About the OSTP Internship Program
Thank you for your interest in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Internship Program. Serving as an OSTP Intern provides a unique opportunity to work closely with senior White House officials and science and technology (S&T) policy analysts in OSTP's topic-based divisions (Division internship), or on OSTP's legal team (Legal internship).
Applicants are encouraged to apply for one of three terms (Fall, Spring, or Summer), each term lasting no more than 90 days. These positions are without compensation; however, students may be eligible to receive academic credit from their respective college or university. To help defray the costs of commuting to OSTP, student interns may be eligible to receive a public transit subsidy from OSTP. In addition, applicants may contact educational and other non-profit organizations to apply for funding or housing assistance. Please see our How to Apply and Frequently Asked Questions pages for more information on program requirements, application timelines, and links to the online application form.
Note that Division-based internships are open to students of all majors, including law students, while Legal internships are open only to law, pre-law, or LLM students. Applicants are encouraged to read the OSTP division descriptions below before submitting an application.
For more information about the work being done at OSTP, please visit our Initiatives Page.
DIRECTOR’S OFFICE, LEGAL
Law students who would like to apply for this program have a unique opportunity to gather insights into the practice of law at the highest levels of the United States Government. Prior OSTP Interns have worked on a wide range of challenging substantive matters, including employment, appropriations, fiscal law, government contracts, ethics, information disclosure, international agreements, litigation, and pending legislation. OSTP’s “small firm” environment provides law students with the opportunity to work closely with senior attorneys, gain practical legal experience, and network with other emerging members of the legal profession. Interns work under the supervision of OSTP’s General Counsel and other supervising attorneys. Students in law school and LLM programs are encouraged to apply for legal internships using the "Legal" application. Legal interns gain diverse experience working on federal legal issues with government attorneys who support policy advisors. In contrast, law students and others interested in working directly with policy advisors on the development of national policy, particularly in a specific policy area of interest to you, should instead apply for one of OSTP’s division-based policy internships. Please note that applicants for division-based policy internship positions will not be considered for legal internships in the Director's office unless they separately apply for a Legal Internship position using the “Legal” application.
DIRECTOR’S OFFICE, COMMUNICATIONS
The focus of the Director's Office is to promote and support the Administration's S&T priorities and to ensure the effectiveness of research and development funding within the Federal budget. An important component of OSTP's duties is to convey those messages to the public through media and community, business, and industry outreach. Intern candidates who wish to work on communications issues at OSTP should possess strong written and verbal communication skills, deep knowledge of electronic social media, and the ability to work well on short deadlines while handling several projects. OSTP also oversees several Presidential Awards on behalf of the President, including the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and awards recognizing outstanding efforts along the STEM pipeline. Interns in the Director’s Office may also be called upon to help with Presidential Awards through raising awareness about the awards, preparing nominations for the President’s decision, and planning and executing recognition activities involving OSTP Director John Holdren and President Obama.
ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY (E&E)
The Environment and Energy division at OSTP is dedicated to advancing our Nation’s abilities to observe, understand, and respond to critical issues in the environment and energy domain by coordinating and strengthening investment in relevant S&T initiatives across the Federal government. The division leads the White House effort to fortify S&T capacity in a number of fields including climate science, earth observations, ocean science and technology, renewable energy development, ecosystem preservation and services, natural disasters, toxics and pollution prevention, natural resource management, and sustainability.
NATIONAL SECURITY & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS (NSIA)
The National Security & International Affairs Division leads the White House effort to ensure appropriate application of S&T to homeland and national security initiatives throughout the Federal enterprise. NSIA initiatives support the security of our Nation while also working in a manner that promotes commerce, travel, and privacy protection. NSIA activities span the entire threat domain (war zones, border and transportation security, daily domestic law enforcement, and catastrophic events), as well as the technology domain (basic/advanced/applied research, standards, test and evaluation, and collaboration with public and international partners). NSIA seeks interns with practical experience and an interest in applying the intersection of science and policy to meet critical national security needs.
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
The Office of the Chief Technology Officer focuses on leveraging technology to improve citizen services and government outcomes. Some the Office’s initiatives include liberating government data for the purposes of fueling innovation and economic growth, installing top technologists in government through the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, improving our Nation’s technical capabilities for disaster response, and using technology to fight human trafficking. The Office of the Chief Technology Officer is looking for interns who have a driving passion for technology and government. Ideal candidates are highly technical and have a vision for how government can be used as a platform to fuel innovation and better citizens’ lives.
The Science Division focuses on maintaining a broad Federal research program that advances the frontiers of knowledge and supports critical national goals through a strong link to education. The division leads the White House effort to ensure that the United States maintains global leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics research. It also ensures that science continues to provide support for the successful resolution of some of the most important problems in the areas of health, agriculture, the economy, energy, social wellbeing, education, and national security. The Science Division is looking for interns with strong verbal and written communication skills, experience in research and presentation, and working knowledge of basic computer applications. A degree in one of the sciences (physics, biology, chemistry, social or behavioral sciences, etc.) is preferred.
TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION (T&I)
The Technology and Innovation division leads the White House effort to foster new ideas and encourage government-wide coordination to help the Nation meet its policy goals such as job creation, national competitiveness, abundant clean energy, and unsurpassed public education. The Technology and Innovation division seeks to leverage innovation to improve global development, capitalize on academic research to build a smarter government, build coalitions to address America’s grand challenges, and push the boundaries of space exploration. Technology and Innovation interns are ambitious young people who are open minded, creative, and curious that can bring their visions to life.
PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL OF ADVISORS ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (PCAST)
PCAST is an advisory group of the Nation’s leading scientists and engineers, who directly advise the President and the Executive Office of the President. PCAST makes policy recommendations in the many areas where understanding of science, technology, and innovation is key to strengthening our economy and forming policy that works for the American people. Student Volunteers work with the Executive Director, PCAST co-chairs, and PCAST members leading studies on locating and analyzing data and information, developing background papers, and other tasks necessary to facilitate PCAST studies and events.
NATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL
The National Science and Technology Council advises the President on and advances the President’s stated goals in science and technology program execution and coordinates science and technology policy development. NSTC members are from across the Federal Government and work to integrate the President’s science and technology policy agenda across their departments and agencies. The Office of the Executive Director of the NSTC works to coordinate processes and content relating to publications and group charters. The unique vantage point of the NSTC provides the opportunity to recognize capability needs that straddle multiple communities, sectors, and stakeholder forums and while calling attention to those common science and technology research and development needs critical to advancing Administration priorities.
If you have any questions, please refer to our FAQ section or contact us at the information provided below.
Telephone: (202) 456-6097
Fax: (202) 456-6022
OSTP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.