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Office of Science of Technology Policy
OSTP Internship Program

  • White House Intern Program

  • OSTP Intern Program

      General Information
       The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is responsible for advising the President in policy formulation and budget development on all questions in which science and technology are important elements.  In addition, we are the primary lead in interagency efforts to develop and implement science and technology policies and budgets that are coordinated across Federal agencies.  As such, this work environment is unique and demanding.  The assignments can involve a wide range of duties: substantive research and writing assignments, assembly of information for reports and briefing papers, administrative support, and other duties.

      Dr. Neal Lane heads the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  Dr. Lane is the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Policy and Director, OSTP.

      Interns are accepted throughout the year, usually for a period of three months (no more than 90 consecutive days).  We encourage a wide-range of individuals to apply.  The White House is an equal opportunity employer.
      While these positions are without compensation, the assignments provide educational enrichment and can be a challenging learning experience.


      • Must be a U.S. citizen
      • Enrolled, not less than half-time, in an accredited college, university or other accredited educational institution

      Application Requirements The following information is required when applying for an internship.  You may apply to more than one division within the OSTP.
      • Resume (w/cover letter)
      • Writing sample
      • Copy of transcripts
      • Letters of Recommendation (optional)

      Mailing/Contact Information

        Office of Science and Technology Policy
        Old Executive Office Building, Room 431
        Attn:  Intern Coordinator
        Washington, DC 20502

        Electronic Mail: Information@ostp.eop.gov
        Telephone:  (202)395-7347
        Fax: (202)456-6022

      Divisions within the Office of Science and Technology Policy (in alphabetical order)

      Director's Office: The focus of the Director's Office is to promote and support the Administration's position on science and technology and preserve research and development funding within the federal budget.  Therefore, a large portion of the OSTP's duties is to convey those messages through media, community, and business/industry outreach programs.

      • The Director's Office is looking for interns who can facilitate these programs by coordinating and managing events and writing press releases and media advisories.  Daily activities include maintaining an OSTP calendar of events for our Home Page on the World Wide Web, compiling a press digest for the President and Vice President, writing response letters to general inquiries and administrative support.
      • Intern candidates must possess strong written and verbal communication skills along with a desire to work in a busy office.  The high volume of work requires individuals who respond well under pressure and who have the ability to handle several projects simultaneously.  Although an interest in science and technology issues is preferred, we would not turn away candidates with proven writing skills, maturity, professionalism and a clear record of academic and/or personal achievement.

      Environment Division: Dr. Rosina Bierbaum heads the Environment Division of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Dr. Bierbaum welcomes the opportunity to provide qualified undergraduate and graduate students with an insight into U.S. environmental science and technology policy.

