Public policy research internships

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Do you like research? Do you like state and local government? Do you like a global perspective? Do you think the world should be more progressive? This could be the internship for you.

Progressive Public Affairs is looking for a few good interns who like to work independently researching the ways local and state governments around the world implement better public policies that increase the standard of living for their residents, so that we can bring these excellent public policies to other local and state governments, primarily in the US.

How do other governments invest their pension funds to provide access to capital for homeowners, students and small business instead of just giving them to the biggest banks?

How do other governments pay the energy bills of low-income residents, potentially by installing energy-efficient homes through public ownership?

How do other governments handle low-level civil and criminal matters, like evictions, divorce and traffic ticket disputes, to make sure people get what they need quickly, without a big hit to their credit score and without spending so much money on judges, lawyers, clerks and bailiffs?

How do other state and local governments handle student loans to provide affordable education to their residents? Do any of them cover the cost of student loans if residents will live in their communities?

How do other state and local governments get public transportation built so quickly and so cheaply? How do they pay for their public transportation systems and why are some of them so great?

Interns can work from anywhere in the world and will check in once a week via Skype or Google Chat with their supervisor in Chicago (if they live near Chicago, they can check in in-person). They will be work with the supervisor up front on a scope of work and then get the work done on their own time over the week. Their name will be associated with the project so they can use it for their resume as well.

Please answer three questions:

1. What time commitment are you looking to devote to this internship?
2. What specific thing do you want to get out of this internship?
3. What changes in federal / state / local law or budgets do you want to see?



Interns will spend a lot of time looking up how other states and local governments administer their programs in several areas and work towards writing specific, actionable recommendations for what government officials can and should do to improve their programs.

They may call up local and state governments and talk to officials directly to get some questions answered.

They will then write up what they have learned with an audience in mind of progressive state and local elected officials who will want to implement these good ideas in their state or city.

We'll check in weekly on progress. Interns are expected to work on this research project for at least ten weeks and will get public credit for their work.


Interns must be self-starters, progressively-minded and enthusiastic about making the world a better place.

Interns work best when they want to work on their own and take ownership over a project.

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