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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.

General Education RequirementsAt a minimum, applicants must be undergraduate students. Additional education preferences are noted below.

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 to maintain the Center's Internet presence.

Requirements: Candidates should have a general interest in journalism and/or web communication, 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 intern provides project support to the Development and External Affairs office. This department is responsible for maintaining and raising funds to support the operation of the Center; identifying new sources of funding; engaging in campaigns or events; developing materials for external use; and increasing the overall visibility of the Center. The intern assists with general projects that improve the business processes of the department, as well as with specific events or activities such as funders’ briefings or annual appeals.

Requirements: Candidates should be dynamic, interested in non-profit management, and have the ability to multi-task. Database experience is a plus.

Federal Legislation
The Center works closely with members of Congress. The legislative intern provides support to the Center's legislative staff by closely following the legislative process (including the annual budget & appropriations cycle), responding to requests for information, attending congressional hearings, and other tasks. Special emphasis will be placed on the appropriations and reconciliation processes as they relate to funding and other changes in low-income programs.

Requirements: Candidates should have a demonstrated interest in politics, strong written skills, the ability to work in a fast-paced environment, and a desire to learn more about the legislative policy process.  Individuals with little or no previous experience working on Capitol Hill or in DC on legislative issues are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Education: Preference given to undergraduate students.

Food Assistance
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. Also, the candidate should have a general interest in welfare reform/income support policy, as he/she will likely work in that department as well.

Education: Law students with interest in food policy are strongly encouraged to apply.

Health Policy
The Health Policy division ( is actively involved in policy debates over Medicaid, child health insurance, and other health care issues that affect low- and moderate-income families. The health policy intern assists in researching, preparing, and distributing analyses on how various legislative proposals would affect families, the federal budget, and states. 

Requirements: Candidates should have a demonstrated interest in health care policy, quantitative analytic skills and an ability to work with spreadsheets. Knowledge of statistics is a plus. 

Housing Policy
The Housing Policy division ( works with state and local housing agencies and advocates to ensure that federal housing subsidies are directed to the families most in need. The housing intern performs in-depth analyses of data on national housing conditions and the affordable housing stock and helps develop policy recommendations based on this analysis. The intern also performs a variety of other tasks, including assisting in the creation of a contact list of parties interested in the Center's housing policy work.

Requirements: Candidates should have a strong interest in housing policy, as well as experience with housing and/or homelessness issues.

Education: Preference given to graduate students.

International Budget Project
The Center's International Budget Project provides assistance to independent budget and tax groups and researchers around the world, with a focus on those in emerging democracies. The project 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.

Education: Preference given to graduate students.

Federal Budget and Tax Policy
The budget intern provides general assistance to the Federal Budget ( and Federal Tax Policy ( divisions. This assistance includes tracking congressional budget plans, the appropriations process, and legislation changing tax policy or entitlement programs. Specific duties will include tracking the details of budget proposals and amendments as they move through congressional committee and floor debates, attending hearings and summarizing the discussions, finding quotations from experts and officials, conducting data analyses of specific budget proposals or historical budget data, preparing tables and graphs to describe their impact, and responding to questions and requests for information from outside organizations and individuals.

Requirements: Candidates should have an outstanding undergraduate record in economics, mathematics, or a comparable quantitative course of study, as well as strong analytical skills and the ability to work with spreadsheets and tabulations.

Outreach Campaigns
The Center conducts two national outreach campaigns aimed at assisting low-income working families and individuals in obtaining benefits for which they are eligible: the Earned Income Tax Credit (; and Medicaid and other health insurance benefits for children. The Center provides information, 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 campaigns. He or she will track the use of creative outreach strategies, help develop new materials, and research state and local policies and procedures that affect the ability of eligible individuals to obtain benefits.

Requirements: Candidates should have experience working with organizations serving low-income communities, strong communication skills, and facility with spreadsheets.

State Budget and Tax Policy
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 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, 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.

Education: Preference given to recent graduates and graduate students with majors in economics and/or public policy.

Welfare Reform and Income Support Division
The Welfare Reform and Income Support (WRIS) division ( works on federal and state policy issues related to social programs that improve the welfare of low and moderate income citizens. The WRIS intern will track state welfare reform developments, conduct research on the likely impacts of various social policies, and assist with quantitative analyses.

Requirements: Candidates should have strong quantitative skills, computer programming skills (SAS or STATA), and knowledge of low income programs.   

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.

Requirements: Coursework in economics, statistics, and/or political science is preferred.  Experience in an office environment and specific advocacy or political experience is a plus.  

State Fiscal Analysis Initiative Opportunities
The State Fiscal Analysis Initiative ( brings together nonpartisan, independent, nonprofit organizations in each of 28 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.

Maryland Budget and Tax Policy Institute: Summer 2006: Policy Analyst Internship