Summer Associates Program - POLITICAL SCIENCE & HISTORY

RAND Corporation
  • Location
    Santa Monica, CA; Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    Nov 16

Position description

The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND’s research and analysis address issues that impact people everywhere, including security, health, education, sustainability, growth, and development. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, RAND has close to 1,800 people from approximately 50 countries working in offices in North America, Europe, and Australia, with annual revenues of more than $308 million.

RAND is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest.  Our research is sponsored by government agencies, charitable trusts, and community nonprofits. In addition, we rely on philanthropic support to pursue visionary ideas; address critical problems that are under-researched; shape emerging policy debates; and devise innovative approaches for solving acute, complex, or provocative policy challenges. RAND values objectivity and integrity in both its research processes and internal interactions. We emphasize a collegial environment that respects the contributions and dignity of all staff.


Position Description


RAND's Summer Associate Program introduces outstanding graduate students conducting national security-related work in political science; history; public policy; public administration; international relations; or area studies to the RAND Corporation, an institution that conducts research on a wide range of domestic and international social policy issues as well as national security problems.

RAND advises a variety of defense clients on policy-level decisions relating to defense programs, military systems, future force structure and doctrine, homeland security, and national military strategy. Working with multi­disciplinary teams, national security researchers apply quantitative and qualitative skills to analyze policy problems of national and international importance, and communicate the results of these analyses to decision makers.

Summer Associates experience the following at RAND:

  • Typically work at RAND for a 12-week period during the summer;
  • Receive a bi-weekly paycheck during their assignment with RAND;
  • Conduct research that can be completed during their time at RAND and present the results of this research to the RAND community via a 15-30 minute briefing at the end of their three-month assignment;
  • Are closely mentored by one to two established RAND researchers;
  • May be located in Santa Monica, CA, Washington, D.C., or Pittsburgh, PA depending on the match with mentors;
  • Are highly encouraged to network and interact with other researchers outside of their primary mentorship team and area of expertise;
  • Are invited to attend a number of seminars from researchers both within and outside of RAND.


The position is designed for full-time doctoral students in political science, history, public policy, public administration, international relations or area studies or other related fields who: (1) have completed at least two years of graduate work leading to a doctorate or professional degree (e.g., law or medical degree); and (2) are within two years of completion of this doctorate or degree.

A keen interest in working on applied, policy-oriented research questions is necessary. Applicants are strongly encouraged to explore RAND's website ( for details on RAND's ongoing research portfolio. Unfortunately, we do not know in advance which projects may require summer associates.

In connection with national security or defense projects, many positions require that applicants be eligible to receive, or currently hold, a security clearance from the United States government.

Additional qualifications required:

  • Excellent analytic skills;
  • Proven ability in quantitative and/or qualitative research methods;
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively in English, both verbally and in writing;
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a multidisciplinary team;
  • Strong commitment to RAND's core values of quality and objectivity;
  • Proof of legal right to work in the United States is required upon hire;
  • U.S. Citizenship is not necessary except for positions that require a U.S. government security clearance.

Who is not eligible?
The program is not open to (1) undergraduates; (2) students graduating prior to the summer of employment; (3) post-doctoral fellows; or (4) master's degree students.

Specializations of Interest

  • Military Systems and Organization
  • Future Force Structure and Doctrine
  • National Military Strategy
  • Military Operation and Tactics

Security Clearance

U.S. Citizenship may be required for positions requiring a U.S. government security clearance.

Application instructions

*Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on*

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