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Research Associate Intern

Job Location

Washington, DC


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Oct 6, 2021

About the job

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Research Associate Intern

TERM: 1 year

Center for Science and Democracy

Union of Concerned Scientists

Washington, DC

The Position

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent national nonprofit that uses science to protect our health, safety, and environment. We are scientists, engineers, economists, activists, and everyday people who develop and advocate for innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing problems—from combating global warming and developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves, to fighting misinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war. Working at UCS means advancing solutions and advocating for policies which are backed by the best data, research, and technical expertise.

The Center for Science and Democracy (CSD) at UCS is hiring a research intern to help us fight for strong protections and rights for federal scientists and advocate for equitable, science-based decision making at federal agencies. We witnessed an unprecedented amount of attacks on science in the federal government during the past four years, disproportionately affecting the health and safety of underserved communities. And there’s still a lot of work to do to ensure that science remains at the forefront of decision making, keeping people healthy and safe.

We want you to help us continue this important work. In this paid, benefits-eligible one-year internship, you will learn about the science policy process, work with UCS experts to conduct research and policy analysis, meet with senior leaders across federal agencies and other nonprofit organizations, and help develop products that will help strengthen scientific integrity and evidence-based processes across the government.


· Support projects that analyze and investigate science-informed public policy. This includes aiding research efforts to address concerns of environmental justice community partners, examining methods to strengthen scientific integrity at federal agencies, and assessing examples of use and misuse of science in policymaking.

· Research these issues through traditional text and journal research, web research, interviews, and Freedom of Information Act requests and more.

· Provide logistical and technical support on a survey to thousands of scientific experts employed by the federal government.

· Assist efforts in the writing, research, and communication of public-facing materials, including blog posts, reports, and factsheets.

· Collaborate with staff on congressional and federal activities, engage with our networks of scientists and science supporters, and help build our relationships with grassroots community partners.

Most tasks will be computer-focused or via phone or video; however, as the CSD Research Associate Intern you will frequently participate in team meetings and brainstorming sessions, and have opportunities to discuss your work with UCS staff. You’ll contribute to CSD weekly meetings, planning sessions, conferences, and other events and activities.

Qualifications and Experience

This position requires a degree in the social or physical sciences. Candidates should also be able to thrive in a fast-paced and collaborative office environment and have solid organizational skills.

· Strong research, technical, and analytic skills.

· Excellent writing skills and the ability to communicate science in a robust and publicly accessible manner.

· Have some understanding of environmental, public health, and equity issues and willingness to develop issue-area expertise. The ability to look at the work through a racial justice and equity lens is crucial.

· Comfortable working with and analyzing datasets in a self-directed manner. Coding skills for analyzing datasets is preferred but not required.

· Experience advocating for science-based issues, building relationships with community partners, and/or science policy experience is preferred but not required.

Master’s degree preferred but not required. Comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.

Little or no exertion required. May spend extended periods at the computer.

UCS is an equal opportunity employer actively seeking to diversify its staff.


This is a one-year, full-time, benefits-eligible internship based in UCS’s Washington DC office. For those who meet all position requirements, the annual salary $41,600. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment.

Information about the organization is available at

More about the team:

Our team is made up of a dedicated group of researchers, scientists, communicators, campaigners, and advocates from wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive team and a collaborative and supportive work environment where all staff can thrive. We continually strive to create an environment which is a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, parents, empty-nesters, and people with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.

A note on the pandemic:

During the coronavirus pandemic our staff are working from home. We will resume working from our offices, travel, and in-person meetings when it is safe to do so.

To Apply: We know there are great candidates who won’t check all of these boxes, and we also know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. Please upload a cover letter and resume. In the cover letter, please confirm that the listed salary meets your expectations. Upload materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls, please.

Deadline: November 11, 2021 or until filled


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