***Per LOC policy, applicants must be U.S. citizens.
***FINALIST APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: All applicants are required to submit a resume (one page), statement of interest (one page), and two references by the application deadline on Sunday, February 7 at 11:59pm ET. If selected as a finalist, applicants to this host organization may be required to submit the following additional materials directly to the host organization after the application deadline:
- Letter of Recommendation
- Writing Sample
- Library of Congress and CRS documents (once finalist is selected)
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
INDUSTRY: Federal / State / Local Government
ABOUT US: The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis 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.
RESPONSIBILITIES & PROJECTS: This summer, CRS is seeking an intern for the Resources, Science and Industry Division. The intern would join the Environmental Policy Section. The intern selected will assist by performing research in support of analysts’ work to serve Congress on analysis of various environmental policy issues, which may include climate change, nuclear waste, air pollution, water quality, appropriations for environmental cleanup and enforcement. Critical analytical skills along with excel spreadsheet expertise, precise writing, careful organizational skills and attention to detail are required.
SPECIALIZED SKILLS: Spreadsheet (e.g., MS Excel)
REMOTE WORK ENVIRONMENT: CRS staff is currently working remotely. The Library of Congress and CRS will be coordinating programming for all summer interns.
TIME ZONE: ET
WORKING HOURS: There is flexibility regarding which hours the intern works.
EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE: Access to high-speed Wi-Fi, Personal laptop, Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint, Excel)
2020 Intern Reflection:
No two days as an intern at the Library of Congress’s Congressional Research Service are alike, and that’s part of what makes the job so much fun. The CRS is a federal agency established by Congress in 1914 that is commonly referred to as “Congress’s think tank.” Any member of Congress can request confidential research conducted on any topic of interest. The CRS also writes publicly available reports on topics of more general interest to Congress.
I found myself digging through transcripts of Congressional hearings and appropriations bills from the 1960s, looking through peer-reviewed journals and the websites of government agencies for climate change projections, organizing data, compiling lists of information, and so much more. While some interns focus on writing one longer report for the duration of the summer, I’ve had the opportunity to work on multiple projects for different environmental analysts in the Resources, Science, and Industry Section, each of which provides me with new content knowledge and research skills.
The work at CRS is based in the belief that objectivity matters and that facts should inform policy and politics. It is at the intersection of research and policy, enabling you to see the immediate implications of your research in Congress. It also provides you with research skills that will last a lifetime. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone who wants to gain research skills in a dynamic environment full of intellectual curiosity. It is an experience that I will never forget.
-Orlee Marini-Rapoport '23
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