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Fall 2015 Research Assistant Internship Openings

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Company/Organization: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


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 2015 semester. An intern typically works 12-15 hours a week per scholar. (The number of hours can be adjusted accordingly to fulfill academic requirements).

The priority deadline to apply is July 1, 2015. We will start matching scholars and interns, but will accept intern applications after this date. Internship positions are open until filled so applying early is strongly recommended.
Alan Cullison, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal. “Rational Roots of Extremism.” (Russian or Arabic)

Zdenek David, Former Librarian, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC. . “The Philosophical and Religious Background of T.G. Masaryk’s Politics.” (German or Czech)

Nancy Gertner, Senior Lecturer, Harvard Law School. “Judging in a Complex World.”

Robert Hathaway. Former Director, Asia Program. “Leverage: Turning Power into Clout.”

James Hollifield, Professor of Political Science and Director of Tower Center of Political Studies, Southern Methodist University. “The Political Economy of International Migration.” (any European language).

Kent Hughes, Former Director, Program on America and the Global Economy. “Economic Statecraft in the 21st Century.”

Jan Kalicki, Counselor for International Strategy, Chevron; Chairman, Eurasia Foundation. “Global and Regional Energy Security.”

Michael Kofman, Program Manager and Research Fellow, Center for Strategic Research, Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University. “Russian Foreign Policy: The New Normal in Russian-Western Relations.” (Russian)

William Krist, Former Senior Vice- President, American Electronics Association, Washington, DC. “Globalization and Americas Trade Agreements.”

Mark Landler, White House Correspondent for the New York Times. Working on a book project on the Foreign Policies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Steve Lagerfeld, Former Editor, The Wilson Quarterly. “The Contrarian’s Art.”

Richard McGregor, Former Beijing and Washington Bureau Chief, Financial Times. “Three Tigers, One Mountain: China, Japan and America in the Asian Century.” (Mandarin Chinese or Japanese)

William B. Milam, Former Senior US Diplomat and US Ambassador in both West Africa and South Asia. “Liberia: Back from Failure—Justice vs. Reconciliation.” Second research topic on “Post-Musharraf Pakistan; Back to Square One in Bangladesh.” (French)

Diana Negroponte, Non-resident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution. “Reviewing the History of the End of the Cold War.” (German or Russian)

David Ottaway, Former Washington Post Correspondent. “A Reporter’s Rediscovery of Stories Covered and Countries Lived in Over a 35 Year Career at the Washington Post.” (Arabic)

Marina Ottaway, Carnegie Foundation. “Arab Countries in Transition.” (Arabic or French)

Marvin Ott, Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins University. “Malaysian Foreign and Security Policy” and “Issues in Southeast Asian Security.”

Edward Schumacher-Matos, Ombudsman, NPR. “From Ellis Island to Silicon Valley: The Impact of Mass Migration on Entrepreneurialism, Innovation, Inequality, and American Economic Power.”

John W. Sewell, Former President of the Overseas Development Council (ODC). Working on a policy paper, “Development Without Aid.”

Philippa Strum, Former Director, Division of United States Studies, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC. “Why Americans Get to Talk so Much: Speech Jurisprudence in the United States.”

Samuel Wells, Former Associate Director, Woodrow Wilson Center; Former Director, West European Studies Program, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, D.C. “The Worst Case: Korea and U.S. Escalation of the Cold War.” (Russian, Mandarin Chinese, or Korean)

Robin Wright, Former Washington Post Journalist. The Middle East at a Crossroads—from North Africa to the Persian Gulf.” (Persian or Arabic)

Margarita Balmaceda, Professor, Seton Hall University. “Chains of Value, Chains of Power: Russian Energy, Value Chains and the Remaking of Social Relations from Vladivostok to Brussels.” (Russian, Polish, or Ukrainian)

Thomas Berger, Associate Professor, Boston University. “A Sea of Troubles: US Grand Strategy in East Asia and Japans Disputes over History and Territory.” (Japanese)

Kent Eaton, Professor of Politics, University of California, Santa Cruz. “Right Reactions to the Left Turn in Latin America.” (Spanish)

Michelle Egan, Associate Professor, American University. “TTIP as Transatlantic Pivot: Strategic and Domestic sources of Legitimacy, Credibility, and Compliance.”

Renaud Egreteau, Visiting Fellow, Institute of South East Asian Studies of Singapore. “Legislatures and Political Change: The Case of Myanmar (Burma) A Study in the Resurgence of Parliament and its Role in Democratization in a Post-junta Era (2010-2015).” (Burmese)

Igor Fedyukin, Director, Center for History Sources, Higher School of Economics. “Technocrats and the Vertical of Power: Reforming Education and science in Russia in 2000-2014.” (Chinese)

Farhat Haq, Professor, Monmouth College. “Sacralizing the State: Islam and Democracy in Pakistan.” (Urdu)

Jamie Horsley, Executive Director, Senior Research Scholar, China Law Center, Yale Law School. “Rule of Law and Open Governance Reforms in China: Implications for China, U.S.-China Relations and International Relations.” (Mandarin Chinese)

Adrienne LeBas, Professor, American University. “The Organizational Roots of Electoral Violence in Africa.” (French)

Kristie Macrakis, Professor, Georgia Tech/School of History. “Technology and the Rise of the U. S. Global Security State: How Can History Inform Policy?”

