The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not for profit science and technology policy think tank that has a robust and long running internship program.  Excellence in research and objective analysis is the motto for the program.  The Potomac Institute Internship Program (for undergraduate, graduate, or recently graduated students) hosts interns with a variety of academic backgrounds that relate to the science, technology, and national security missions of the Institute.  The Institute strives to provide a versatile experience for each internship participant.  Each intern will work with the Intern Coordinator to identify an independent research project that falls within the Potomac Institute's mission.  Interns can and will be encouraged to draw upon expertise for their research projects from the staff of the different academic centers, Senior Fellows and/or staff within program divisions at PIPS.  Some unique qualities of the program are policy research, school credits, seminars and conferences, publication acknowledgements, and networking.

Policy Internships

Are you interested in making a difference?  Have you always wanted to learn how policy is made and shaped at the highest levels of government?  Do you have a burning curiosity about the latest developments in cyber security, neuroscience, counterterrorism technology, and future trends that affect security and society?  The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, nonpartisan science and technology policy research institute in Arlington, Virginia, is seeking interns who want to be at the heart of the debate about science and technology policy in the US.  We offer an opportunity to assist with research, writing, planning, and organizational activities that support the Institute's mission to provide a forum for the free exchange of ideas for the purpose of informing public policy.

Hardworking and bright interns will have the opportunity to perform their own independent research project, attend Institute seminars and conferences, and develop personal academic interests.  Intern research projects, or “mini-theses,” are conducted throughout the semester tenure of the internship. The Intern Coordinator closely advises and guides research projects. Project criteria include: researcher interest, timeliness, policy relevance, and data availability. Researchers must be enthusiastic about a topic that is, or should be, of current importance to the USG. The project topic must fit within the mission of the Potomac Institute, thus being critical to S&T policy and national security. Availability of data must be assured from the start. Importantly, the final products must be tailored to well-informed US policymakers and the public; and communicate greater understanding of the issues and actionable policy recommendations to help solve them.  

Individuals enrolled in, or having completed university studies with a specific interest in science and technology, public policy, and national security are encouraged to apply.  We are seeking interns from diverse academic backgrounds (undergraduate, graduate, or recently graduated), including those with experience in the sciences, engineering, political science, legislative affairs, international affairs, security studies, history, public policy, operations research, robotics, neuroscience, foreign languages, regional studies, and ethics.  Candidates should have research experience, writing and editing proficiency, good database skills, strong MS Office skills and Internet research skills. Excellent organizational and communication skills are mandatory as is the ability to prioritize a heavy workload. Professional attire is required.  Interns are expected to work a minimum of 16 hours a week during the Spring and Fall semesters and 24 hours during the Summer semester.

If you are currently enrolled in an academic program, we will assist in your effort to receive course credit.  Potomac Institute internships are unpaid.

To apply to the Policy Internship Program, please send a letter of interest, a current copy of your resume, and a writing sample to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Semester application deadlines are as follows:

Spring (January to May): November 22

Summer (May to September): March 23

Fall (September to December): July 30


Internship Program at ICTS

The International Center for Terrorism Studies (ICTS) is an independent, not-for-profit policy research institute associated with the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, located in Arlington, Virginia. Established in 1994, the activities of ICTS are guided by an International Research Council that offers recommendations for the study of all aspects of terrorism. ICTS is also affiliated with: the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies; the Inter-University Center for Information Warfare and Cyber-Terrorism Studies; the Inter-University Center for Science and Technology Studies; and the Inter-University Center for Legal Studies (International Law Institute, Washington, D.C.).

Purpose and Scope

There exists the need to educate policymakers, and the public in general, on the nature and intensity of the terrorism threat in the twenty-first century. As a member of the academic and research community, the ICTS has an intellectual obligation, as well as a moral and practical responsibility, to participate in the international counterterrorism effort.  The purpose of the ICTS therefore, is four-fold:

1. To monitor current and future threats of terrorism;
2. To develop response strategies on governmental and non-governmental levels;
3. To effect continual communication with policy-makers, academic institutions, business, media, and civic organizations; and
4. To sponsor research programs on critical issues, particularly those relating enabling technologies with policy, and share the findings nationally and internationally.


ICTS has sponsored, co-sponsored, and participated in hundreds of seminars, briefings, and conferences in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, India, Israel, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Ukraine. In addition, ICTS published 40 books and 18 reports on topics including Super Terrorism: Biological, Chemical, and Nuclear; Terrorism and the Law; terrorist group profiles of ETA (Spain) and Usama bin Laden's al-Qaida; Terrorism: U.S. Perspectives; Information Warfare and Cyber-Terrorism; Terrorism and Business; and Legal Aspects of Terrorism in the United States. ICTS activities have been covered extensively by television, radio and press in over 40 countries.

Call for Students

ICTS Internship Description: internship responsibilities include research assistance, conference coordination, editorial and publication assistance, and database development.

Duties include: monitoring developments and conducting research on terrorism and counterterrorism over the past two decades, peace processes, regional insurgencies and ethnic conflicts, terrorism and law, etc., developing and maintaining a database on terrorism and regional developments; compiling bibliographies and chronologies, and summarizing research materials as directed; collecting and assembling data; copy editing and proofreading; providing a full range of administrative support to ICTS (95% research based, 5% administrative support).

Requirements: 3.0 or higher GPA with a background or interest in terrorism, ethnic conflict, political violence, international affairs, history, public policy, computer science and law are preferred, though others accepted. Foreign language and international experience are desired. Candidates should have relevant research, writing and editing experience, excellent organization and communication skills, strong MS Office and Internet research skills, and the ability to prioritize a heavy workload. Professional attire is expected. Interns are expected to work at least 4-5 days a week for Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters.


Applications should be sent by the following deadlines:

Semester Deadline
(January to May)                           November 20
(May to September)                      March 20
(September to December)              July 20


To apply for the internship position, please send a complete application package via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., including:

1. A letter of interest
2. Current resume
3. 1-2 page writing sample
4. Unofficial transcript
5. Two letters of recommendation


The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Ballston Metro Center Office Towers
901 North Stuart Street, Suite 1200
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.525.0770

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Our Mission

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


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