Foreign policy and defence internship

The United States Studies Centre’s Foreign Policy and Defence program is seeking research interns to work part time during the first half of 2018. Interns will conduct research and other related tasks under the direction of a Research Fellow or Senior Fellow, with a focus on one or more of the following areas: the Trump Administration’s foreign and defence policy in Asia, developments in the US-Australia Alliance, cybersecurity and US domestic politics. Academic experience in one or more of these areas is advantageous but not required.

Master of International Relations student Rebecca Borys was a USSC research intern
“The internship was a fantastic opportunity to get insight into the day-to-day workings of a think tank. Getting involved with events and meetings helped me to build great connections, and working closely with policy experts was invaluable for developing my research skills. Interning helped put to practical use all the knowledge and skills from earlier courses.“ Rebecca Borys, Master of International Relations

Successful candidates will work in a collaborative team environment and benefit from exposure to some of Australia’s leading experts on the United States and Asian strategic issues. The research internship program is an excellent way to develop relevant skills and experience for a career in Australian foreign and defence policy, with direct intern involvement in Centre events, projects and research. As part of the program, interns will work towards developing a piece of research for publication, either in the form of a policy paper, blog post or other research product.

The internship program attracts a large number of applicants and is highly competitive. Several of the 2017 cohort of interns secured graduate positions in 2018 in the Australian Public Service, including in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Attorney-General’s Department.

Applicants from any background will be considered, however typically you will be enrolled in, or have recently completed Honours or Masters studies. The most competitive applicants will have strong research and writing skills, and the ability to independently manage research and administrative tasks.

Research internships can be taken for academic credit. If you wish to take the internship for academic credit at the University of Sydney, you must enrol in USSC3703 (undergraduate) or USSC6205 (postgraduate) in semester 1, 2019.

Research interns are expected to work the equivalent of two full-time days per week.


Applications for the 2020 research internship is now open. Visit our jobs page to learn more. Applications close 24 January 2020.