Research Intern, Syria Project - Institute for the Study of War (ISW)


Organization Description

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a growing, dynamic organization that responds to the changing threat environment and the needs of its consumers. ISW now publishes analysis on Iraq, Syria, the Islamic State, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, and it has nascent collection in other geographic and thematic areas. Excellent publications are the hallmark of ISW’s impact. A wide range of written and graphical product lines are now considered to be signatures of ISW, and the demand for frequent and timely publications has never been greater.

Why work for ISW: ISW believes ground realities must drive the formulation of strategy and policy. In pursuit of this principle, ISW conducts detailed, open-source intelligence analysis to provide the most accurate information on current conflicts and security threats. We offer interns a chance to train on work with cutting-edge technologies employed in business and in the intelligence community. Interns at ISW will have an unparalleled opportunity to conduct research that directly informs policy-makers on some of the most pressing issues facing American national security. Our interns work directly with analysts and have many opportunities to engage with Institute leadership on the subjects of their research. ISW offers its interns to be at the front lines of military research and policy, tackling the issues that are in the headlines. ISW has published the work of its interns and hired many onto its staff.

Location - Washington, D.C. 

Job Description

The Institute for the Study of War is seeking motivated and experienced university students or recent graduates to fill the position of research intern with the Syria Project for the summer semester. ISW’s Syria project has become a leading source of innovative analysis and information about the Syrian civil war. Interns will provide critical assistance to our researchers. Interns will be trained to use innovative technologies to assist their research, as Syrian social media is a key source of information on this conflict. ISW publishes regular research reports on the conflict in Syria and evolving and emerging conflicts in the Middle East in order to inform policy makers and journalists in Washington, DC, as well as the general public.

Job Responsibilities

Interns are expected to conduct research under the guidance of Research Analysts; work in conjunction with other members of the research staff to produce research briefs and analysis; assist with editing, documenting, and supporting materials for products of the Institute; assist with the planning, preparation, and execution of public events and private briefings of employees of the Institute; and conduct other activities in support of Institute projects.

Job Requirements

The ideal candidate will be a recent graduate or current undergraduate with coursework in a field of study related to the ISW's core mission and research agenda. Graduate-level coursework in a related field is a plus, as is familiarity with Syria. Candidates should have excellent writing and analytical skills, and the ability to conduct research using social media and open sources. Ideal candidates should also have the ability to conduct tasks in a timely and efficient manner. The candidate must also possess an interest in and enthusiasm for ISW’s research agenda and mission. Interns with the ability to read and conduct research in Arabic or Farsi are highly desired.

Syria Interns report to the Research Analysts and Research Director.

How to Apply

To submit your application, please email your cover letter, resume, a brief writing sample (5 pages maximum, excerpts from longer pieces are acceptable), and unofficial transcript to internships@understandingwar.org with the position name in the title of your email.

Please submit all documents in pdf form and submit resume and cover letter as one document.

Please only submit one application – if you are interested in multiple positions, please list them in rank order in your cover letter.

Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted

Deadline - Applications for Summer 2015 internships at the Institute for the Study of War are now being accepted. You may submit your application immediately. We are looking for candidates who can start their internship immediately or by the start of June at the latest.

For all positions, we greatly prefer full-time availability although part-time interns may also be accepted depending on qualifications. All internships will begin in mid-to-late May 2015 and run for the duration of the summer semester.