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 policy divisions (Policy internship) or on OSTP's legal team (Legal internship).
OSTP supports and coordinates the Administration’s science and technology priorities. Students interested in working directly with policy advisors on the development of national policy should apply for a Policy internship. Ideal Policy intern candidates have a passion for science and technology, strong written and verbal communication skills, the ability to work well on short deadlines while handling several projects, and a willingness to support outreach events and communications. Policy internships are open to interested students from all majors and programs. Any student (including law students) may apply for a Policy internship.
Law students and LLM students who serve as legal interns with OSTP have a unique opportunity to gather insights into the practice of law at the highest levels of the U.S. Government. OSTP legal interns work under the supervision of OSTP’s General Counsel and other supervising attorneys. Legal interns gain diverse experience working on federal legal issues with government attorneys who support policy advisors. 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. Legal interns work on a wide range of challenging substantive matters, including employment, appropriations, fiscal law, government contracts, ethics, information disclosure, international agreements, litigation, and legislative affairs. Legal internships are open ONLY to law students and LLM students. Students who are not enrolled in law school or an LLM program will not be considered for legal internships.
- All applicants must be U.S. citizens. Permanent residents and students who do not currently hold U.S. citizenship are not eligible.
- Applicants must be enrolled, at least half-time, in an accredited college or university during the desired internship term. Students in undergraduate, graduate, law, LLM, and professional programs in all fields are encouraged to apply. (High school students are not eligible.)
- Preference will be given to applicants available for 30+ hours per week.
To apply, email your complete application materials with the subject line “[Term] [Year] Policy Intern Application” or “[Term] [Year] Legal Intern Application” to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For example, put “Spring 2018 Policy Intern Application” in the subject line if applying for a Spring 2018 policy internship. Law students and LLM students may apply for both a Policy internship and a Legal internship, but must submit separate applications for each internship program to be considered for both. If you are a law or LLM student applying to both a Policy internship and a Legal internship, email each application separately using the appropriate subject line.
Required Application Materials:
- Cover letter. Please describe your interest in OSTP, the issue areas in which you would like to focus, your relevant skills and experience, and why you would like to serve the Federal Government. 1 page limit.
- Resume. 1 page limit.
- Writing sample. Any length between 2 and 10 pages is acceptable. Longer writing samples will not be considered. Any topic is acceptable. Word or PDF format is acceptable.
- Copy of current transcript. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
- List of at least 3 references. Ensure you include contact information for your references. You do not need to submit letters of recommendation.
Please provide the information listed below in the body of your application email:
Are you a U.S. Citizen?
For which term are you applying?
Which days of the week are you available?
College/University Where Enrolled during Desired Term:
Current Major or Graduate Program:
Expected Graduation Date (mm/yyyy):
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Is the OSTP Intern program part of the White House Internship Program?
The OSTP Intern Program is distinct from the White House Internship Program. Students in the White House Internship Program intern with the White House Office, a different component of the Executive Office of the President. Students in the OSTP Intern Program work within OSTP.
Where do OSTP Interns work? Can I work remotely?
Interns must be available to work on site in the White House Complex in Washington, D.C.
How many hours per week would I need to commit to working?
Interns for the Fall and Spring terms are expected to commit to a minimum of 16 hours per week. Preference will be given to applicants available to work for 30+ hours per week. Interns are expected to work full-time for a minimum of 10 weeks during the Summer term.
Is the OSTP Internship a paid position?
No. OSTP internship positions are without compensation. Students may, however, be eligible to receive academic credit from their respective college or university. Student interns may also be eligible to receive a public transit subsidy from OSTP to help defray the costs of commuting to OSTP. In addition, applicants may contact educational and other non-profit organizations to apply for funding or housing assistance. Any outside income, funding, or housing assistance received as an OSTP intern must be pre-approved by OSTP Legal Counsel.
Are the start dates for each term flexible in the event of a conflicting academic or work schedule?
OSTP is sometimes able to accommodate modifications to the term start and end dates. If you have restrictions on when you can start or when you must end your internship, please indicate those restrictions in your application.
Is housing provided?
No. Applicants must arrange for their own housing. Applicants are encouraged to contact educational and other non-profit organizations, as well as local schools, to apply for housing assistance. OSTP does not arrange housing for OSTP interns.
I will be graduating at the end of this year, but plan to enroll in another program next term. Am I considered eligible?
While final determinations of eligibility are made by OSTP, students in either of the following two categories are generally eligible:
- Students enrolled at least half-time in an accredited educational institution.
- Students not concurrently enrolled, but who can demonstrate that their gap in enrollment will not exceed five months. Example: College students who graduate in May and who can document their enrollment in a graduate program that begins in August of the same year are likely to be eligible for OSTP internships.
I am not a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible if I have a green card, I am a permanent resident, I intend to become a permanent resident, or I am currently applying for U.S. citizenship?
Applicants must be U.S. citizens to be eligible for the OSTP internship program. Permanent residents and those seeking U.S. citizenship are encouraged to apply after they have obtained U.S. citizenship.
Are high school students eligible to apply?
When can I apply for future terms?
Students may apply early for future terms, but OSTP recommends that students apply no earlier than two months before each term’s application deadline.
I am a law student interested in both Policy internships and Legal internships. Can I apply to both?
Yes. If you wish to be considered for both policy and legal internship positions, you must apply separately by submitting separate email applications. If you are interested in working directly with policy advisors on the development of national policy, particularly in a specific policy area that interests you, we encourage you to apply for one of OSTP’s policy internships. In contrast, if you are mainly interested in gaining federal legal experience working with government attorneys who support policy advisors, you will likely prefer interning in OSTP’s Legal Division. Legal internships are open ONLY to law and LLM students.
How many interns does OSTP accept each term?
The number of interns accepted varies by organizational needs and space availability.
Are there suggested topics for the writing sample?
A writing sample on any topic that shows professional written communication skills and knowledge of grammar is appropriate. Law students are welcome to submit legal or policy writing samples on a topic of interest.
When can I expect to hear back from OSTP after I submit my application?
Due to the large volume of applications submitted to OSTP, we are not able to confirm receipt of every application. OSTP seeks to contact students selected for interviews within a month after an application deadline closes.
Can I mail a hard copy of my application?
No. Only applications submitted by email will be reviewed.
If you have any questions, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section or contact us at the information provided below.
E-mail: email@example.com with the subject line “OSTP Internship Program”
Telephone: (202) 456-4444
Fax: (202) 456-6022
OSTP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.