Undergraduate Policy and Communications Intern (Spring 2020)

J-PAL Office 
United States
Some post-secondary education
Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
Less than one year
Start Date 
January 13, 2020–February 10, 2020

J-PAL is recruiting an Undergraduate Policy and Communications Intern to contribute to its mission of promoting evidence-based policy. This internship is based at MIT in Cambridge, MA. This is a paid, part-time position (15-20 hours per week) during the Spring semester. Start and end dates are flexible, but we ask for a ten-week, in-person commitment at minimum.

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) was established in 2003 as a research center at the Economics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, it has grown into a global network of researchers who use randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty. J-PAL’s mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence, and research is translated into action.

We do this through three main activities: 

  • Conducting rigorous impact evaluations: J-PAL-affiliated researchers conduct randomized evaluations to test and improve the effectiveness of programs and policies aimed at reducing poverty. 
  • Policy outreach: J-PAL’s policy group analyzes and disseminates research results and builds partnerships with policymakers to ensure that policy is driven by evidence, and effective programs are scaled up.
  • Capacity building: J-PAL equips practitioners with the expertise to carry out their own rigorous evaluations through training courses and joint research projects. 


The Undergraduate Policy and Communications Intern supports the efforts of the Policy and Communications Group at J-PAL Global to translate research into action.

  • Communications: Assisting with the maintenance of J-PAL’s website, newsletters, and social media
  • Database management: Tracking changes to J-PAL’s research network and projects using internal information systems like Salesforce
  • Event support: Organizing policy events in Cambridge such as donor meetings or lectures
  • Policy writing: Helping maintain J-PAL’s evaluation summary database, including fact-checking summaries
  • Sector-specific work: Completing small research and writing tasks that involve working with policy staff for J-PAL’s ten sectors (Agriculture, Crime, Violence, & Conflict, Education, Environment & Energy, Finance, Firms, Gender, Political Economy & Governance, Health, and Labor Markets)
  • Support competitive research funds: Assisting with the request for proposals, working with the Finance and Operations team to coordinate funding and clean data, and compiling and organizing information for academic leads
  • Miscellaneous: Other tasks as needed


Your strong communication and organizational skills, as well as your background in economics/public policy and your interest in poverty alleviation, make you an ideal candidate for the Undergraduate Policy and Communications Intern.

  • Education: You are a junior or senior with high grades in economics coursework, including econometrics/statistics.
  • Experience and interest: You have demonstrated strong interest in international development or public policy through coursework, study abroad, or previous internship experience.
  • Communication: Your strong communication skills help you write clear and concise documents.
  • Organization: Your robust organizational capacity and ability to pay attention to detail enable you to handle several projects at once and meet deadlines.
  • Attitude: You are willing to work hard, excited to learn, and enthusiastic about taking on a broad range of assignments.

How to Apply

Ready to join a team of supportive, engaging, and fun colleagues? Apply now.

To apply, please fill out the following Google Form. It includes a section where you can attach a single PDF with the filename “Lastname_ Firstname_Fall Policy Intern” consisting of the following documents: 

  • One-page cover letter addressed to J-PAL Intern Coordinator describing your qualifications for the Undergraduate Policy and Communications Intern position and your availability 
  • CV/Resume
  • University transcript (can be unofficial)

The application deadline is Sunday, December 8, 2019, at 11:59pm EST. Early submission is encouraged, as we will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis prior to the deadline. Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete a writing exercise and may subsequently be contacted for a phone or in-person interview. Due to the high volume of applications, only short-listed candidates will be contacted, and we are unable to provide personalized feedback to all candidates on their application status. Note: Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Questions about this position can be directed to [email protected]

Special Note: This position is not eligible for any type of Visa sponsorship through MIT. It is only open to individuals with permanent or temporary US work authorization. Additionally, this position is not eligible for remote work.