“Working as a Research Assistant at CMF was an incredibly enriching experience. As an intern, I had the privilege of working on self-guided projects as well as in a collaborative environment where team members built upon each other’s knowledge. And the best part? The close-knit workplace made the experience more personable, and overall invaluable.”
—Christine Rafla, University of California San Diego, Spring 2013.
CMF is now accepting applications for the Fall term!
Overview: Research Assistant/Intern
The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to helping Congress and its Members meet the evolving needs and expectations of an engaged and informed 21st century citizenry. Our work focuses on improving congressional operations and enhancing citizen engagement through research, publications, training, and management services. Our work ranges from topics such as setting up a congressional office and hiring staff to using technology and the Internet to communicate with constituents. We are a cross between an applied think tank and a management consultant firm, and our work lies at the intersection of politics, technology, management, and good governance.
Interns, who are given the title of Research Assistant, are a very important part of CMF, and they truly make a difference in our mission to serve Congress. Our Research Assistants are treated as members of our staff. We try to ensure that our Research Assistants spend as little time as possible on routine clerical tasks. Instead, our Research Assistants work closely with senior staff on a variety of our training, consulting, and research projects. Although our Research Assistants provide administrative support, they also have the opportunity to work on exciting projects relating to congressional management and e-government. Our Research Assistants get a bird's eye view of congressional operations, and they learn a great deal about how Congress works, politically and organizationally.
Previous CMF Research Assistants have:
- Developed expertise in analyzing and assessing congressional websites;
- Edited major publications and research reports, with their names referenced in the Acknowledgements;
- Coordinated and assisted in the execution of professional development sessions for congressional staff;
- Analyzed and assisted with surveys of congressional staff and citizens to aid CMF's mission to improve communications and the relationship between citizens and Congress.
“Through improvements on well-established, existing publications and continued research CMF introduced me to a variety of methods that aim to promote efficient methods of training, managing, and leading the people who make up the offices of Congress.”
—Cameron Henton, University of California Davis, Spring 2013.
CMF seeks motivated, professional, entrepreneurial students or recent college graduates interested in learning more about Congress, management, technology and/or e-government. Because of the nature of our work, applicants must possess good writing and analytic skills, initiative, and must be proficient with Microsoft Office programs (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Interns support CMF in its mission to by:
- Thinking creatively and innovatively;
- Becoming familiar with the culture and operations of Congress;
- Conducting research and analysis for our training programs, publications, and advisory services to House and Senate offices;
- Attending and supporting training programs, briefings, and consultations with and for congressional staff;
- Assisting in CMF's communications and technology work through its Partnership For A More Perfect Union;
- Assisting in CMF's congressional operations work;
- Supporting special projects to help CMF provide congressional offices with the best possible management information; and
- Supporting internal operations at CMF.
Fall 2014 Program Highlight:
The largest project for the fall semester will be CMF's workshop for the senior aides of Members-elect: "Navigating the First 90 Days." Based on CMF's signature publication, Setting Course, this orientation provides new Members and staff with critical guidance in making a successful transition to Congress. Learn more about this program in our New Member Resource Center.
Interns are an integral part of the CMF staff, and we typically require that they commit to approximately 30 hours a week during the academic year or full time during the summer.
- Winter/Spring term will begin January/February and continue through April/May.
- Summer term will begin May/June and continue through August.
- Fall term will begin in September and continue through December.
CMF provides a stipend and transit benefits. Through an internship with us you will:
- Learn about Congress and congressional operations;
- Learn about technology, e-government, and how new tools affect the legislature;
- Learn private sector management concepts and see how they apply to a congressional environment;
- Work at the forefront of congressional management and e-government;
- Develop valuable professional skills;
- Learn about functioning in a non-profit environment;
- Be rewarded for offering new ideas and taking initiative;
- Become a part of everything CMF does;
- Be treated as junior staff;
- Work in a dynamic and friendly atmosphere; and
- Receive thoughtful references and professional support.
CMF is located on Capitol Hill and is Metro-accessible—just 1.5 blocks from the Eastern Market Metro Station (Blue and Orange Lines).
Our deadlines for applications are rolling- please include the dates you are available in your cover letter.
How to Apply
Send a cover letter, resume, and a 2-5 page writing sample on a topic of your choice to:
Subject Line: Attn: Intern Coordinator
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!