Weldon Cooper: Demographics Research Internship


Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia


The mission of the  Cooper Center  is to leverage the research, expertise, and resources of the University to strenghten effective governance, inform public policy, develop ethical and effective leaders, and deliver strategic and technical assistance throughout the state.


Demographics Research Group


We will provide PhD Plus intern opportunities and experience working with real issues; expose PhD students to different career paths that require their rigorous graudate training and are deeply meaningful; and help young researchers grow professionally and personally.

Career Development 

This internship will prepare intern for careers in any of the following

  • Industry and For-profit, non-profit
  • Government
  • Academic and Research Administration
  • Consulting 
  • Policy and Advocacy 
  • Data science
  • Communication and Marketing 
  • Teaching 


The intern will be involved in

  • Contributing to Demographics Research Group's blog 'StatChat' by writing two or more posts

  • Working either independently or in a team with a staff research(s) on a topic that is of interest and importance to our mission of public service
  • Supporting communication and promotion of the work to diverse audiences, such as by writing, editing, data visualization, and enriching our social media presence. 

The intern will have opportunities to participate in staff meetings, project discussion, internal workshops, presentation dry runs, client meetings, among other group activities.

Skills Development

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

  • Communicating to diverse audience

  • Inter-disciplinary collaboration

  • Problem-solving and Analytical

  • Data Literacy and fluency

  • Project Management and Leadership

  • Marketing

Mentoring Plan

The intern will receive direct mentoring from Shonel Sen, Hamilton Lombard and Qian Cai. The mentors will

  • build the intern's self-confidence, and their ability to transition into diverse career paths post-PhD
  • equip intern with transferable skills desired in the workplace across different sectors
  • demonstrate the value of graduate training for success in diverse organizations 

Desired Qualities

While we prefer the intern to have skills in data analytics and writing, we primarily value students who are driven, engaged and hard-working.

Duration and Effort

The internship will commence in Fall of 2020 over 20 weeks, at 10 hours per week average effort.


The internship provides $5000 during Fall of 2020, in wage raplacement or augementing other fellowship support.