Tobin Project


The Tobin Project

***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 6 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: 

  • Writing Sample

LOCATION: Cambridge, MA

Our office is able to host a REMOTE OR IN-PERSON intern (depending on mutual preference).


WORKING HOURS: The intern needs to keep the same business hours as our office.

INDUSTRY: Think Tank / Research / Policy

ABOUT US: The Tobin Project is a catalyst for transformative research and teaching in the social sciences. The mission of the Tobin Project is to mobilize, motivate, and support a community of scholars across the social sciences and allied fields seeking to deepen our understanding of significant challenges facing the nation over the long term. Founded in 2005, the Tobin Project is an independent, non-profit research organization motivated by the belief that rigorous scholarship and pedagogy on major, real-world problems can make a profound difference. Inspired by Professor James Tobin’s belief that scholars have a vital role to play in the public sphere, the Tobin Project has built an interdisciplinary network of over 700 leading scholars across almost 200 universities, from Nobel Laureates to the most promising graduate students, who are together working to generate pioneering research on pressing problems of the 21st century, and to bring that research into classrooms.

RESPONSIBILITIES & PROJECTS: Interns will have a portfolio of substantive research and writing projects across the Tobin Project's initiatives. They will participate in team meetings and strategy sessions, and receive written and verbal feedback from leadership and staff.


  • Strong writing, analysis, and evaluation skills.
  • We value generalists who can look at research and evidence from a number

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The Tobin Project has an open office where there is frequent conversation with staff members. We work in small project-based teams, with lots of feedback on written work. Staff frequently eat lunch together. Interns frequently work closely with multiple staff members and build relationships.

EQUIPMENT & SOFTWARE: Intern must have their own computer with if remote. if working onsite a workstation will be provided.

2021 Intern Reflection:

Over the past few weeks, I have focused on the Tobin Project's History of American Democracy initiative, which is now working on a book project elucidating the various ways American people have participated in democratic life even without the franchise. I mostly focused on how federalism and overlapping jurisdictions created democratic spaces, writing a literature review on that question. But I also managed to parlay my knowledge of Spanish into doing some historical research for a case study Tobin is writing about the breakdown of democracy in Chile. For students applying to this internship, comfort with literature reviews and general research skills is a must; an interest in American history, politics, and democracy is also essential.

- Kendrick Foster

2019 Intern Reflection:

This summer, I’ve had a productive and fulfilling experience interning at The Tobin Project, a nonprofit research organization whose mission is to foster innovative scholarship in the social sciences and allied disciplines. Over the past few months, I’ve been working on three projects: a digital resource that compiles oft-used datasets within the inequality literature, a literature review of publications examining democratic erosion, and some case method proposals for our nascent pedagogy inquiry.

I’ve greatly enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to multiple initiatives within a variety of fields, which has broadened my academic horizons and made each day’s work fresh and exciting. I’m also grateful for the warmth, humor, and expertise of all of The Tobin Project staff, who have fostered a fun, collaborative, and dynamic office culture that includes daily stretch breaks and frequent lunch outings to Harvard Square.

Overall, my time at The Tobin Project has reignited my passion for certain academic disciplines, enhanced my research and writing skills, enabled me to take initiative on projects that I deeply care about, and served as an invaluable source of personal and professional growth. I strongly recommend it to prospective IOP Director’s Interns, particularly those interested in academia, public policy, or economics.

-Ricky Li '21

2018 Intern Reflection:

This past summer, I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to work at the Tobin Project right here in Harvard Square. Inspired by the cutting-edge research of Nobel laureate James Tobin, The Tobin Project is a non-profit research organization that catalyzes inquiry addressing the most challenging issues of our time by engaging its vast network of scholars, policy makers, and students. Tobin’s research areas range the span of the social sciences—from the ways in which corporations influence democracy to the consequences of economic inequality.

As an intern this summer, I have primarily helped with The Tobin Project’s National Security initiative as well as with its communications projects. Some of my work so far has involved brushing up on international relations theory in order to write literature reviews as well as working with the National Security team to draft a list of potential scholars within the field to collaborate with in the future. In addition, I have helped with editing Tobin’s communications and updating Tobin’s scholar and policymaker databases.

Since the Tobin Project has such a small and friendly office, I have had opportunities to hear about its other research initiatives and speak with my coworkers about their latest projects as well as engage in fascinating discussions about current events. While much of the research is independent and computer-based, the close-knit office staff eats lunch, stretches, and walks together nearly every day creating a fun, welcoming workplace. Working at the Tobin Project provides a unique summer research and internship position rolled into one. In addition to getting to try nearly every restaurant in the square, you’ll have a chance to improve your research abilities, writing skills, and understanding of the broader field of academia after being at Tobin.

Working at Tobin has helped me to think more critically about the research topics I will pursue while at Harvard and exposed me to new areas of inquiry. Having the chance to work with Tobin’s young research analysts who share similar interests—and learning about the research areas of the impressive scholars in Tobin’s network—I am inspired by the variety of work being done to improve society as well as the intersection between different fields and schools of thought within the social sciences.

-Hillary McLauchlin '20

2017 Intern Reflection:

The Tobin Project is dedicated to fostering high quality scholarship on questions important to the public interest, particularly in the realms of democracy, inequality, and natural security. As an intern for the Tobin Project, I am primarily assisting with the organization's When Democracy Breaks and History of American Democracy initiatives. Examples of my assignments include researching metrics of democracy, analyzing historical case studies, investigating pedagogy around teaching history of American democracy, and collaborating with the research analysts to develop and execute strategic plans for Tobin's projects. The work is substantive, engaging, and quite fascinating. While assignments are mostly independent endeavors, the small office (only twelve people) maintains an open, friendly atmosphere with weekly lunches in the Square, morning stretch breaks, and afternoon walks. Overall, the experience has been wonderful, and I would highly recommend it, particularly to students who think they may be interested in academia, public policy, or historical research.

-Jessica Levy '18

Boston, MA / Cambridge, MA