WC: Economic and Policy Studies Internship


The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at University of Virginia leverages the research, expertise, and resources of the University to strengthen effective governance, inform public policy, develop ethical and effective leaders, and deliver strategic and technical assistance throughout the state.


William Shobe, Director, Center for Economic and Policy Studies and Professor of Public Good


This internship will prepare interns for careers in any of the following:

  • Academic Research and Administration
  • Advocacy and Policy
  • Consulting
  • Government
  • Regulatory affairs


This internship will provide experiences to develop and polish the following skills:

  • Problem-solving and analytical thinking
  • Data literacy and fluency
  • Communication to diverse audiences
  • Self and career management
  • Thought leadership and innovation


The student will work with Prof. Shobe to develop a mentoring plan. Regular interaction with Center staff is essential. The candidate will work closely with at least one Center expert on a policy question related to the Center's work. The candidate will engage with the Center staff along with Center clients in government, NGOs and the private sector.


Typical learning outcomes will be: (1) How to conduct and communicate research and policy analysis in a manner that has impact and will influence the intended audience. (2) Expand and apply academic skills and knowledge while developing professional skills such as project management, grant application, and policy communication. (3) Experience in applied, interdisciplinary policy research Communicating and visualizing research results for a non-academic audience.


The team will work to identify a research project that takes advantage of the student's area of interest or specialization. The student's responsibilities would be to work with Cooper Center staff and others to carry our research initiatives in support of activities at the Center. Any project would involve some topic identification, independent research, gathering and analyzing data, developing appropriate models and, of course, research communication, including both written and verbal presentation of results.

The intern will be responsible for creating at least one report/white paper on a topic related to environmental or energy policy and the transition away from fossil fuels. Work may also include identifying and helping apply for funding to support expanded work in our research activities. The intern will design an applied policy research project including literature review, modeling, data collection and analysis. The intern will communicate the results to peers and non-technical audiences.


Interest and expertise in subjects related to environmental policy, energy policy, regional economics and governance is a must. Many different disciplines would be useful: economics & finance, political science, engineering, regional science & planning, computing & data science and public policy. Since the projects span a wide variety of policy areas, the team is open to matching a project to a variety of interested candidates.


Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and Spring 2025



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