Programs and Outreach Intern, Winter 2015

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The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to apply research to the everyday challenges of autism. Since 2001, OAR has funded more than $3 million in research to address important topics such as behavior, education, self-care, social skills, employment, and community living. The results of these investigations have direct, practical implications for people with autism and their families. OAR also uses knowledge gained from research to develop and disseminate resources that are responsive to the complex and changing needs of the autism community.

OAR provides support through educational outreach and raises money through its ongoing RUN FOR AUTISM program – it is neither a direct service provider, nor is it a research institute. While interns will likely interact with members of the autism community as part of their work, they will not be delivering interventions or conducting original research.

OAR established its internship program as a vehicle to support its ongoing programs and fundraising efforts, and at the same time offer college and graduate students the opportunity to learn in a small non-profit setting. The ideal intern is a dynamic individual who is interested in autism and shares OAR’s passion for helping people with autism and their families. OAR is looking for someone who excels at detail-oriented work, but thinks strategically and never loses sight of a greater purpose. Interns work closely with key staff members on projects of high value to the autism community and OAR, and in the process gain valuable work experience in a non-profit organization with a national focus.

Interns are treated as staff members for the duration of their experience. They complete meaningful projects, have their own work spaces, attend meetings, offer insight when appropriate, and maintain a high level of professionalism. Interns receive supervision from their departmental director and have regular contact with the Executive Director and the OAR staff.

During the academic semesters, interns are expected to work between 100 and 200 total hours. Days and hours are flexible to accommodate class schedules. OAR offers a modest stipend and potential for class credit is available pending school approval. The OAR office is located within short walking distance of the Court House Metro station (orange line) in Arlington, Va. Interns must arrange their own housing and travel arrangements to and from the office.


• Be the project lead or lead assistant for an ongoing program initiative; develop informational resources in a specific topic area (peer education, teacher training, parent advocacy, personal safety, etc.) and help write grant proposals to support new efforts
• Write summaries of applied research studies so that important findings are accessible and easily understood by members of the autism community
• Keep a continuous “pulse” on the autism community; compile news stories to share via the OAR Web site, newsletter, blog, and social media
• Manage the timely delivery of Life Journey through Autism guides and maintain the Operation Autism national resource directory for military families affected by autism


Programs and Outreach Interns are typically pursuing courses of study in fields related to autism: social sciences, human services, education, etc. However, students (or recent graduates) with any major may apply. Interns must have excellent organizational and communication (written and oral) skills, and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. They must be able to show competency using the Microsoft Office suite, as well as various social media platforms.

How To Apply

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