Student Opportunities

John Heinz Dissertation Award

Established in 1993, the Academy’s John Heinz Dissertation Award is designed to recognize and promote outstanding doctoral research by new scholars addressing social insurance policy questions.

Academy Internships

Each summer, the Academy offers a select number of nationally competitive paid internships for students studying for or interested in careers in social insurance policy. The internships offer students an opportunity to engage with the Academy’s membership, a group made up of the nation's leading experts on social insurance policy. The Academy is uniquely qualified to provide students with challenging internship opportunities and provides interns with access to information and experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the country.

Our internship programs cover a wide array of policy areas including Health and Income Security Policy (Merton Bernstein Internship), Aging and Long-term Care Policy (Somers Internship), Disability Policy (Eileen Sweeney Internship), and Health Policy (Rashi Fein Internship and Congressman Pete Stark Internship).

The programs consist of a 12-week summer semester internship that usually spans May to August, depending on the student’s college schedule. Students receive an honorarium for their internship experience and academic credit may be arranged through the intern’s college or university. International students with valid student visas are encouraged to apply and can be placed with non-governmental organizations, if placement projects match their skills and interests.


Unique Learning Opportunities

The Academy’s internships offer learning experiences that go beyond the workplace. There are required seminars, optional “only-in DC” policy forums, and an Academy conference attended by hundreds of members.

Interns meet as a group—usually at a weekly breakfast meeting—to attend informative seminars led by Academy members. In the past, seminar topics focused on Social Security, presentation techniques, poverty and inequality, long-term care, Workers’ Compensation, disability policy, and social insurance and human priorities. Additionally, interns were invited to optional forums on the topics of “Demystifying Health Policy”, “Beyond the ACA: Health Policy and Sustainable Health Spending”, Medicaid Reform, and Long-Term Services and Supports. There were trips to tour the Capitol Building and attend live hearings on Capitol Hill.


Associate Membership

The National Academy of Social Insurance hopes to foster a long-term relationship with all of its interns, and to this end it extends Associate Membership to them once their agreed upon requirements are completed. Through the Associate Membership, the Academy provides ongoing support for those who go through the program, and helps to elevate them in the profession as they become Associate Members and hopefully Members who will become influential leaders.

As Associate Members, they have access to the  Membership directory, receive email updates to keep them current on research and events, and are invited to attend the Academy's annual policy conference as guests (a $400 value).  

For details on which of the Academy's internship programs might be right for you, visit the Internship Opportunities page.