Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service

 

**Per LOC policy, applicants must be U.S. citizens.**

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysts to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for more than a century.

CRS is well-known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective and nonpartisan. Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has 24/7 access to the nation’s best thinking.

This summer, CRS is seeking an intern for the Resources, Science and Industry Division (RSI). The full internship would be offered to undergraduate students for a duration of approximately 10 weeks in the summer of 2020. The intern would also be a part of a larger cadre of summer interns whom CRS traditionally hosts, creating a chance to meet and interact with peers and colleagues from around the country.

The CRS Environmental Policy Section is seeking an intern who can assist in its high tempo analytical support for Congress on issues as widely varying as global greenhouse gas emissions, international climate change agreements, adaptation and resilience, toxic substances regulation (e.g., PFAS), nuclear materials control (plutonium, transuranic and high level nuclear waste), agricultural runoff and harmful algal bacteria impacts. A background in economics, engineering, science, or liberal arts may be helpful. An ability to apply these skills in a rigorous and nonpartisan policy context is essential. While CRS publishes reports that are publicly available, much of CRS work is confidential. Accordingly, applicants will need to undergo a background investigation for positions of public trust and confidence.

2019 Intern Reflection:

Acknowledged by many members of Congress as the legislative branch’s hidden gem, the Congressional Research Service its interns with the unique opportunity to directly advise policy without having to partake in petty partisan struggles. The bulk of a CRS internship revolves around producing one, coherent, long-term project on a certain policy issue that is amenable to your preferences. My internship, for instance, was spent analyzing the role of arms control within the context of the changing international order. I conducted research and laid the preliminary groundwork for a long report on this issue, focusing specifically on what arms control can show Congress about the shifting positions on the world stage. As a supplement to this main project, I also wrote a shorter report looking particularly at lethal autonomous weapon systems as a case study for arms control in general. This experience has taught me exactly how policy research is conducted, in addition to teaching me to write in a clear, concise, and completely non-partisan manner on issues that have the potential to become incredibly partisan. That is quite possibly one of the best parts of this internship, the training you get in forcing yourself to be able to look at a very contemporary and “hot topic” issue as objectively as you possibly can, to learn to collect the fact first before forming an opinion.

Besides the official work that you do, a CRS internship offers near countless perks. As an intern with CRS, you are connected by tunnels to the House and Senate Office Buildings, in addition to the U.S. Capitol itself, and within walking distance to the U.S. Supreme Court Building, allowing you a front row view of history itself without having to step outside. CRS also works incredibly diligently to make sure that its interns make the most of their time on Capitol Hill: you are given numerous opportunities to attend trainings, briefings, lectures, “meet-and-greets” etc., creating a remarkably strong intern community. You will also be able to work closely with and learn from some of the world’s leading experts on pretty much every issue, meaning that if you want to learn more about anything from climate change to healthcare to military space, all you have to do is ask, and you will be treated with a Congressional-level explanation. The best advice I can give you is to take advantage of as many of these opportunities as possible and to learn as much as you can, for few other opportunities can compare with a CRS internship when it comes to learning applicable skills, meeting excellent people, and simply having a great time.

Zelin Liu '22

2018 Intern Reflection:

There's no other internship on the Hill that will quite give you the same experience as working at the Congressional Research Service. That's because even though you spend your days in the hustle and bustle of policymaking, you're one step removed from the incessant, often frustrating politicking side of it all. As an intern, I spend my time researching and writing a report for members of Congress on artificial intelligence and how it might impact the education sphere. What's great about this is that the report is completely my own and I get to shape it the way I want to -- but there's always plenty of support from the dozens of analysts at CRS, whose areas of expertise range from topics as niche as land value capture (what even is that?) to those as broad as climate change. Writing for the CRS is an adjustment, but being here will no doubt help you hone your writing and research skills. Because so much of the CRS's reputation and function rests on its nonpartisanship, I've learned to be extremely thoughtful about the way I word things and to distance my own views from the objective facts and their implications.

If you choose this internship, be sure to go to as many events on the Hill -- or in other areas of DC -- as you can! Attend briefings, hearings, and lectures. Go watch a case be argued before the Supreme Court. All of this will enrich your experience at the CRS and ultimately help you become a better writer, critical thinker, and exponent for your ideas.

Joyce Lu '21

 

Washington, D.C.