E.g., 09/17/2019
E.g., 09/17/2019



The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank based in Washington, DC dedicated to the study of migration worldwide. MPI and its sister organization, the Brussels-based MPI Europe, work closely with policymakers, researchers, and practitioners to analyze, develop, and evaluate migration and refugee policies at local, state, national, and international levels. MPI’s internship program has trained more than 200 future global migration scholars and policy analysts. Publication opportunities are available to interns, and more than half of MPI’s interns are now published authors in the field of migration. We offer Research and Editorial/Communications internships.

For information on MPI Europe internship opportunities in Brussels, click here.

General Internship Application Deadlines

November 1 - for Spring Semester (generally January - April)
March 1 - for Summer Semester (generally May - August)
July 15 - for Fall Semester (generally September - December)


MPI Internships in Washington, DC

Research Internships

An independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank based in Washington, DC, 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. MPI seeks current college seniors and advanced-degree students as well as college graduates for full- and part-time research internships. Interns provide support to MPI researchers in one or more of the following program areas:

U.S. Immigration: Assessment of border enforcement efforts, current and proposed state and federal immigration legislation, effect of changes to immigration law and policy, and prospects for immigration reform.

U.S. Immigrant Integration: 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.

U.S. Immigration and Human Services: Issues concerning refugee resettlement, unaccompanied children, and public charge; immigration issues in child welfare; and the impacts of immigration enforcement on human services programs and policies.

International Migration: Comparative analysis of immigration and integration policies, with a focus on Europe and North America, in the areas of social cohesion and civic participation, asylum and refugee resettlement, labor-market integration, immigrant selection policies, security and border management, development, and global governance and multilateral cooperation.

Within each of these substantive areas, research intern duties include:

  • Contribute to overall MPI research efforts, including through independent quantitative and/or qualitative research and policy analysis
  • Write paper drafts and prepare literature summaries
  • Update and create new online tools on the MPI Data Hub
  • Provide administrative support to MPI on migration-related events
  • Attend and summarize congressional hearings and other relevant public and private events for MPI staff
  • Assist with partial coverage of the reception desk and other light administrative tasks.

Foreign language skills and proficiency in key Office and other software programs prove helpful for certain projects, as do strong quantitative skills.

Editorial/Communications Internships

MPI seeks college seniors and advanced degree students as well as college graduates for full- and part-time editorial/communications internships. Interns work with both MPI’s Communications team and the Migration Information Source, MPI’s award-winning online journal. As part of their general responsibilities, Editorial/Communications Interns may:

  • Craft digital campaigns and graphics
  • Track media mentions and identify news outlets for targeted outreach
  • Assist in the dissemination of MPI publications, including by drafting press releases
  • Edit multimedia audio and video
  • Fact-check, copy edit, and possibly write articles
  • Research potential authors and topics
  • Carry out events-related activities
  • Assist with partial coverage of the reception desk and other light administrative tasks.

Strong editorial, social media, and multimedia skills are required.

Program Details

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. 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. We do not cover relocation expenses.

For all positions, applicants must be at least a senior in college, possess excellent oral and written communication skills, and be able to work both independently and as part of a team. Minority applicants and/or applicants from immigrant or refugee backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

You need not be a U.S. citizen to apply; however, all applicants must be authorized to work in the United States before your internship begins.  Since MPI is not designated by the U.S. Department of State to be an exchange visitor sponsor, we will not be able to provide you with the supporting documents to apply for foreign worker (H-1B), exchange visitor (J-1), trainee (H-3), or foreign student (F-1) visas.

To Apply

Interested applicants should send to internship@migrationpolicy.org the following materials:

  • CV/Resume
  • Cover letter describing your interest and research experience in migration and/or public policy issues. Also, please include the following:
    --The approximate dates you are available to start and finish
    --Whether you are available to intern full- or part-time
    --The MPI program area(s) you are interested in (if you have a preference)
  • A writing sample that showcases your ability to write clearly and analytically about migration, migrant/refugee integration, or another public policy issue (up to five pages)
  • A transcript (either official or unofficial) from all colleges/universities that you have attended that shows classes you have taken along with class grades

Electronic submissions are strongly preferred. However, hard copies can be mailed to:

Director of MPI's Internship Program
Migration Policy Institute
1400 16th Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036

For additional information, you may contact internship@migrationpolicy.org. Please submit one application but indicate the desired internship(s) and, if applicable, program area/s in the subject line. Due to the large number of applicants, only those being considered for the position will be contacted. No phone calls please.