Wilson Center Internships

Wilson Center Internships: A Guide

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The Wilson Center internships allow recent, current, and returning college students to develop lifelong beneficial knowledge and skills in diverse professional fields and research. The internship programs at Wilson Center begin during the Fall, spring, and summer seasons. The internships are sectioned into two programs: the Staff assistant internships and the Research assistant internships.

Furthermore, the Wilson Center offers a more flexible work arrangement. This means that as an intern in the company, you can work and carry out your duties remotely or in person. However, your need for wanting to work remotely must be accompanied by strong and undeniable reasons that you will include in your cover letter. Similarly, interns can opt for hybrid or on-site work arrangements. This arrangement must be according to the rules and guidelines of the program.

About the Wilson center

The Wilson Center is short for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. It was established in 1968 as a think tank organization. Wilson has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. United States and has the United States Presidential Memorial legal status. It also ranks among the best ten think tanks in the world.

The organization gets about one-third of its funding directly from the United States government and enjoys a 30-year rent-free lease in the building they occupy. Aside from the government’s funding, the center receives the rest from various avenues like contracts, subscriptions, grants, and from many other sources.

Overview of the Wilson Center Internships program

The two types of internships at the Wilson Center: the Research assistant and the Staff assistant, are all paid programs. Students in various academic levels and disciplines can apply for any of the two internship programs according to what suits their future careers.

Due to COVID-19 rules and regulations, interns can choose their work arrangements within remote, hybrid, and on-site arrangements. Interns opting for the hybrid arrangement must agree with their supervisors to know when they can report to the office. The Research assistant internship has entirely separate and unique eligibility, application, and deadlines from the Staff assistant internship program.

The Research assistant internships

The research assistant interns at the Wilson Center must be recent graduates or graduate students. Since the program is part-time, these interns can combine their studies with their internship duties. Additionally, interns must remit 12 to 15 hours weekly to work on their duties and research projects. Interns will work one-on-one with scholars that are experts in their research fields, and it will give them a chance to learn special skills and gain raw knowledge in academic research and analysis in their preferred field.

The interns can adjust their academic schedules with their internship responsibilities during the internship program. Also, they can network with other educational experts in their field and mingle during numerous events because opportunities are flying around. Students in this Research assistant internship can use the program to complete their academic credit.

Also Read: NASA Research Internship: requirements and application

Research assistant intern activities

Research assistant interns must ensure they will include themselves in the center’s community and carry out their responsibilities religiously. They will help or work alongside scholars who came to Wilson Center to write their books and do academic research. Inters are privileged to explore and acquire all the necessary knowledge they need by coming directly in contact with these scholars as they listen to and participate in issues regarding contemporary policies and topics. Since the Wilson Center invites these scholars and even professors, diplomats, journalists, and former and current government officials, the interns must offer support as much as the guests need it.

Furthermore, the interns’ responsibility includes spending time doing research for information with the vast resource sources at the Wilson center library. They will proofread, edit, compile bibliographies, write literature reviews, and summarize research materials. Joining discussions and attending social events and conferences are part of the interns’ responsibilities. The Wilson Center prefers interns who can work excellently with minimal or no supervision. Those that speak more than one language should include this in their application because they are assets to the center.

Wilson center internship Eligibility

  • The rightful candidates must be undergraduates, graduate students, or recent graduates within one year calendar.
  • Candidates must have a 3.0 GPA minimum or its equivalent
  • Non-degree-seeking students can not apply
  • International students studying in the United States of America can apply, but this set of students must hold a current F-1 or J-1 visa and the proper work authorization. More so, they must ensure to get written permission (or CPT/OPT) from their respective schools or the visa official attached to their school. The permission letter must categorically state that the applying student holds a valid immigration status and can apply for an internship program.
  • The center does not sponsor visas for interns even if they are eligible.
  • Candidates that are not international students not holding the F-1/J-1 visa must go through the university exchange program route or any authentic outside internship placement agency that can sponsor visas.

Application process

  • Interested candidates must submit a complete application package in a single PDF format. The file name must be your last name, first name_RA Application.
  • Candidates must submit this application file to Wilson Center’s coordinator’s email, [email protected], with the RESEARCH ASSISTANT as the subject line.
  • Note that only research assistants are permitted to use this email.
  • Candidates must ensure they follow these application rules, or their application will not receive attention. The only circumstances that may disregard the application rule are those submitting a recommendation letter. Suppose a recommender opts to stay anonymous; they can write directly to [email protected] instead of including it in the candidate’s PDF. Ensure that the candidate’s name and the ‘RECOMMENDATION LETTER’ appear in the subject line of your email. The name of the file must stay attached when you submit it.

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Documents for application

  • The Wilson Center internship application form
  • A well-writing cover letter, this letter must show your academic interest or area of interest. Learn how to write an outstanding cover letter, even as one without experience, if you do not know how
  • An updated resume that includes all your relevant coursework. How do you write a resume that speaks for itself? By being intentional.
  • Three to five writing samples (excerpts of a research paper can work) with a bibliography
  • Two letters of recommendation or a brief list of references
  • Unofficial copies of transcripts are accepted

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Staff assistant internship

Several programs and offices at the Wilson Center require staff assistant interns. However, the internships do not happen simultaneously because these departments have different times they host internships. That is why candidates must frequently check the website for early information.

Various offices and internship programs for a staff assistance

  • African program
  • China Environment Forum
  • Asia Program
  • Canada institute
  • Office of the CEO & President
  • Brazil institute
  • Congressional relations
  • Development Office
  • History and Public Office Program
  • Communications
  • Environmental Change and security program
  • Social media
  • Mexico institute
  • Polar institute
  • Middle East program
  • Science and Technology Innovation program
  • Kennan institute
  • Latin American program
  • The Hyundai Motor Korea Foundation
  • Maternal Health Initiative
  • Photography internship


  • A lifetime opportunity to network with professionals and scholars in different academic fields
  • A chance to sharpen your skills and develop new ones
  • Work schedule options
  • Good salaries
  • Inspiring CV

Frequently asked questions about the Wilson Center internship

Is the Wilson Center internship an all-year-round program?

Not at all; the internship happens in fall, spring, and summer for the research assistant internship and different times for the staff assistant internship.

What kind of internship program does Wilson Center have?

The Wilson Center holds two types of internships; the research assistant and the staff assistant internships.

Are the internship programs full-time?

The internships are part-time programs where interns must work 12 to 15 hours weekly doing their internship responsibilities.


In conclusion, the idea of having a successful future and career is to start making hay while the sun shines. Internships are excellent opportunities to plan a bright and seamless future career. Therefore, if the Wilson Center internships appeal to you, take advantage now.