Student Opportunities


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 access to the Academy’s staff and 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 (Washington Internship), Aging and Long-term Care Policy (Somers Internship), Disability Policy (Eileen Sweeney Internship), and Health Policy (Rashi Fein 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 a $4,500 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.

Our 2017 Interns

In 2017, the Academy hosted nine interns from around the country who were placed with various organizations in the DC Metropolitan Area. They are a diverse and talented group who were successful applicants for our nationally competitive program. Biographies of our 2017 interns are available on our website at

Daniel Marthey is an example of where interns are placed and what they do. A graduate student with interest and experience in improving access to health care, he was placed at the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC). While there he helped inform the Commission's ongoing work analyzing data on Medicaid waivers. His research was subsequently published to help facilitate public discussion about streamlining Medicaid’s approval and evaluation processes. After his internship, Daniel was hired by MACPAC to work part-time as a research assistant on the policy team. He plans to receive his master's degree in public health from the University of Maryland in May, 2018.  

Weekly Seminars Led by Members

One of the features that make the Academy’s internships unique is the learning opportunities that go on outside of the workplace.  There are required seminars, optional “only-in DC” policy forums, fun trips, and an Academy conference attended by hundreds of members.

About once a week interns meet as a group—usually a breakfast meeting—to attend informative seminars led by Academy members. This past year’s 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 sponsored by other organizations. There was a trip to tour the Capitol Building and attend live hearings on Capitol Hill.

Additional Benefits

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. As Associate Members, they have access to the membership directory, receive email updates to keep them current on research and events, and have a pathway to becoming Academy members. Interns are also invited to attend the annual policy conference in January as guests (a $400 value).  

The Academy internship application period is now closed. Applicants will be notified by April 1st. If you have questions, please contact our Internship Coordinator at

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

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.