Sustainable Cities Research Intern

World Resources Institute
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
  • Posted
    Mar 07

Position description

World Resources Institute is a global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. Our 500 experts and staff work with partners in more than 50 countries; we have offices in Brazil, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and the United States. WRI is consistently ranked as the top global Think Tank working on environmental issues.

In 2014, WRI was ranked one of the Top Workplaces by the Washington Post.


Internships at WRI provide opportunities for motivated young professionals to learn from our experts and participate in engaging work at the intersection of environment and development. WRI provides many internship opportunities throughout the year in all of our programs and offices. We seek interns with diverse backgrounds and who are passionate about the environment to help us make a direct global impact. For more information, see our website: Internships at WRI

The WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities seeks a Research Intern to support research, analysis, writing, and reviewing on topics related to sustainable cities and the development of the flagship World Resources Report (WRR) on Sustainable Cities. WRR takes a novel approach by examining whether meeting the needs of the 'urban undeserved' can achieve more economically prosperous, environmentally sustainable and socially equitable cities for all. The audience for the Report comprises a broad range of urban change agents - including politicians, civil servants, business people and civil society - who build, govern and shape cities. Through extensive stakeholder engagement and partnership with leading institutions and experts, the WRR seeks to influence global discussions about urban sustainability.

The results of the Intern’s research may be incorporated into the WRR framing paper, key chapters, and case studies. The Intern should have some knowledge and/or experience in sustainable urban planning, policy, finance, and innovative initiatives and programs in cities. The intern will support the Research Director by assisting with research, writing, and proofreading on the topics central to WRR including: urban expansion, housing, water risk and access, as well as energy and transportation. The intern may be asked to co-author blog posts and assist on video production for seminar series and vignette stories of the urban undeserved. Additional tasks will revolve around organizing stakeholder engagement events for the WRR and assisting in coordination of case study work lead by country offices.

The position is located in WRI's Washington, D.C. office and will report directly to the Director of Research within the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.


The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

  • Writing case studies
  • Conducting secondary research
  • Writing literature reviews
  • Reviewing publications
  • Assisting in organizing and analyzing data
  • Writing up qualitative research/surveys conducted in the field
  • Copyediting/proofreading, reference managing through EndNote
  • Developing outreach materials
  • Organizing workshops and/or roundtable discussions with stakeholders


Degree required: Bachelor's in urban planning, public policy, political science, geography, economics, or other relevant subject

  • Ability to present complex information in a clear and concise manner in the written form
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Excellent research and analytical skills
  • Familiarity and experience with Endnote software
  • Experience creating a research methodology
  • Experience with synthesizing academic journals
  • Strong oral communications skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team
  • Familiarity and experience with sustainable urban planning, policy, finance, and innovative initiatives in the cities in the global south
  • Ability to work calmly and enthusiastically under high pressure
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Flexible
  • Highly responsible, self-motivated
  • Good sense of humor
  • Extremely well organized and efficient

Preferred degree: Masters degree in urban planning, public policy, political science, geography, economics, or other relevant subject

WRI does not sponsor interns for visas of any kind. Must have authorization to work in the U.S. to be eligible for this position.

Final candidate will be required to take a writing test. Finalists will need to submit 2 writing samples.

Duration: 6 months

Start/End Months: January/February 2017 - July 2017

Salary: This is a paid intern position with an hourly rate based on experience.

Application instructions

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