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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 division (Policy 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 below for information about how to apply and frequently asked questions.

Please note that Policy internships are open to interested students from all majors and programs. Any student (including law students) may apply for Policy internships. Applicants interested in working directly with policy advisors on the development of national policy should apply for a Policy internship. Applicants for Policy internships will not be considered for legal internships unless they separately apply for a Legal internship using the Legal internship application. Legal internships are open only to law and LLM students.

Policy Internships

OSTP supports and coordinates the Administration’s Science and Technology priorities. Ideal Policy intern candidates have a passion for science and technology, possess 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. A degree in engineering or science is preferred.

Legal Internships

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.

Contact Information

If you have any questions, please refer to our FAQ section or contact us at the information provided below.

E-mail: engagement@ostp.eop.gov with the subject line “OSTP Internship Program”
Telephone: (202) 456-4444
Fax: (202) 456-6022

OSTP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

How to Apply

APPLICATION TIMELINE:

 

Application Timeline

 

Please note: due to the transition of OSTP’s digital content, if you previously submitted an application for a summer internship before January 20, 2017, you must resubmit your application by the new deadline in order to be considered.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

All student volunteer applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens
  • Enrolled, at least half-time, in an accredited college or university during the period of volunteer service. Students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in all fields are encouraged to apply.

Preference will be given to applicants available for 30+ hours per week.

POLICY INTERNSHIP REQUIREMENTS:

Applications must be submitted online, using email. Before applying, be prepared to upload and submit the following required documents:

  • Cover letter. Please describe your interest in OSTP, the issue areas in which you would like to focus, and your relevant skills and experience.
  • 1-page resume.
  • Writing sample (4-7 pages).
  • Copy of transcripts. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • References (minimum of 3).

LEGAL INTERNSHIP APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:

Applications must be submitted online, using email. Before applying, be prepared to upload and submit the following required documents:

  • Cover letter. Please describe your interest in OSTP and your relevant skills and experience.
  • 1-page resume.
  • Writing sample.
  • Please submit a 2-4 page (double-spaced) writing sample addressing a legal or policy topic of interest to the student. This writing sample may be an excerpt of a longer written product. Law students are encouraged to submit a writing sample other than their first-year legal research and writing brief.
  • Copy of transcripts. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • References (minimum of 3).

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

About the OSTP Internship Program

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, DC.

How many hours per week would I need to commit?
Interns are expected to commit to working full-time for a minimum of 10 weeks during the Summer term. 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.

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 Counsel.

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.

Eligibility

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 intent to begin a graduate program in August of the same year.

My school is on the quarter system, and I will not finish classes until after the start date of the program. Can I still apply?
Yes. If you are a quarter-system student, please make sure to identify yourself as such on the application and indicate your estimated start date.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible? What if I have a green card, am a permanent resident, intend to become a permanent resident, or 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?
Unfortunately, no.

About the Application Process

When can I apply for future terms?
Students may apply early for future terms. OSTP considers applications approximately two months in advance of each term’s 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 both the legal internship application and the policy application online. You can generally submit the same materials for each application, but please note that the Legal Division’s writing sample and references requirements are slightly different. 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.

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.

Can I mail a hard copy of my application?
No. Only applications submitted by email will be reviewed.

THE APPLICATIONS

Please send your completed application via email to engagement@ostp.eop.gov with the subject line “Application for the OSTP Internship Program.”

APPLICATION: LEGAL INTERNSHIP
(Please provide the information listed below in the body of your application email)

First Name:
Middle Name:
Last Name:
Email Address:
Phone Number:
Are you a US Citizen?
For which term are you applying?
Weekly Availability?
Earliest Start Date:
Latest End Date:
College/University Where Enrolled during Desired Term:
Current Major or Graduate Program:
Expected Graduation Date (mm/yyyy):

Additional Documents
(Please provide as attachments to your application email)

Cover Letter:
Resume:
Transcript:
Writing Sample:
References:

APPLICATION: POLICY INTERNSHIP
(Please provide the information listed below in the body of your application email)

First Name:
Middle Name:
Last Name:
Email Address:
Phone Number:
Are you a US Citizen?
For which term are you applying?
Weekly Availability?
Earliest Start Date:
Latest End Date:
College/University Where Enrolled during Desired Term:
Current Major or Graduate Program:
Expected Graduation Date (mm/yyyy):

Additional Documents
(Please provide as attachments to your application email)

Cover Letter:
Resume:
Transcript:
Writing Sample:
References: