Internships: The Demetrios G. Papademetriou Young Scholars Program
The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank based in Washington, DC, and dedicated to the study of migration worldwide. The Demetrios G. Papademetriou Young Scholars Program, named in honor of MPI’s co-founder and first president, has trained more than 375 future global migration scholars and policy analysts, many of whom are now leaders in the field.
MPI’s internship program has two goals: harnessing the valuable contributions of interns for MPI's work and training the next generation of migration leaders. MPI is committed to recruiting and supporting interns who reflect the breadth of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives in the countries where it works. As such, the Institute is committed to making sure that interns and staff members of all backgrounds work in an inclusive environment with equity and access for all.
Internships are available both in person and remotely, as well as to those residing outside the United States.
(For information on MPI Europe internship opportunities in Brussels, click here.)
History of the Demetrios G. Papademetriou Young Scholars Program
The internship program was renamed the Demetrios G. Papademetriou Young Scholars Program in 2021, during MPI's 20th anniversary celebration. Papademetriou, who led MPI from its creation in 2001 to 2014 and remained President Emeritus and Distinguished Transatlantic Fellow until his death, exhibited a career-long dedication to training, mentoring, and helping the careers of the next generation of migration thinkers around the world.
To learn about MPI's interns, past and present, click here.
To support the Young Scholars program, click here.
Friends and colleagues around the world pay tribute to Demetrios G. Papademetriou in this short video.
General Internship Application Deadlines
- November 1 - Spring Semester (January - April)
- March 1 - Summer Semester (May - August)
- July 1 - Fall Semester (September - December)
Interns work in one of three areas: Research, communications and events, or the executive office.
MPI provides analysis, development, and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at local, national, and international levels. It aims to meet the demand for pragmatic and thoughtful responses to the challenges and opportunities that large-scale migration, whether voluntary or forced, presents to communities and institutions in an increasingly integrated world. Research Interns work within one of MPI's four program areas:
U.S. Immigration: Tracking and analysis of policies relating to asylum and refugee pathways, border management, immigration enforcement, legal immigration (temporary and permanent), legal status for unauthorized immigrants, and employment outcomes of highly educated immigrants; analysis of immigration, demographic, and economic trends; development of proposals for policy reform.
International Migration: Comparative analysis of immigration and integration policies in the areas of refugee resettlement and asylum, immigrant integration policies (including labor market integration and social cohesion), labor migration, borders and mobility, migration and development, and returns and reintegration.
U.S. Immigrant Integration: Issues related to early childhood education and care; Dual Language Learners and English Learners; K-12 immigrant education; adult education, training, and workforce development; state and local immigration/integration policy and services; and language access policy. (Full-time internship preferred.)
Latin America and Caribbean Initiative: Assessing policy responses to mixed migration flows, with a focus on Northern Central America and Venezuela; evaluating migration management systems in key host countries, including Mexico, Costa Rica, and Colombia; reviewing legal migration pathways within and outside Latin America; tracking regional and international development policies; and identifying integration challenges and opportunities in education, health care, labor markets, and community building. Written proficiency and oral fluency in Spanish are required.
Within each of these substantive areas, research intern duties include:
- Contributing to overall MPI research efforts, including through independent quantitative and/or qualitative research and policy analysis
- Writing paper drafts and preparing literature summaries
- Updating online tools on the MPI Data Hub
- Providing administrative support to MPI on migration-related events
- Attending and summarizing congressional hearings and other relevant public and private events for MPI staff
- Assisting with partial coverage of the reception desk and other light administrative tasks.
MPI offers communications and events internships, providing essential dissemination and other support across the Institute and with the ability to experience the breadth of its work across research areas.
The Communications Intern works with MPI’s Communications team on marketing, media tracking, social media, and similar duties, and at times with the Migration Information Source, MPI’s award-winning online journal. Strong editorial, social media, and multimedia skills are required for this full-time internship. Duties may include:
- Crafting digital campaigns and visuals
- Tracking media mentions and identifying news outlets for targeted outreach
- Assisting in the dissemination of MPI publications
- Editing multimedia audio and video
- Researching potential authors and topics.
The Events Intern, also working within the Communications team, assists in planning and supporting MPI's private and public events and meetings. The ability to work in person in Washington, DC is preferred, and this internship is typically part-time though full-time applications will also be considered.
The Executive Office Intern works with the President and Strategic Advisor to the President on internal strategic planning, institution building, relations with MPI’s board of directors and advisory board, and also helps with administration of MPI’s internship program. Executive office interns learn about the inner workings of leadership of a nonprofit think tank, contribute to making MPI an even better place to work, and assist with research tasks for the President’s presentations, briefings, media appearances, and other projects. Applicants with administrative experience, an interest in organizational management, and part-time availability are preferred.
The MPI internship program lasts for four months and is divided into three cycles over the course of the year. There is some flexibility in internship start and end dates, but the Spring internship cycle generally runs from January through April, the Summer cycle from May through August, and the Fall semester from September through December.
Internships are available on both full- and part-time basis (with full-time sought for U.S. Immigrant Integration and Communications internships). A stipend is offered to full-time interns and a prorated stipend is available for those interns who work part-time. Students also may arrange to obtain credit for their work. MPI does not cover relocation expenses. Internships can be remote or in person.
Applicants do not need not be a U.S. citizen to apply; however, all applicants must be authorized to work in the United States before the internship begins, unless they reside and work from outside the United States throughout the internship cycle. Since MPI is not designated by the U.S. Department of State to be an exchange visitor sponsor, the Institute cannot provide the supporting documents to apply for foreign worker (H-1B), exchange visitor (J-1), trainee (H-3), or foreign student (F-1) visas.
For all positions, applicants must be at least a junior in college, possess excellent oral and written communication skills, and be able to work both independently and as part of a team. Current students, college graduates, graduate students, and early-career professionals are welcome to apply. Those without college experience but who can demonstrate substantial relevant work experience will also be considered. Foreign language skills and proficiency in key Office and other software programs prove helpful for certain projects, as do strong quantitative skills. Minority applicants and/or applicants from immigrant or refugee backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.
Interested applicants should send to [email protected] the following materials:
- Cover letter describing your interest and research experience in migration and/or public policy issues (for research internships), or in communications, events management, or executive support (for communications, events, and executive office internships).
- A writing sample that showcases your ability to write clearly and analytically about migration, integration, refugee, or other public policy issue (up to five pages)
- A transcript (official or unofficial) from all colleges/universities attended that shows classes taken along with class grades
- In your email, please specify:
-Whether you are applying for a research, communications, events, or executive office internship
-For research internships: The MPI program area(s) you are interested in
-The approximate dates you are available to start and finish
-Whether you are available full- or part-time
-Whether you prefer a remote or (conditions permitting) in-person internship
-A telephone number where you can be reached.
Interns should submit one application but may indicate interest in multiple types of internships or multiple research areas. For additional information, you may contact [email protected]. Due to the large number of applicants, only those being considered for the position will be contacted. No phone calls please.