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Summary: This post aims to boost US policy internships for people students motivated by EA principles – I think they’re not widely known but have anecdotally helped a few EAs land impressive positions that they might not have otherwise gotten. 

. . .

The US Government offers remote internships for college students that can serve as a great stepping stone into US policy careers. 

Some example positions[1] (see all 526 internships here!) include:

Applications for nearly all positions close around the end of July! 

Visit this post for more information 

You can learn more about VSFS (Virtual Student Federal Services) Opportunities in this post on last years VSFS openings. I'll paste in some of the most relevant parts: 

What is VSFS? The Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS) program enables university students to intern for a wide variety of federal agencies  from the CDC and the NIH to the military and the intelligence community. In addition to testing your fit for US policy work, internships can be an excellent way to build initial public sector career capital while connecting with potential employers.


Eligibility: Internship applicants must be US citizens, have graduated from high school, and be enrolled in higher education both at the time of application and during participation in the program. While enrollment in higher education is mandatory, both half-time and full-time enrollment is permitted, and the opportunity is open to undergraduate, graduate as well as post-graduate students.


No previous government experience is required: Unlike other – at times highly competitive – entry-level government positions, VSFS does not require or expect previous public sector experience


If you are interested in applying and want to talk to program alums or receive other kinds of support related to working in US policy, you can fill out this brief survey.


Depending on the position, I can imagine some applicants would be eligible for funding (eg. funding so you can drop another job to work on this). Here’s a list of EA funding opportunities that could get someone started.

  1. ^

    This isn't necessarily an endorsement of these positions; they just appeared pretty good based on the title and hosting organisation alone. 





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Great post!

For those interested in global poverty, I saw there are 20 positions open with USAID which can be a great start for for a career in development.

See for example: https://openopps.usajobs.gov/internships/5811?fromSearch

Thanks Michel!! I'll also flag that if you're interested in applying or testing your fit in policy and would like support, fill out this form to get application support

Things we can help with:

  • Whether or not you’d be a good fit for the positions
  • Review your resume, cover letter & offices you’re interested in
  • Accountability for submitting applications by the deadline

(based off of: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/pdMjPuddtHeLSBDiF/apply-to-fall-policy-internships-we-can-help) 

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