Abdelfattah Mady, Associate Professor, Alexandria University. “Strategies of Civilian Control of the Armed Forces: A Comparative Study.”

Dinny McMahon, Banking & Finance Correspondent, Beijing, The Wall Street Journal. “Cracks in the Facade – the Mounting Risk and Complexity of Chinas Financial System.” (Mandarin Chinese)

Viridiana Rios, Senior Security Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Mexico. “Economic Policy for Crime Deterrence in Mexico.” (Spanish)

Daniel Neep, Assistant Professor, Georgetown University. “Transformations of Space and State: The Making of Modern Syria.” (Arabic or French)

Elisabeth Röhrlich, Researcher and Lecturer, University of Vienna. “Global Nuclear Governance: Perspectives from the pre-NPT History of the IAEA.”

Fatima Sadiqi, Senior Professor of Linguistics & Gender Studies, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, Morocco. “Jihadism and the Escalation of Violence Against Women and Girls. Towards a Formulation of Policies Combating Gender-based Violence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region.”

Elizabeth Thompson, Professor of History, University of Virginia. “After Lawrence: Woodrow Wilson and the Broken Promise of Arab Liberalism after World War I.” (Arabic, German, or French)

Yue Zhang, Associate Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago. “Informal Urbanization: The Making and Governance of Megacities in China, India, and Brazil.” (Portuguese or Chinese)

Vladislav Zubok, Professor of International History, London School of Economics. “1991, Russia destroys the Soviet Union.”



Applicants must have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or equivalent from a non-U.S. institution. Furthermore, applicants must be current students, recent graduates (within one calendar year), and/or have been accepted to enter an advanced degree program (within the next year). Non-degree seeking students are ineligible. Most interns are at least seniors in the undergraduate level, though strongly qualified juniors (at the time of application) will be considered. Graduate students are also eligible to apply.

International students are eligible, but they must hold a valid F-1 or J-1 visa and appropriate work authorization especially if they are receiving compensation for the internships. All international students must obtain written permission from their Designated School Official or Responsible Visa Officer at their university stating that they are in valid immigration status and eligible to do an internship at the Center.

The Wilson Center is unable to sponsor visas for interns. If you are an international student not already studying in the U.S. on a F-1 or J-1 visa, then you have to go through a university or an outside organization (internship placement agency) that will sponsor your visa.

Typical research assistants are students of political science; U.S. government/politics; international relations; history (including US history); foreign languages; international affairs; regional studies; economics; public policy; security studies; journalism and similar disciplines, though students of many other fields of study have sometimes been selected. New scholars are constantly arriving at the Wilson Center, and it can be difficult to predict what specific projects will be carried out in the future. For that reason, all interested students are encouraged to apply.


12-15 hrs/wk


3-4 months

End Date:


Additional Info:
The majority of the interns at the Woodrow Wilson Center serve as research assistants or scholar interns for visiting scholars. Research assistants are talented college students from universities around the country who combine part-time hours at the Center with their studies and with other activities. A research assistant typically works 12-15 hours a week per scholar. (The number of hours can be adjusted accordingly to fulfill academic requirements).

A position as a research assistant is particularly appropriate for a college student planning to move on to graduate studies, or for college students wishing to develop a deeper understanding of their field of study. In addition to assisting with research, interns have the opportunity to network with experts in their chosen fields.

The Center has at least 60 research interns at any one time, many of whom are replaced at the end of each academic term. Internship appointments are generally consistent with academic semesters (i.e. Fall, Spring, Summer) and last approximately nine to twelve weeks. The start and end dates are flexible in order to accommodate varying school schedules. No internship will exceed one year in duration.

Most research assistants do an internship for academic credit and do not receive a stipend. The Center is willing to coordinate with each student and school in filling out the necessary paperwork. 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, a modest stipend may be available if the student is not receiving academic credit for the internship.


Most scholars who come to the Wilson Center spend their time carrying out research, writing books, and making public presentations. Research assistants have the unique opportunity to work directly with these experts, as they examine issues of contemporary public policy or explore topics that provide the historical context behind today’s public policy debates. Most research assistants at the Center work with university professors who are scholars at the Wilson Center while on leave from their home institutions. Other assistants may be assigned to journalists, present and former government officials (such as diplomats and ambassadors) or, occasionally, to scholars from the private sector. The list of current scholars is attached at the bottom of this page.

In support of the scholars, research assistants spend much of their time searching for information, using online academic databases or other publications. They often perform other duties, as well, such as proofreading; editing; critiquing; checking references; compiling bibliographies; writing literature reviews; summarizing research materials; locating inter-library loan materials; and helping with software or presentational tasks. 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 a minimum of supervision are strong assets. Foreign language skills are sometimes useful, but are not required.

While at the Center, all interns are encouraged to go beyond their particular internship responsibilities and to attend our many panel discussions, conferences, symposia, and other meetings. Interns are also welcome to join staff and scholars during some social events.

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