MDRC Seeks Program Operations Intern for Fall 2016


Are you a master’s level student with a strong interest in learning how social welfare programs are improving the lives of vulnerable populations? Are you curious about how evaluation studies can inform public policy? Do you have 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?

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 Fall of 2016, as part of its Judith Gueron Fund Minority Scholars program, MDRC will be offering a paid internship targeting master’s degree students who are interested in working on developing and implementing demonstrations and evaluations of programs designed to improve the well-being of low-income people, including out-of-school and out-of-work young people and adults, those coming out of the criminal justice system, and those in education settings, from pre-k to college. 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 advice and support of MDRC’s staff.

The position in MDRC’s New York City office is expected to begin as early as October 17, 2016, and last through mid-December, although there is some flexibility in the timing. The recipient will work closely with senior-level 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 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 10- to 15-hour work week. Note that this position may require some travel.


Who: Any student enrolled in a master’s program 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 Wednesday, October 5, 2016.

How to Apply:

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

  • Résumé, including work and academic experience.

  • A cover letter/personal statement (no more than 750 words) that discusses (1) your interest in policy research, (2) your career interests and goals, and (3) how this internship, coupled with your academic pursuits and prior experience, will contribute to your personal and professional growth.

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

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

  • Two letters of recommendation, including one from a sponsoring faculty member.

Genevieve Williams, HR Associate
Human Resources Department
16 East 34th Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Attn: Operations Internship