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Spring 2020 Internship: Opportunity Lab Graduate Communications Intern

Spring 2020 Internship: Opportunity Lab Graduate Communications Intern

Application deadline: First review of applications will be December 16th, 2019; position will remain open until filled.

Background: The Opportunity Lab (O-Lab) is a research center at UC Berkeley addressing poverty and inequality through rigorous, data-driven research. It is an interdisciplinary effort led by professors Hilary Hoynes, Jesse Rothstein, and Ben Handel. The O-Lab generates high-quality and policy-relevant evidence across multiple domains, including criminal justice, climate, education, taxation, the social safety net, and health. 

Overview: We are seeking a Graduate-level Communications Intern who can help O-Lab develop new materials to share our research and policy impact. The position will work with O-Lab staff and faculty to develop short research and policy briefs summarizing O-Lab research and synthesizing bodies of research into accessible, non-technical,  and policy-oriented briefs. The intern will also develop and conduct Q&As with faculty and graduate students related to their ongoing research and/or to the implications of their research for local/state/federal policy-making. 

We are looking for someone who is a very strong writer, can generate output with minimal direct supervision, and has some experience in the fields of domestic poverty and inequality and/or social science research more generally. The ideal candidate will be able to comprehend and clearly explain sometimes technical academic work for a public audience. Strong attention to detail and time management will be very important in this position. Experience designing policy materials for a general audience is a plus. 

Responsibilities include:

  • Working with O-Lab program manager to develop a clear and consistent work plan for the semester leading to the regular production and publication of short materials highlighting O-Lab research
  • Building familiarity with O-Lab’s research, with a particular eye toward timely research topics to spotlight 
  • Drafting short (1-3 page) briefs summarizing individual research papers and/or synthesizing themes and policy implications from across multiple research projects 
  • Developing accessible and easy-to-understand graphics to visually explain research findings and policy implications
  • Drafting and conducting interviews with faculty and graduate students to highlight key findings and policy implications of their research
  • Coordinating with graduate students and faculty around the production of policy briefs and opinion pieces, including coordinating the faculty review and revision process
  • Developing and/or revising text for the website, brochures, and other O-Lab materials


  • Graduate student at UC Berkeley (enrolled for Spring 2020) with a focus in public policy, public health, economics, social welfare, political science, sociology, or a related field. 
  • Available to work up to 25% time for the full Spring 2020 semester
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0

Required Skills

  • Writing and communications experience and a demonstrated interest in social policy and economic research. You should have very strong writing skills with precise, clear, and vibrant language. 
  • Strong ability to anticipate, plan, prioritize, and meet deadlines. Capacity to handle multiple projects at once, effectively manage time, and interface confidently with co-workers. Ability to manage a time-sensitive workflow while maintaining absolute accuracy with details.
  • Experience working with design platforms, producing visual “explainers”, and managing social media are preferred.
  • Professionalism, discretion, and good judgment when sharing news and information publicly. 
  • Self-motivated, reliable, hard worker who can generate regular materials with minimal direct oversight (supervision will likely consist primarily of phone check-ins and emails, with occasional in-person meetings as needed).
  • Strong organizational skills and close attention to detail. 

Funding & Logistics: This position is a paid internship, with a stipend of $5,000 for the full Spring 2020 semester. We expect the workload to be equivalent to approximately 10 hours/week, but planning for the exact terms and work plan for the semester will be a key priority for the selected candidate and the O-Lab Program Manager to finalize early in the term. The selected candidate will work largely independently but will be expected to check in regularly with the program manager and with key staff within the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA).

Application Information: Please send a resume and a short (~1-page) cover letter explaining your interest/relevant experience to Please also include a short (1-5 pages) writing sample with your application. We are especially interested in any examples of writing (e.g. blog posts, articles, reports, briefs, etc) that demonstrate your ability to explain complex or technical detail in accessible language.

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