Eileen Sweeney Graduate Internship in Disability Policy

Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 1, 2019

Eileen P. Sweeney devoted her life to improving the lives of people with disabilities, children, battered women, the poor, and the elderly. Her early Washington career was devoted to disability issues and she played a key role in achieving the disability benefit reforms of 1983 and 1984. She subsequently turned her attention to other vulnerable populations, the needs of children, those served by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, and the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.

Remembering Eileen P. Sweeney 

Support the Eileen Sweeney Graduate Internship in Disability Policy

The National Academy of Social Insurance, in partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) established the Eileen Sweeney Graduate Internship in honor and memory of Eileen. Graduate students aspiring to a career in social policy with a focus on disability are urged to apply for this 12-week summer semester internship. A student will be awarded the internship based on nationwide recruitment and a competitive selection process.

The Sweeney Graduate Intern will have the opportunity to:

  • Work with leading disability policy experts;
  • Gain valuable work experience; and
  • Make professional contacts and attend relevant seminars, and symposia.

The National Academy of Social Insurance, as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to furthering knowledge and understanding of social insurance programs, is uniquely qualified to provide students with challenging internship opportunities. The Academy’s members, recognized experts in social insurance and health policy, offer the interns access to information and experiences found nowhere else. Academic credit may be arranged through the intern’s college or university. International students with valid student visas can be placed with non-governmental organizations, if placement projects match their skills and interests.

To apply for the Eileen Sweeney Graduate Internship in Disability Policy, please submit the following by February 1:

  1. A completed Online Internship Application or an Internship Application form
  2. A one-page cover letter that explains your interest in the internship program and answers the following questions:
    • In your own words, how would you define social insurance and its role in your family’s life?
    • To what extent have you studied social insurance programs?
    • What special skills or qualifications will you bring to your placement?
    • On what types of assignments do you perform best? (e.g. research, writing, statistics, computer applications, organizing etc.)
    • How will this experience relate to your future career plans?
  3. Resume
  4. Official transcript (if you are a graduate student, submit a copy of your undergraduate and graduate course work to date)
  5. Three professional and/or academic written letters of recommendation with contact information
  6. A five to ten page writing sample which reflects the type and quality of work you have done

Mail to:
Internship Programs
National Academy of Social Insurance
1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Suite 830
Washington, DC 20036

Application and materials must be received by February 1.

Completed applications will be considered by the selection committees for placements beginning in May or June.

Applications will be considered incomplete if any information is missing as of the deadline.

For additional information, contact the Academy's Internship Coordinator at (202) 452-8097 or

Download Internship Application Form