Position Description

2020 Program Operations Summer Internship
Location New York, NY
Job Code 9102-57-i
# of Openings 1
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Are you a master’s student with experience running, managing, or working on programs operated by public or nonprofit agencies serving disadvantaged populations? Are you interested in learning more about what social policy research organizations do? Are you curious about how evaluation studies can inform public policy?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be an ideal candidate for the part-time, paid Program Operations Internship at MDRC. An internship at MDRC is an ideal way to gain hands-on experience with one of the nation’s premier social policy research firms. This internship is designed to expose master’s-level graduate students to the field of social policy research — particularly students from groups who are traditionally underrepresented in the social policy research community. The benefits of the internship are many: working directly with experts who understand how programs operate, learning how evaluators apply research methods to answer important policy questions, and catapulting one’s career in this exciting field of policy research.

In the summer of 2020, as part of the Gueron Scholars Program, MDRC will be offering a paid internship targeting master’s students who are interested in working on developing and implementing demonstrations and evaluations of programs designed to improve the well-being of those within underrepresented populations. Interns will have the opportunity to support a range of projects within MDRC’s five policy areas — Family Well-Being and Children’s Development; K-12 Education; Postsecondary Education; Low-Wage Workers and Communities; and Youth, Criminal Justice, and Employment — as well as MDRC's Center for Applied Behavioral Science. The goal of the internship is to provide opportunities for graduate students to gain exposure to social policy research, gain insight into employment options beyond the academic and public sectors, and get the guidance and support of MDRC’s staff.

Th eight-week internship will be based out of MDRC’s New York City office, and the individual selected will be expected to begin their internship in June of 2020, although there is some flexibility in the timing. The recipient will work closely with senior staff with expertise in program design, program assessment, evaluation start-up, and technical assistance on program implementation. At MDRC, this important function is referred to as “operations” work; operations staff work closely with program sites and MDRC researchers to ensure that the organizations participating in our evaluations have strong programs. The intern will also participate in the intellectual life of MDRC by attending seminars and project meetings.

This will be a paid internship with a 15- to 20-hour work week. Note that this position may require some travel.


Who: Any student from an underrepresented background and enrolled in a master’s program with a completion date of December 2020 or May 2021. Pursuing a degree in public policy, public administration, psychology, sociology, child development, child welfare, family relations, criminal justice, education, or related fields who is interested in learning more about how MDRC designs and conducts social science research. In addition to academic experience, MDRC operations staff often have backgrounds in service delivery and management within government agencies or nonprofit organizations; having such experience will also be a consideration in the selection process.

Why: To obtain “hands-on” experience in developing and implementing real-world studies of programs, while sharing in the intellectual life of MDRC.

Timing: Applications should be submitted by February 14, 2020. All materials will be reviewed after the application deadline.

How to Apply:

Please submit the following documents via our on-line application tracking system (below):

  • Résumé, including work and academic experience.

  • A cover letter/personal statement (no more than two pages) that discusses (1) your interest in policy research, (2) your career interests and goals, (3) how this internship will contribute to your personal and professional growth, and (4) how your background, life experience, and/or work experiences will bring greater diversity to the field .

Please submit directly to MDRC’s Human Resources Department (contact information below):

  • A copy of your graduate school transcript(s).

  • Two references OR two letters of recommendation


Attn: GSP Operations Internship

Note that only applicants who have submitted all the required documentation listed above will be considered for this opportunity; only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.

MDRC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. MDRC does not discriminate, and all qualified applications will receive consideration without regard to race; color; national origin; religion; creed; sex or gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression); sexual orientation; citizenship status; pregnancy; disability; age; military or veteran status; marital or partnership status; genetic information, genetic predisposition, or carrier status; prior unemployment status; consumer credit history; status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking; or any other category protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws. Legal work authorization is required.

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