The Independence Institute has full and part-time unpaid internship positions available for winter, spring, summer, and fall. Quarter and other alternate semester schedules can be accommodated.
The Independence Institute Future Leaders Program is an opportunity to learn from our experts by working on timely and relevant public policy research or projects. The Future Leaders Program trains qualified candidates for a lifetime of influence in the center-right movement. We match our Future Leaders with a policy center director or senior fellow as their mentor to learn how to effect change using a variety of different tools and strategies including in-depth research, policy analysis, academic writing, commentary, and navigating the political landscape, all through a free market lens. Interns participate in Institute events for no fee and have a series of lunch meetings with VIPs, such as newspaper editors, radio personalities, key local leaders and elected officials.
We look for individuals who are free market oriented. Areas of study considered are, but not limited to, political science, journalism and communications, public policy, philosophy, economics, education, environmental studies, nonprofit management, criminal justice, pre-law and law school students. Good research, writing, and office skills are essential.
To ask questions or apply, please email documents to FutureLeaders@i2i.org
Spring 2021 application deadline: January 1, 2021
Program runs from February 10, 2021 to April 16, 2021
An internship with the Education Policy Center provides an opportunity for college or graduate students to gain real-world experience at a state based think-tank. An intern most often acts as a research assistant and will be given some administrative duties including data entry, creating mailing lists, and event planning for the Education Policy Center. The mission of the Education Policy Center is to advance K-12 public policy that empowers parents with the freedom to choose the most beneficial form of education for their children, fosters the development of effective delivery and support systems that enhance student learning, and provides accountability for the productive use of taxpayer dollars directed to education.
An internship with the Energy Policy Center provides an opportunity for college or graduate students to gain real-world experience at a state-based think-tank. An intern most often acts as an energy policy research assistant. Projects can vary widely, and an intern should be prepared for diverse assignments of varying levels of complexity. The mission of the Energy Policy Center is to promote a free market in energy production, where no government action results in energy winners and losers. We advocate that government remain neutral and level the playing field; that way consumer can reap the benefits of a healthy energy market – competition, lower prices, and more options.
An internship in Constitutional Studies enables one to gain real-world experience in legal research, composing briefs and articles, and analogous skills. (Specific projects vary widely.) Interns serve as assistants to one of America’s leading originalist constitutional scholars: a former law professor and historian whose amicus briefs and research articles have been cited frequently by justices and parties in the U.S. Supreme Court and in many other courts. Interns must have successfully completed a basic law school legal research course. Also, helpful, although not required, are research skills in such subjects as history, literature, technology, or economics.
As an intern in Local Government Project, college and/or graduate students will gain experience in grassroots organizing. From researching boards and commissions to engaging citizens in activism, you will get hands on experience in cultivating community relationships. This also involves database management, drafting strategic messaging, and assisting in event planning. This internship will teach the skills necessary to be successful in many chosen career fields. A local government intern will receive a well-rounded experience at the Independence Institute as you learn about and be actively involved in the work within all policy centers.
The Fiscal Policy Center produces substantive policy analysis, educates the public on its findings, and promotes fiscal policy ideas centered around the principles of limited government, the free market, and the liberty of individuals and families to choose where their money goes. Interns for the center will assist the center’s director by conducting research and writing on a wide range of issues falling within the broad purview of fiscal and tax policy. With an eye towards tax, spending, and economics, tasks could reach into the realm of municipal and state budgets, taxpayer-funded economic development incentives, government enterprises and fees, transportation, housing programs, healthcare, education, and more.
Interns should be prepared to tackle complex assignments from a free market and limited government perspective. An understanding of the basic principles of micro economics is expected. Further knowledge of economics, budgeting, tax policy, and/or accounting is helpful, though not required. Interns may also have the opportunity to attend political events outside of the office.
As an intern in Development, college and/or graduate students will gain experience in virtually every facet of fundraising. From learning cutting-edge research and cultivation techniques to strategic communication, this internship will teach the skills necessary to be successful in any career field chosen. Each intern will be assigned personally tailored projects. A development intern will receive a well-rounded experience at the Independence Institute because they will learn about and be actively involved in the work within all policy centers.
The Second Amendment Project studies the legal precedents, news and opinions in Colorado and the United States to provide the Constitutional perspective on topics ranging from legal reform to gun rights. An internship with the Second Amendment Project provides an opportunity for undergraduate, graduate, or law students to gain real-world experience in a public policy environment. While specific intern projects are dependent on the needs of the project at the time, an intern most often acts as a research assistant. Projects can vary widely within the Second Amendment policy space, and an intern should be prepared for diverse assignments of varying levels of complexity. Staff may also give interns opportunities to participate in research or other activities outside of the office.
Legal interns at II work directly with one of America’s top constitutional scholars, David Kopel. Professor Kopel teaches advanced constitutional law at the University of Denver and is the nation’s premier expert on the Second Amendment. Professor Kopel has written extensively on a wide range of constitutional, historical, and philosophical topics. He served on the oral argument team in District of Columbia v. Heller, and his scholarship and briefs have been cited dozens of times by the U.S. and state supreme courts and by lower courts. Work with Kopel will likely include assisting the preparation of amicus briefs and scholarly research on cutting edge issues.
Legal interns at II work directly with two of America’s top constitutional scholars, Dave Kopel and Rob Natelson. Professor Kopel teaches advanced constitutional law at the University of Denver, and is the nation’s premier expert on the Second Amendment. Professor Kopel has written extensively on a wide range of constitutional, historical, and philosophical topics. His widely-read publications were crucial to the Supreme Court’s 2008 recognition of an individual right to keep and bear arms. Professor Natelson served as a law professor 25 years. He taught Constitutional Law, Advanced Constitutional Law, Constitutional History and First Amendment, among other courses. Professor Natelson is particularly known for his studies of the Constitution’s original meaning. Those studies have taken him to leading libraries throughout the United States and England, and he has been credited for several breakthrough discoveries in that area. One of those discoveries apparently served as the basis for Chief Justice Roberts’ treatment of the Necessary and Proper Clause in the “Obamacare” case. Admission as an Independence Institute Legal Intern is competitive. Interns research constitutional questions, help develop programs and publicity, and assist in writing and editing briefs and issue papers.
Independence Institute partners with the Koch Internship Program (KIP) to offer internships with a weekly stipend.
KIP combines an educational approach that puts the student in the driver’s seat with hands-on work experience for future leaders interested in making a difference in the world.
Through KIP, interns learn about impactful careers in social entrepreneurship, where leaders who come from all walks of life use their unique gifts to advance positive changes in society and help people improve their lives.