MOA Summer 2021 Internship

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Summer 2021 Research Internship

Measure of America is seeking an undergraduate summer intern from Cornell University to assist in researching, writing, and producing papers, reports, and online tools. MOA is a New York City-based research center that provides easy-to-use yet methodologically sound tools that measure what matters for human well-being, freedom, and opportunity. This is a great opportunity for someone who is interested in working with social and demographic data and in honing their research and writing skills. The intern will be an integral member of a small, dynamic team while gaining practical experience in translating data and research into accessible documents for non-academic audiences. The time commitment is ten weeks (June through mid-August) for 32 hours per week. This position is currently scheduled for remote work. However, the 2021 summer intern would be welcome to transition to onsite work in NYC, should this option become possible this summer, based on evolving health mandates related to COVID-19.

To learn about the projects that one group of past interns was involved in, check out this article.


The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization founded in 1923. Based in Brooklyn, New York, SSRC nurtures new generations of social scientists, fosters innovative research, and mobilizes necessary knowledge on important public issues. SSRC pursues its mission by working with practitioners, policymakers, and academic researchers in the social sciences, related professions, and the humanities and natural sciences. With partners around the world, they work to build interdisciplinary and international networks, link research to practice and policy, strengthen individual and institutional capacities for learning, and enhance public access to information.

Measure of America is an initiative of the SSRC. Through human development reports, thematic briefs, and interactive online maps and data visualization tools, they work with partners to breathe life into numbers, using data to create compelling narratives that foster understanding of inequalities and build support for people-centered policies. Their work is grounded in a strong conceptual framework, Amartya Sen’s capabilities approach.

Much of their work centers on the American Human Development Index, a supplement to GDP and other money metrics, which tells the story of how ordinary Americans are faring. The Index, made up of health, education, and income indicators, is modeled after the United Nations Human Development Index, the global gold standard for measuring progress. Measure of America published the first-ever human development report for an affluent country in 2008, and has since released additional reports that explore well-being by state, congressional district, county, metro area, and census tract as well as by gender, race and ethnicity, and nativity.

Duties for this internship, to be performed under the supervision of program staff, include a diverse range of tasks, the exact mix of which will be determined based on the intern’s skills and interests. The chief areas of work are:

  • conducting literature reviews on diverse topics in the social sciences and public policy;
  • participating in statistical research and data collection;
  • carrying out data calculations;
  • contributing to the project’s online communications efforts.

Applicants must be undergraduates in the social sciences, human rights, public policy, or international affairs and must have:

  • declared a Minor in Inequality Studies with the Center for the Study of Inequality;
  • a strong academic background and excellent writing skills;
  • some experience using data to make arguments;
  • Excel skills;
  • familiarity with a statistical software package (such as R or ArcGIS) or a desire to learn;
  • experience with mapping software is a nice bonus, but not at all a requirement.

MOA provides a stipend of $1500. CSI provides an additional stipend of up to $5,440, based on need. However, we do ask selected students to also apply for Cornell’s Student Assembly Summer Experience Grant to help cover costs associated with travel, lodging, etc.

Application Information

Please send a letter of interest, a resume (please list GPA and relevant courses), and one writing sample (maximum 5 pages) in one document to: Please include “MOA Intern Application 2021” in the subject field. Cornell’s Center for the Study of Inequality will screen applicants and direct finalists to SSRC for final selection.

Application Deadline

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Social Science Research Council Is An Equal Opportunity Employer.