Join our team

General information on internships

Interns are essential to the work of Refugees International. RI strives to provide interns with an environment that encourages their professional development, offers networking opportunities, and increases their understanding of humanitarian issues worldwide.

Refugees International accepts a limited number of applicants for unpaid internships throughout the year. Interns should be willing to commit a minimum of 15 hours per week for 10 weeks to the internship and be able to work at the Refugees International office in Washington, DC.

All intern applicants must either be enrolled as students or have graduated in the last three months.

Internships are based loosely on the following schedule:
Winter/spring, January – April (application deadline: November 15)
Summer, May – August (application deadline: March 15)
Fall/winter, September – December (application deadline: July 15)

If you would like to apply, please refer to the instructions below. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but priority will be given to those received by the deadlines listed above.

Please note: the following positions are only general descriptions of the types of internships that may be available. Each type of internship may or may not be open during different semesters.

General Intern
The General intern assists the Office Manager and RI staff with both administrative tasks and special projects. General interns have the opportunity to gain exposure to all aspects of the organization. Responsibilities may include answering and transferring phone calls; greeting guests to our office; assisting with special projects; attending local conferences and seminars on behalf of the advocacy staff; and compiling News Clips to update our staff on our focus countries.

Program Intern
The Program intern works closely with our advocates, who complete approximately twelve field missions a year, and support staff. Responsibilities may include attending local government and NGO conferences; conducting research on focus countries; assisting in the creation and editing of research reports; and providing additional front office support. The Program intern may also work with the Communications Department to promote Refugees International through website development, media relations, and promotion of publications.

Development (Fundraising) Intern
The Development intern works with the Development Department to support fundraising activities in various capacities, ranging from prospect funding research to assisting the development team with a variety of administrative tasks and other fundraising projects as they arise. Responsibilities may include supporting foundation fundraising and grant writing; coordinating mailings; supporting event planning and execution; updating donor databases; and conducting research on potential funding sources and new fundraising techniques.

Application Instructions
To apply for an internship with Refugees International, please forward your resume, a cover letter, a brief writing sample (2 – 5 pages), and a list of three references to interns@refugeesinternational.org. Your cover letter should clearly indicate the semester you are available and your interest in a general, program, development and/or congressional internship. Please submit all materials at one time. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please fill out and forward this questionnaire as part of your application.

Only those candidates selected for further review will be contacted by Refugees International.


General information on Fellowships

Criteria for candidates for the RI Resident and Non-Resident Fellows Program: 

  • Must have completed at least a Master’s Degree in a relevant field of study,
  • Must have previous work experience relevant to RI’s work or can demonstrate an ability to do research,
  • Must submit a one page proposal which includes research relevant to RI’s work prior to being offered a position and subject to review through the supervisor by the Management Team,

The proposal must include a final product—e.g., a longer report—for possible publication by RI,

The proposal must include a work schedule which is at a minimum three months in duration and ten hours per week (Resident Fellows only),

  • RI will provide fellows with a work station and materials to perform their tasks. RI will not provide any additional compensation.
  • RI encourages fellows to seek outside funding and will assist the fellows with the application where possible.

Other Requirements:

  • Fellows must renew with RI on an annual basis which includes submitting a new one page proposal;
  • RI reserves the right to publish the final product of the fellowship. If RI does not choose to publish the report then the fellow can use the document as they wish;
  • Fellows will be assigned to one staff person at RI and all work assigned to the Fellow must go through the supervisor;
  • Fellows are required to update their assigned staff person as to work they are doing and communications made regarding RI at a minimum on a monthly basis;
  • Fellows are strongly encouraged to draft blogs on relevant issues at least once a month—to be reviewed by RI staff;
  • Non-resident fellows are expected to have significant knowledge of the organization and have spent at least three months in RI’s Washington office prior to serving as a non-resident fellow;
  • Non-resident fellows may have an RI account: meaning they would have an email address and they would have access to RI folders.

For more information on RI fellowships, please email jobs@refintl.org.