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RAND Summer Associate Program – POLITICAL SCIENCE & HISTORY – RAND Corporation – Los Angeles, CA

Job Type:

Adjunct Staff (Fixed Term)

Position Description

RAND’s Summer Associate Program introduces outstanding graduate students conducting national security-related work in political science; history; public policy; public administration; international relations; or area studies to the RAND Corporation, an institution that conducts research on a wide range of domestic and international social policy issues as well as national security problems.

RAND advises a variety of defense clients on policy-level decisions relating to defense programs, military systems, future force structure and doctrine, homeland security, and national military strategy. Working with multidisciplinary teams, national security researchers apply quantitative and qualitative skills to analyze policy problems of national and international importance, and communicate the results of these analyses to decision makers.

Please note: At this time we are still determining whether this internship program will proceed in an in-person or remote/virtual model for summer 2021. If the program proceeds in person, positions will be available in RAND’s major U.S. offices — Santa Monica, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, and Boston. Office placement decisions are based on the availability of in-person mentorship and other factors. If the program proceeds in a remote/virtual model, positions will be available for remote workers residing in the U.S. (excluding U.S. territories) for the duration of the summer associate assignments.

Summer Associates experience the following at RAND:

  • Typically work at RAND for a 12-week period during the summer;

  • Receive a bi-weekly paycheck during their assignment with RAND;

  • Conduct research that can be completed during their time at RAND and present the results of this research to the RAND community via a 15-30 minute briefing at the end of their three-month assignment;

  • Are closely mentored by one to two established RAND researchers;

  • Are highly encouraged to network and interact with other researchers outside of their primary mentorship team and area of expertise;

  • Are invited to attend a number of seminars from researchers both within and outside of RAND.


The position is designed for full-time doctoral students in political science, history, public policy, public administration, international relations or area studies or other related fields who: (1) have completed at least two years of graduate work leading to a doctorate or professional degree (e.g., law or medical degree); and (2) are within two years of completion of this doctorate or degree.

A keen interest in working on applied, policy-oriented research questions is necessary. Applicants are strongly encouraged to explore RAND’s website ( ) for details on RAND’s ongoing research portfolio. Unfortunately, we do not know in advance which projects may require summer associates.

In connection with national security or defense projects, many positions require that applicants be eligible to receive, or currently hold, a security clearance from the United States government.

Additional qualifications required:

  • Excellent analytic skills;

  • Proven ability in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods;

  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English, both verbally and in writing;

  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a multidisciplinary team;

  • Strong commitment to RAND’s core values of quality and objectivity;

  • Proof of legal right to work in the United States is required upon hire;

  • U.S. Citizenship is not necessary except when required for certain types of project work (e.g., the project contract requires it or the project work itself requires a security clearance)

  • Residency in the U.S. (excluding U.S. territories) will be required if the program proceeds in a remote/virtual model.

Who is not eligible?

The program does not hire high school students, undergraduates, or postdoctoral fellows at this time. Graduate students who will graduate prior to the summer of employment are not eligible. The program typically does not consider master’s degree students except in the Engineering, Computer or Information Science, and Operations Research disciplines.

Specializations of Interest

  • Military Systems and Organization

  • Future Force Structure and Doctrine

  • National Military Strategy

  • Military Operation and Tactics

Security Clearance

U.S. Citizenship may be required for positions requiring a U.S. government security clearance.

Special Note

Applicants are required to submit two documents and should be prepared to answer three short answer questions as well as provide two (2) references:

  • Name, organization, and email address of two (2) references (which will be filled out on the online application). These individuals should be professors or advisors familiar with your research work. NOTE: You will be notified prior to references being contacted.

Please submit only one application. (Submitting more than one application will not increase the chances of being selected as one application will be randomly withdrawn)

Applications will be reviewed throughout the application period. All applications are due by December 4, 2020 .

Applicants will be notified of RAND’s interest in conducting an interview after the application period has ended. You will be contacted directly only if you are selected for an interview . Interviews will be conducted beginning in late January, continuing as late as February and March. Offers are typically extended in late March.

Equal Opportunity Employer- minorities/females/veterans/individuals with disabilities/sexual orientation/gender identity

Click Here To Apply

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