Summer Associate, Marco Polo (Chicago, IL)


MacroPolo is the in-house think tank of the Paulson Institute in Chicago. We decode China’s economic arrival with incisive market-relevant analysis and creative research products. We are building a 21st century think tank that specializes in thoughtfully-designed digital interactives, data-driven products, and differentiated analysis. Our work currently spans three core areas: economics, technology, and politics.

We are seeking highly-qualified undergraduate and graduate students to constitute our second cohort of Summer Associates. We are not looking for anonymous research assistants or fact-checkers. Instead, we want to cultivate emerging talent and promote your work. We are unique in offering you the opportunity to shape, produce, and possibly even lead substantive work. We will ensure you spend time working with our experts and meeting external specialists.

From June 8 – August 14, 2020, you will work on your own project in our downtown Chicago office. In addition to all think tank events, such as our “Decoding China” series, you will also participate in activities specifically crafted for Summer Associates, such as networking lunches, research presentations, and social events in Chicago. We provide a competitive stipend.


This year, we invite applications from two types of candidates: researchers and creatives.

If you are a researcher, we want you to pitch us an original research project in the field of economics, technology, or politics that seeks to deliver interesting conclusions or yield new perspectives about important issues in China or about China’s impact on the world. Your project could take the form of an in-depth analysis, a series of commentaries, an interactive data visualization, or any other type of content that has merit. We are persuadable! Advanced proficiency in Mandarin Chinese is highly preferred but not essential and will be evaluated in the context of your other skills and experiences. You are also welcome to pitch original contributions to existing MacroPolo projects.

If you are a creative, we want you to pitch us either an original project that offers a new angle on China’s economic arrival, or a plan that would help us build new products and/or improve our content delivery. Design, web development, and video production are just some of the skill-sets that could work well for these pitches. You could work on new social media campaigns, develop your own mini-video series with a China twist, or write and produce a multimedia package about US-China. Chinese language proficiency is a bonus but not necessary.


The application deadline is 11:59pm US Central Time, Tuesday, January 21, 2020. This is a competitive program, so please submit your application on time for consideration.

To apply, please send, as separate Microsoft Word attachments, a one-page pitch letter, a one-page résumé, a short English-language writing sample (or other relevant sample of your previous work), and contact details for two referees (one academic, one professional) to both Neil Thomas at and Holly He and

For more information, click here.

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