Merton C. Bernstein Internship on Social Insurance

Application Deadline: 
Friday, January 29, 2021

$4,500 (may increase for 2021)

As of October 2020: This program anticipates interns working at organizations in-person, according to the organization’s protocols, and living in Washington, DC during the summer of 2021. The Academy will follow official public health guidelines as they are issued in the spring of 2021, and if necessary, transition to a virtual program (teleworking). Final arrangements will be discussed with each student selected for the program.

The National Academy of Social Insurance has established the Merton C. Bernstein Internship on Social Insurance in recognition of his public service in advancing an understanding of the legal and policy issues concerning Social Security, private pensions, and health insurance.  Merton Bernstein, a Founding Member of the Academy, suggested an internship program at one of its first Board meetings 30 years ago. He served on the Academy’s Board of Directors from 1988 until he ran for Senate in 1992, and remained a Member throughout his long and distinguished career.

Remembering Merton C. Bernstein

Support the Merton C. Bernstein Internship on Social Insurance

Who Should Apply

The National Academy of Social Insurance encourages outstanding graduate and upper division undergraduate students studying health policy, health economics, economics, public policy, social policy, insurance and risk management, or related subjects to apply for this 12-week summer semester internship in Washington, DC.

This internship program spans all areas of social insurance (income, health, aging, and workforce issues) and welcomes students at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral candidates). Students interested in policy research and analyses, public education, advocacy, and/or related projects are encouraged to apply.


In 2020, each student received an honorarium of at least $4,500. In 2021, all students will receive at least $4,500.  Final honorarium amount will be confirmed with each student selected for this program.

Internship Placements

Students who are selected for an internship will be matched with a placement organization in the DC area, where they will work under the supervision of an Academy Member. Bernstein interns have the opportunity to:

  • Work with leading experts and officials who are recognized authorities on social insurance policy, Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, disability long-term care, health care financing, and related public and private programs;
  • Gain valuable work experience;
  • Make professional contacts and network in their areas of interest; and
  • Discuss current policy issues and attend Congressional hearings.

Our most recent internship placements have included:

  • AcademyHealth
  • ADvancing States (fmr National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities)
  • Buffin Foundation
  • Center for Global Policy Solutions
  • Century Foundation
  • Community Catalyst
  • Congressional Research Service
  • Long-Term Quality Alliance (LTQA)
  • Medicaid and Chip Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC)
  • National Academy of Social Insurance
  • National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
  • National Institute for Retirement Security
  • Senate HELP Committee
  • Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB)
  • Urban Institute

The National Academy of Social Insurance, as a nonpartisan organization devoted to furthering knowledge and understanding of social insurance programs, is uniquely qualified to provide students with challenging internship opportunities. Academy 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 Merton Bernstein Internship on Social Insurance please go to the Internship Application.