also gain first-hand experience in public policy and international affairs by assisting in the logistical planning and implementation of public events, private roundtables, briefings, and other meetings. Interns will assist in compiling and updating mailing, media, and invitation lists; proofreading, fact-checking, and editing project and research materials; planning travel and development opportunities; and will provide general administrative support.

The intern will learn how a professional public policy institution develops, creates, and shares its scholarship with the public and policymakers. Students will also gain insight into executive-level functions at an NGO, providing administrative support to the office of the Vice President and Director of Foreign Policy for day-to-day executive support functions, compiling and updating mailing, media, and invitation lists; proofreading, fact-checking, and editing project and research materials; assisting in travel planning and development opportunities; and providing general administrative support.


Graduate or undergraduate students (who have completed their sophomore year) working toward a degree in international affairs, political science, strategic studies or related fields may apply. Applicants must have a strong understanding of research methods and event organization. Expertise or demonstrated knowledge of geopolitics, maritime policy, and the western hemisphere is preferred, as is familiarity with leading individuals, both academics and practitioners, in these policy areas.

Previous experience in project coordination, administration, and communications is required. Intern must have experience working in an office setting and familiarity with working in a professional setting with individuals with high levels of seniority and responsibility. Successful candidates will demonstrate strong attention to detail, organizational skills, and the ability to work independently and proactively.  Successful candidates will have experience conducting and synthesizing research and have proven professional discretion as they will be working with high level information and individuals. Strong writing and data management skills are preferred. International experience and proficiency in a foreign language are welcome in a candidate.


Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please submit your resume as instructed and add your cover letter as an attachment when you apply. Your cover letter should highlight your educational experience and skills, along with an explanation of how this internship will contribute to your professional goals. Please address your cover letter to Hiring Manager.

Selected applicants will additionally be required to submit two letters of recommendation or provide two professional references.

Applications will be accepted until February 28, 2020. Applications not completed and submitted by the application deadline date will not be considered. Your application is considered complete when you receive an email confirming that your application was successfully submitted.

For more information and to apply, click here.

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