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Intern Scholar Program

Jettie Word headshot

“After graduating from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po, Paris, where I received a Masters of Public Administration in Sustainable and International Development, I joined the Oakland Institute as an Intern Scholar. During my time at the Institute, I learned how an international US-based organization can respond directly to community needs around the world and build their capacity without inserting outside priorities. Fostering community-led solutions is now something I do every day in my current position.”

— Jettie Word, Executive Director, Borneo Project

Our Intern Scholar Program focuses on developing and nurturing future scholars through providing opportunities to engage in challenging research, writing, and advocacy on a wide range of foreign and domestic policy issues. Our intern scholars are required to make tangible and timely contributions to the Institute’s projects, including reports or other media in addition to web-based and hard copy informational materials for public dissemination. Intern scholars also have opportunities to interact directly with Oakland Institute fellows and staff.

“Interning with the Oakland Institute was a truly unique experience and, in many ways, a departure from my previous internships. As an intern I was given a high degree of autonomy and independence which allowed me to take ownership of, and accountability for, my work. This ultimately led me to grow as a writer and researcher much more than in my previous experiences. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with the Oakland Institute.”

— Katherine O'Neill, Pursuing a BA in International Relations, Claremont McKenna College, California

Katherine O'Neill headshot

The Oakland Institute is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and encourages applications from people of color, women, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.

If you have any questions regarding the Oakland Institute’s internship program after reading the guidelines below, please email: [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. All internships are unpaid.

  2. Students are able to receive college credit for their work.

  3. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

  4. We do not have official start dates; start dates are determined based on individual and program needs.

  5. Internships can last anywhere from 3 months to 1 year. On average internships are between 20 to 40 hours per week.

  6. Interns are required to find their own housing.

  7. Interns must be able to work remotely and coordinate via video and phone meetings due to Covid-19.


Intern Scholars are currently needed to support the following issues areas and activities:

  1. Social Media

  2. Research

  3. Advocacy and Communications

  4. Media (Print, TV, and Radio)

  5. Film making

Please click here to learn more about the Oakland Institute’s current research and advocacy activities.


Intern Scholars should have superior written and oral communication skills in English (good knowledge of Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, and French is a plus), excellent analytical ability, and library and Internet research capabilities. They should be able to work reliably and responsibly as part of a team or individually. Applicants from any department or graduate program will be considered, although backgrounds in social science and economics are preferred. Undergraduates should have attained at least junior status in college and have a minimum of 12 months of combined work/volunteer experience (including summer work). Applicants who are not students must have two years of work experience, 1 year of which should have required the regular use of analytical and writing skills.

REMEMBER: Indicate your intended start date and term in your cover letter.



Please complete all parts of the application as listed below. All application materials must be submitted together in a single format, either via email to [email protected] or hard copy mailed to The Oakland Institute, P.O. Box 18978, Oakland, CA 94619.

Applications Must Include

  1. Resume

  2. Short statement or cover letter, no longer than two pages, that:

    1. Describes your particular skills, education (including major), and work/volunteer experience

    2. Outlines your goals and interests

    3. Explains why you want to be an Intern Scholar at The Oakland Institute

    4. Details your time availability and your proposed term dates (i.e., starting and ending dates)

  3. A 1,000-word opinion piece on an international or domestic development issue

  4. One letter of recommendation from a teacher or policy-related employer who is familiar with your written work

Contact Us

Contact Us

Please send inquiries via email to [email protected]