Policy Research Internship

The Unruh Institute of Politics is committed to bringing the academy and the public square together. As such, the Institute offers a Research Internship course that allows students to conduct extensive research and analysis on policy issues facing local, state, and federal government.

More about the internship

Students will have the opportunity to work directly with partnering organizations. Examples of partnering organizations from previous semesters include the NALEO Education Fund, Green Dot Public Schools, Los Angeles City Council Offices, and California Strategies.

Students take part in a team-based research project where they will work to develop solutions in their respective policy areas by conducting interviews with policy experts, review academic and policy reports, and other primary and secondary sources. At the conclusion of the program, each team presents their final product to the partnering organization.

Fall 2020 Research Projects:

The California Strategies project is on "Digital Divide: Issues of Digital Equity." The issue of digital equity is one that has multiple layers to it. Any effort to build the infrastructure to close the divide requires guidance and regulation from multiple levels of government, such as the FCC, state legislatures, public utility commissions, and permits from localities. Researchers in this project will study the effects of the lack of high-speed internet on historically disenfranchised communities through various methods, including field work in our local neighborhoods. Researchers will also study the different needs of high-speed internet in different communities and create a plan to begin to bridge the digital divide.

The Office of LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin project is on "Best Practices for Universal Pre-K." Students will help with longer-term policy initiatives beyond this school year to research what should be included in a road map for universal Pre-K, including funding and teacher recruitment, as well as examine what other districts and/or states have done to provide universal access.

See past research projects.

To Apply:

Applications for the Spring 2021 semester will be released soon. Please check back in November for spring semester opportunities.

Please send any questions about the Policy Research Internship to or refer to the course syllabus.