Research Intern

Location: Washington, D.C.

Length: Summer 2020


The Institute for State Effectiveness, a Think (and Do) Tank that works with states and citizens to strengthen governance, is looking for a research intern to join our team.  All assignments given to the intern will add value both to ISE and to the intern’s professional development. This is a great opportunity for anyone planning to advance in a career in the international relations and development fields, gaining first-hand experience on how to identify global challenges and implement solutions.

Our internship offers you the opportunity to:

  • Gain experience working in the fields of international relations, development, policy and research
  • Work on exciting projects that are anticipating challenges in governance and the cutting-edge solutions that will be needed to address them
  • Collaborate with an experienced and fun team of professionals, working closely with the Director and program area managers
  • Get an inside look into a potential career path
  • Grow your network and build future relationships by meeting a variety of professionals during the course of the internship
  • Exposure to future opportunities



  • Conduct research and analysis in support of the organization’s strategic goals and future work. Analysis will take the shape of a “country stocktaking,” which aims to understand the current issues, challenges, and opportunities a country is facing, and outlines different scenarios and options for a country’s leaders, citizens, and international partners. Completing a “country stocktaking” requires following a methodology, including literature and evidence reviews, and potentially interviews with key current and former decision-makers. The research intern will work as part of a small team to complete the “country stocktaking,” which may be published publicly.
  • Potential countries include: Sudan, Uzbekistan, Bougainville, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Greece, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, the UK, Italy, and Serbia.
  • Assist in other tasks to support the work of the research and programs teams as required.


  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, with a general understanding of data analysis techniques
  • Excellent research skills with an attention to details, accuracy and organization
  • Strong analytical and quantitative abilities with excellent written and verbal communications
  • Ability to work with a multi-disciplinary team as well as working individually as appropriate
  • Prior experience with the countries listed above is preferred, but not required.

To Apply:

Email resume and cover letter (either as Word or PDF attachments) to:

No phone calls, please. Interviews are ongoing. We will accept applications until we fill the position.


ISE is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.