Community-Engaged Research Internships

ProCES offers summer internship opportunities that challenge you to apply your academic skills to the information needs of a nonprofit organization. Internship work should be of an academic nature and provide a direct benefit to a non-profit organization, community group, or government agency. Students also learn from the expertise of community leaders and represent Princeton University in the broader community.

During your internship you may have the opportunity to:

  • refine a research question for an organization,
  • conduct a literature review on a question of interest to your organization,
  • collect or analyze new data, or
  • practice research strategies relevant to your junior paper or senior thesis.


Apply for a Derian ProCES Internship

Derian ProCES Internships are open to all freshman, sophomores, and juniors and are organized by ProCES in collaboration with local community partners. These full time, 9-week, paid positions run from early June through early August. The Derian Internship Fund provides a stipend of $3,500, on-campus housing, and a transportation allowance. Applications are due February 14, 2019. ProCES staff will interview candidates in late February.  If selected as a top candidate, your application will be forwarded to community organizations and a second round of interviews will take place in early March with the hosts. You can read a description of available 2019 internships here.  The Derian Internship fund is named in honor of Patricia Derian, a U.S. State Department official in President Carter's administration. 

Applications are accepted through Handshake and should include the following documents:  

  • a resume;
  • a cover letter detailing your interest in the research project and/or the organization;
  • your unofficial transcript from Oracle including fall grades; and
  • a letter of recommendation from a former employer or someone who can speak to your academic work.

You may apply to more than one internship but be sure to include a separate cover letter for each position. The same reference letter may be used for all positions. In Handshake, you should submit a document with the name of the person who will provide the recommendation letter; the letters themselves should be emailed directly to Maria Lockwood at International students are welcome to apply.  Derian ProCES internships are eligible for Service Focus.

Propose Your Own Derian Internship

Rising junior or senior students may secure their own internship with a community-based organization and apply for Derian funding to cover internship-related expenses like housing, transportation, and food. Summer 2019 applications can be found in SAFE and will be due on April 12, 2019. Successful applications demonstrate that the proposed internship will be research-focused, meet an information need identified by the host organization, develop a student's experience with community-engaged work, and inform the student's future academic work, especially the junior paper and/or senior thesis. Student-initiated Derian Internships may be domestic or international; the host organization does not need to be a current or past ProCES partner.  ProCES staff are happy to meet with students to discuss their internship ideas prior to applying. Advising appointments may be scheduled through WASE (search for ProCES). The Derian Internship fund is named in honor of Patricia Derian, a U.S. State Department official in President Carter's administration. 

Central New Jersey Summer Service Research Internship

First-year students interested in participating in Service Focus can propose their own research internship at an organization within 45 minutes of campus.  This opportunity is sponsored by Service Focus funds.  Preference will be given to proposals where you work with an organization with which you are already familiar.  This opportunity provides funds for you to work for your host organization for 9 weeks (early June through early August) and to participate in weekly programming on campus designed to support your summer service research project and future academic work.  For full details, see here.  Reach out to with questions.  Application materials are due on February 21, 2019.

My internship...helped me prepare for my thesis [and] it also taught me the lasting impact research can have on communities…I realized community-based research was a great way to step out of the classroom and make creative solutions for real-life issues. With the mentors and resources of [ProCES] as well as the welcoming atmosphere of my internship site, I gained a variety of skills that proved useful to my college studies and beyond. ~Amani Rush, class of 2016