Internship Descriptions and Requirements
Please note: Intern duties may vary depending on the Center's needs and the abilities and interests of each intern. Not all of these positions may be available every semester. For more information about a specific Center project, please contact the internship coordinator.
Internship Descriptions by Department
The communications office seeks to inform state and federal policy debates by disseminating Center reports and analyses to the news media. Framing research into a clear message for public consumption is a complex process. The communications intern will assist in all stages of this process, including, but not limited to, tracking media coverage, updating and maintaining contact lists, distributing Center reports and analyses, occasionally drafting press advisories, and helping the Center engage in social/new media.
Requirements: Candidates should have a general interest in journalism and/or communications, good research skills, effective written and verbal communication skills, the ability to work well independently and a general understanding of Center-related topics.
Fundraising and Development
The Development department is responsible for raising the operating resource needs of the Center, communicating effectively with funders about the Center’s work, meeting grant proposal and reporting requirements, and identifying new sources of funding. The intern will have opportunities to learn about management practices applicable throughout the non-profit sector, as well as about each of the Center’s program areas. Potential projects involve compiling information for development materials, maintaining and improving information systems, and researching funders and philanthropic trends.
Federal Fiscal Policy
The Federal Fiscal Policy team informs the debate over federal budget priorities by analyzing major federal budget and tax proposals. Our work places particular emphasis on the adequacy of funding for programs that assist low- and moderate-income families and the effects of tax proposals on households at different income levels. We also analyze long-term budget challenges and trends in the level of federal revenues, income distribution, and tax burdens. The federal fiscal policy intern will research specific subjects related to these policy areas, collect and analyze economic data, and assist in our monitoring of related research and policy developments.
Federal Legislative Affairs
Each semester, two interns will work together to support teams within the Federal Legislative Affairs Department. Interns will get the unique opportunity to assist in a number of areas of the Center's work, including: tracking congressional budget plans, the appropriations process, and legislation changing tax policy or entitlement programs; responding to requests for information; and attending congressional hearings and other policy events. Specific duties will include tracking press, legislation, and amendments as they move through congressional committee and floor debates, attending hearings and summarizing the discussions, finding quotations from experts and officials, updating budget-related website postings, maintaining a large database of budget and tax contacts, and responding to questions and requests for information from outside organizations and individuals.
Requirements: Candidates should have a demonstrated interest in politics, strong written skills, the ability to work in a fast-paced environment with attention to detail, and a desire to learn more about the legislative policy process and advocacy coalitions. Individuals with little or no previous experience working on Capitol Hill or in DC on legislative issues are strongly encouraged to apply.
The Food Assistance department assists states in designing state food stamp programs for persons ineligible for the federal program and in implementing reforms to make the food stamp program easier to access and administer. The food stamp intern assists in researching, preparing, and distributing analyses and studies about federal or state policies to improve participation in food stamps and other low-income nutrition programs. The intern also analyzes food stamp law in order to help organizations represent their clients.
Requirements: Candidates should have an interest in nutrition policy, demonstrated statistical skills, and the ability to pay close attention to detail. SPSS/STATA experience is a plus, but not necessary.
The Health Policy division is involved actively in policy discussions related to Medicaid, children’s health insurance, and other health care issues that affect low- and moderate- income families. The health policy intern assists in all aspects of this process including research, qualitative and quantitative analysis, data collection and management, and strategic problem solving with the ultimate objective being to develop an understanding of how various administrative policies and legislative proposals will affect families, and federal and state budgets.
Requirements:Candidates should have a demonstrated interest in health care policy, general familiarity with the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs, basic quantitative analytic skill, and the ability to synthesize a great deal of information..
The Housing Policy division works with state and local housing agencies and advocates to improve the effectiveness of federal low-income housing programs — particularly the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The housing intern performs in-depth analyses of research reports and program data on relevant policy issues. The intern also performs a variety of other tasks, including attending and reporting on hearings, conferences and meetings.
Requirements: Candidates should have a strong interest in housing policy, as well as experience with housing and/or homelessness issues.
International Budget Partnership
The Center's International Budget Partnership provides assistance to independent budget and tax groups and researchers around the world, with a focus on those in emerging democracies. The partnership helps such groups exchange information, and it participates in joint research projects with the aim of promoting more democratic budget processes in those countries. The intern researches budget processes and institutions and also helps with projects — including Internet-related work and a regular newsletter — that are intended to maintain and develop the network of NGOs.
Requirements: Candidates should have an interest in international development, strong internet research skills, familiarity with tax and budget concepts, and fluency in foreign languages such as French and/or Spanish.
The Center conducts a national outreach campaign aimed at assisting low- moderate-income working families and individuals in obtaining federal tax benefits for which they are eligible. These include the recently expanded Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. The Center provides an annual community outreach kit, training and technical assistance on conducting effective outreach activities to thousands of national, state and community-based organizations, human services providers, state and local government agencies, businesses and others across the country. The outreach intern helps maintain communication with these partner groups and with others that would like to become involved in the campaign. He or she will track the use of creative outreach strategies, help develop new materials, and research policies and procedures that affect the ability of eligible individuals to obtain tax benefits they have earned.
State Fiscal Project
The State Fiscal Policy division conducts research and analysis of tax and budget developments at the state and local levels, with a particular focus on how they affect low-income families and individuals. In addition, they work with the Center’s network of state-level fiscal policy groups and assess the impact of federal tax and budget policies on state finances. The state fiscal policy intern will research specific subjects in these policy areas, assist the director and staff in preparation of materials for presentations, gather information from state groups in the Center’s network, and collect and analyze data from a range of sources to track state economies and finances.
Requirements: Candidates should have an interest in state fiscal policy, strong quantitative skills and experience working with Excel.
Family Income Support Division
The Family Income Support division works on federal and state policy issues related to income assistance and welfare-to-work programs for people with low and moderate incomes, and studies trends in income inequality, poverty, unemployment, and the effectiveness of various government policies in supporting economic well-being. The Income Support intern will conduct quantitative analyses of Census Bureau survey data -- such as research on trends in deep poverty, economic insecurity, and the impact of government income-assistance programs in averting poverty -- and assist in tracking developments in state welfare-to-work programs or other income-support policies.
DC Fiscal Policy Institute
The DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) internship at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will include a mixture of support for various DCFPI projects and an introduction to the policy-making process in the District of Columbia. The DCFPI intern will attend a variety of DC Council hearings, including hearings on the DC budget, as well as meeting with advocates, Council members and staff, and members of the Mayor's administration. The intern will be asked to conduct both internet-based research and quantitative analysis to support multiple research projects. Finally, the intern will be expected to handle some administrative tasks.
State Fiscal Analysis Initiative Opportunities
The State Fiscal Analysis Initiative brings together nonpartisan, independent, nonprofit organizations in each of 42 states. These organizations have diverse backgrounds and missions, but they share a commitment to rigorous policy analysis, responsible budget and tax policies, a particular focus on the needs of low- and moderate-income families. The organizations broaden the debate on budget and tax policy through public education and the encouragement of civic engagement on these issues.