Skip to main content

Weldon Cooper Center Internships

Weldon Cooper Center Internships


The Weldon Cooper Center provides undergraduate and graduate students with hands-on, policy-relevant internships in public service, both within the Center and in organizations throughout the Commonwealth. By introducing students to careers in public service, we help shape the next generation of leaders. Students can engage with the Center through a variety of programs.

Weldon Cooper Center Internship Placement Program


The Cooper Center offers its own internships directly through the Center or through UVA’s Internship Placement Program to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in public service work. Whether working in one of our research units, our leadership development programs, or our media group, students will become integral members of the team and gain practical skills they can apply to their studies and future careers. Occasionally, units within the Cooper Center are able to offer paid positions to undergraduate students. This is especially true in the Center for Survey Research.

Internship/Employment Details
  • The structure of the internship or employment will be determined by the Cooper Center unit that supervises the student.
  • In the past, students have contributed to the Center in the following ways:
    • Assisted demographers with research on population data projects, co-authored blog posts, and attended client meetings.
    • Helped to produce Cooper Center official podcast series, videos to help illuminate the work of the Center, and animations for use on websites and in presentations.
    • Joined the Center's Energy Transition Initiative team, contributing to the work on solar energy through research and report writing, creating visualizations for an energy dashboard, and simulating ways to supply Virginia's electricity with renewables.
    • Contributed to survey research by working on client projects, serving as a telephone interviewer, analyzing statistical data, and assisting with methods reports. 

To apply, visit the Internship Placement Program website or if you are interested in working within a particular unit in the Cooper Center, contact the director/manager of that unit:

Ready to apply?

Apply to a Weldon Cooper Center through UVA Career Center's Internship Placement Program.

PhD Plus Internship Program


PhD Plus program is run by the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Affairs and provides PhD students the opportunity to pursue an internship with a University office or external partner. The intent of these internships is to engage and develop students’ professional competencies beyond those typically addressed within their academic training.

Program Structure at the Cooper Center
  • The program is funded through the Wallerstein Scholars Program and provides students a $6,000 stipend for 200 hours ($30/hr) of work per semester. 
  • Internships are for one semester or a full academic year.
  • Interns have the opportunity to work in one of leadership development programs, research units, or our media team.
  • The supervision and project responsibilities are determined by the director of the group for which the student works, but all projects will expose students to real world public service work from developing research skills, to communicating research to general audiences, to working with clients, to producing podcasts or videos.
Approximate Timeline
  • February: Internship postings are made visible to students
  • Early March: The application submission goes live and remains open for at least a week
  • Mid-to-late March: Internship partners schedule interviews with applicants. 
  • April: PhD Plus will collect the hiring preferences from the internship partners and  confirm a student’s availability for the upcoming semesters.
  • Mid- April: PhD Plus will confirm with internship partner if the student is able to participate.
  • Summer or Fall: Internships begin and can run for 1-3 semesters.

If you are interested in the PhD+ program, view the PhD Plus website or contact Mallory Neil in the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Affairs.

Ready to apply?

Apply to the Weldon Cooper Center's PhD Plus Internship Program.

Graduate Research Assistant Internships


The Weldon Cooper Center provides paid and unpaid graduate research assistant positions. Students have the opportunity to work in one of our research groups: Demographics Research Group, Center for Survey Research or the Center for Economic & Policy Studies.


Wage, responsibilities, and hours are determined by the individual research group.

What to expect
  • work on real-world public service projects that will broaden your skills and career options
  • become an integral member of the team and make significant contributions to the work of the Center
  • participate in staff meetings and sometimes client meetings
  • help write reports for the general public, blog posts or executive summaries
  • learn best practices for research units in the public service arena
  • research relevant topics, such as clean energy, population trends, and economic development in Virginia
  • share your ideas and input and to contribute your unique set of skills and experiences in order to advance the work of the Center

To apply, please contact:

Ready to apply?

Apply to one of Weldon Cooper Center's graduate research positions.