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 first-years, sophomores, and juniors and are organized by ProCES in collaboration with local community partners. These full time, 8-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. Internship dates are June 8, 2020 to July 31, 2020. Students may apply to more than one Derian internship position. Applications are available on Handshake and are due February 5, 2020, excepting the internship on Community Art and Education and the internship on Local Food Initiatives. Those two are due February 15, 2020. ProCES staff will interview candidates.  If selected as a top candidate, your application will be forwarded to community organizations and a second round of interviews with the hosts. The Derian Internship fund was named in honor of Patricia "Patt" Derian, a human rights activist and Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs in President Carter's administration. 

You can read a description of available 2020 summer internships and apply through Handshake. Applications should include:  

  • 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, 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 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. Applications for summer funding are usually found in the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE ).  However, summer 2020 applications are on Handshake (#3720592) and will accepted for fully remote internships.  More guidelines and details are in the job description.  Rising sophomores are also welcome to apply for 2020 summer funding.  The priority deadline for these applications is April 27, 2020 at 9am EDT with a rolling deadline afterwards until May 15.

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. Under normal circumstances, 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 human rights activist and a U.S. State Department official in President Carter's administration. 


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