      • The Environment Division is responsible for advising the President and senior Administration officials on all environmental questions in which science and technology are important issues.  The Division is also charged with the interagency coordination of environmental research programs, analysis and assessment of the scientific and technical aspects of environmental issues, and the organization of integrated, interdisciplinary research initiatives to respond to emerging environmental issues.  Some of the issues currently addressed include global climate change, energy efficiency, environmental technologies, sustainable development, air and water quality, hazardous and solid waste, natural disaster reduction, and risk management.
      •  Student volunteers can expect to perform various duties, which include, but are not limited to, the following: daily environmental news gathering and analysis, researching priority issues, attending Congressional hearings and briefing as an OSTP liaison, participating in working group meetings, and providing support for Administrative staff.  Students will also interact with other Executive Office of the President and White House offices, Federal agencies, Congressional offices, and other public and private organizations.
      • Candidates must possess excellent written and oral communication skills, be able to prioritize and handle multiple-tasks, all of which are critical for this fast-paced, high pressured, but rewarding, work environment.  Knowledge of various computer programs is a must, and familiarity with the Internet and information systems is helpful.  The appropriate individual must be resourceful, responsible, and able to work well independently, as well as, in a group setting.  Students are expected to work a minimum of twenty hours per week.
      National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) / Executive Secretariat Office: Dr. Joan Porter serves as the Executive Secretary to the NSTC Office.  Dr. Porter reports to the Assistant to the President for Science and Technology who also serves as the Director of the OSTP.  This office is a service organization responsive to the primary NSTC organizational units, representing 23 Executive Branch Federal agencies/departments and entities in the Executive Office of the President (EOP), as well as groups interested in the Federal science and technology enterprise, including the private sector (universities, industry, associations), State and local government, international, the media, and Congress.  In addition, the EOP serves the highest level private sector science and technology (S&T) advisory group to the President and NSTC.
      • The NSTC Office is looking for interns at the college level with a preferable emphasis on political science, public service/policy, or government.  The intern should have an interest in the workings of the Executive Branch and the EOP, policy research and development, and interagency dynamics.  The opportunity exists for completion of a special research project to satisfy academic requirements.  The intern will assist the Executive Secretariat's staff with a variety of functions, and should possess the following skills:
        • Knowledge of PC-based software (word processing skills and familiarity with the Internet).
        • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
        • Knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and correspondence format.
        • Ability to handle multiple tasks and projects.
      • Interns will serve the following functions:
        • Perform an array of clerical duties:
          • Respond to phone calls and requests for NSTC Publications and information.
          • Collate and assemble information for meetings, conferences, etc.
          • Prepare reports, meeting minutes, and other correspondence for distribution.
        • Assist with daily office maintenance:
          • Make photo copies
          • Answer Telephones
          • Greeting visitors
          • Miscellaneous errands inside and outside the building
      National Security and International Affairs (NSIA) Division:The National Security and International Affairs Division (NSIA) of OSTP leads the White House effort to use science and technology in the service of our national security, and to shape and coordinate international cooperation in S&T.  The national security agenda includes: defense technology investments in an era of downsizing; technical aspects of arms control and non-proliferation policy; technology transfer and related export policies; and intelligence technology.  The international agenda includes: using U.S. leadership in S&T to support U.S. foreign policy objectives; strengthening American S&T in the context of an increasingly interdependent world; using international cooperation in S&T to support economic goals; and enhancing international cooperation in large-scale science programs.
      •  NSIA depends heavily on interns, and we've been extremely fortunate over the years to have benefited from the hard work of high-caliber students.  We are looking for candidates who an interest in international science and technology programs, national security issues, the workings of the Executive Branch and the Executive Office of the President, policy research and development, and interagency dynamics.
      • NSIA is looking for candidates that have a clear record of achievement, notable poise, an eagerness to enter into the dealings of the division, the ability to write well under pressure, and experience in research and presentation.  These attributes will be well used during an internship with NSIA.  We encourage a wide-range of individuals to apply, from science to government majors.
      • Interns are accepted throughout the year, usually for a period of three months.  During the summer, the commitment has been halved to six to seven weeks though that can be extended.
      •  Interns are called upon to fulfill a variety of functions, including:
        • Contact with Foreign Governments.  Much of our work in international S&T requires contact with foreign representatives through phone calls, letters, and meetings.  We look to capable interns to facilitate many of these contacts.
        • Representation at U.S. Government Functions.  We also ask our interns to represent OSTP in important interagency meetings and rely on their ability to communicate any outcomes or decisions.
        • Writing Background Materials under Pressure.  Many of the meetings which Dr. Neal Lane and the Associate Director for NSIA attend require a great deal of preparation, ranging from background papers to talking points.  We will often turn to our interns to prepare parts of these briefing books and materials.  Much of this must be accomplished under tight deadlines.
        • Substantive Research and Writing.  A majority of the focus of the International Affairs Division in OSTP is on developing strategies for S&T cooperation with key countries.  We often rely on our interns to do background research for initial drafting of these strategies.

      Science Division Dr. Arthur Bienenstock serves as the Associate Director for Science.  The Science Division focuses on maintaining a broad Federal research program, based on excellence, which advances the frontiers of knowledge and supports critical national goals through a strong link to education.  The division leads the White House effort to ensure that the United States continues to maintain global leadership in science, mathematics, and engineering research.  It also ensures that science continues to provide support for the successful resolution of some of the most important problems in the areas of health, agriculture, the economy, energy, social well-being, education, and national security.  The division actively supports the goals expressed in Science in the National Interest, detailed below:
        • Maintain leadership across the frontiers of scientific knowledge.
        • Enhance connections between fundamental research and national goals.
        • Stimulate partnerships that promote investments in fundamental science and engineering and effective use of physical, human, and financial resources.
        • Produce the finest scientists and engineers for the twenty-first century.
        • Raise scientific and technological literacy of all Americans.
      • The Science Division is looking for interns with strong verbal and written communication skills, experience in research and presentation, and working knowledge of basic computer applications.  A major or degree in one of the sciences (physics, biology, chemistry, social or behavioral sciences, etc) is preferable.

      • The intern will work primarily with one of the three Assistant Directors (for Life Sciences, for Physical Sciences, or for Social and Behavioral Sciences) in the division on a major project.  The intern also will be expected to assist with daily office activities (phones, faxes, copies, etc.) and any special division projects that may require additional help, such as Presidential awards events.

      Technology Division: Dr.Duncan Moore serves as Associate Director for Technology.  The Technology Division is seeking an intern candidate who will assist the Division with a variety of duties.  Some of the issues currently being addressed are the International Space Station, space shuttle, remote sensing, commercial space activity and international cooperation in space.

      • Interns are integrated into the day to day staff work and report to the Assistant Director of Space & Aeronautics.  Some knowledge of NASA's program, space technologies and policies is helpful.  Interns are required to have excellent organizational and writing skills.  The following responsibilities include:
        • Analysis of space & aeronautics policy issues relevant to the Assistant to the President for OSTP, the President and the Vice President
        • Background Research
        • Draft Memoranda
        • Prepare briefings and talking points
        • Staff events as necessary
        • Assist with daily office maintenance (faxes, copier, phone, reception)
        • Run miscellaneous errands inside and outside the building
      • We believe this internship will help students gain experience in policy management and development.
    White House Intern Program: Call (202) 456-2742 for more information.

    Office of Science and Technology Policy
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20502

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