Careers at the Aspen Institute
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Aspen Institute employees come from a wide range of backgrounds and possess a unique blend of education, skill, and policy experience. We recognize that our people are our vital resource and we value their knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment. At the Aspen Institute we offer competitive salaries and a wide variety of benefits to our employees and their families.

If you would enjoy working in a dynamic environment and are looking for an opportunity to become part of a stellar team of professionals, we invite you to apply online today.

Research Intern- EOP

Department: EOP
Location: Washington, DC

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an international non-profit organization founded in 1950. Its mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners; visit

Economic Opportunities Program and Workforce Strategies Initiative

The Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) is a policy program at the Aspen Institute. Its primary mission is to advance promising strategies and policies to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s dynamic economy. Over its more than 20 years of work, EOP has focused on expanding individuals’ opportunities—to invest in their skills and capabilities, to build professional networks and connect to quality work, to start businesses, and to build assets and economic stability. The program’s Workforce Strategies Initiative (AspenWSI) has, for over a decade, led EOP’s work in identifying, evaluating, and promoting promising practices and strategies that help individuals build skills and connect to sustainable employment.

Basic Function 

The Economic Opportunities Program’s Workforce Strategies Initiative seeks a highly motivated and detail-oriented research intern for spring of 2019. The intern will primarily support Reimagine Retail, a project that explores ways to improve job quality and advancement opportunities for workers in the retail sector. The intern will work with a small team in the planning, management and implementation of a variety of research projects. Projects are related to building learning about effective practices by businesses, non-profits, post-secondary institutions, public agencies and others active in developing skilled workforces, helping low-income populations access better jobs, and working on strategies that improve job quality. 

The research intern will provide support to the WSI team on a range of research activities, including site visits and interviews, background research, and writing and editing of written products (including interview notes, meeting summaries and research reports). The research intern will also provide administrative support for research activities, including coordinating meetings, scheduling site visits, and organizing research materials. Working in a fast-paced environment, the Research Intern will contribute to AspenWSI’s reputation for delivering outstanding publications, events and other products that distill lessons for the field.  

The ideal candidate will have a passion for advancing economic opportunity for low-income Americans, as well as exceptional research, writing and analytic ability, and strong verbal communication skills. He/she will be creative, self-directed and resourceful, eager to work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment and to learn on the job and will have extremely high standards for the quality of his/her work.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Support WSI staff in development of site visit plans, interview and focus group protocols, and other data collection tools.
  • Take notes, transcribe recorded interviews, and draft interview/meeting summaries.
  • Conduct literature reviews and other information-gathering to inform research context.
  • Assist with site visit planning, meeting coordination, scheduling, and document organization
  • Perform basic analysis in MS Excel.
  • Use Excel and Powerpoint to produce tables, charts, and maps for reports and presentations.
  • Assist in administering surveys or questionnaires. 
  • Assist with event-related tasks as needed.
  • Help prepare presentations, reports, articles, policy briefs, and other written materials.

Principal Interactions 

Works directly with WSI and EOP program staff and consultants. Has routine interaction with project partners and constituents, staff from other research and policy organizations and other EOP and Aspen staff.

Knowledge, Education, and Experience 

  • Graduate student in relevant public policy, planning, social science or business discipline, or college graduate with relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated interest in expanding economic opportunity for low- and moderate income Americans.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, including strong attention to detail.
  • Outstanding organizational skills, with emphasis on the ability to plan, organize, and make progress on multiple activities simultaneously.
  • Excellent computer skills including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Team player who can also work independently and be a self-starter.
  • Knowledge of and adherence to professional ethics.
  • Interest in economic and social policy and in business practices. Knowledge of the retail sector is a plus. 


  • February-May 2019 (actual dates can be adjusted; internship to run for approximately 12 weeks with option to extend)
  • Part-time (approximately 20 hours per week; negotiable)

Level of Authority 

  • Non-supervisory position
  • No budgetary authority


  • Some travel may be required

 The Aspen Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all District and federal laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or protected veteran or disabled status and will not be discriminated against. 

Candidate must have the ability to work under pressure and handle stress. Candidate must also have the ability to meet regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.

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