The INSS internship program affords students from across the United States to work on a variety of research topics, both regional and thematic. These include Western Hemisphere, East Asia, Middle East, National Security Reform, and Future Strategic Concepts.

The Institute offers a wide range of research activities that gives interns the opportunity to participate in real-time work, assist in research for publications, and work closely with a Senior Fellow who is a subject matter expert in his or her field. Interns may also have the opportunity to meet government officials, attend congressional hearings, or participate in symposia hosted by the National Defense University or the Institute.

Unless otherwise mentioned, all INSS internships are unpaid.

Dates of Internship

The INSS Internship Program runs concurrently with Semester Academic Programs.

Summer 2017 Application Process:

Application Deadline:  April 17, 2017 (applications reviewed on a rolling basis)
Approximate Decision and Notification Date:  Week of May 1-5, 2017
Approximate Start Date:  June 5, 2017 (flexible)
Approximate End Date: August 31, 2017 (flexible)


  • A cover letter expressing your academic focus, the specific area of your interests as they apply to the research areas at INSS, previous internship experience if any, and your desired outcomes from an internship position with INSS.
  • If there is a particular Senior Fellow or INSS Expert you wish to work with, please indicate his or her name.
  • Please indicate which academic semester you are applying for.
  • A resume, including grade point average, scholastic activities, publications if any, and prior internship and/or employment experience. (Please note that we prefer to see a GPA of 3.5 or above, but will take all factors into consideration.)
  • A brief writing sample (2-3 pages only). This can be an excerpt from a larger document.
  • Submit all materials by email to:

What To Expect After Submitting Your Application

  • Your application will be reviewed by the Internship Program Coordinator and submitted to the pool for review by our Senior Fellows.
  • The Senior Fellows determine if candidates are a “match” for their current or planned research.
  • Senior Fellows usually contact an internship candidate for an over-the-phone or in-person interview.
  • The Senior Fellow may offer a candidate an internship directly.
  • In all instances, the candidate will receive an acceptance email from the Internship Program Coordinator.
  • Shortly after your acceptance you will receive information about your first day, and directions to NDU.

Please Note: We make every attempt to contact applicants who have not been accepted into the Internship Program. Due to the high volume of applications, this is not always possible.

Note: We accommodate Quarter semester students at the beginning of terms only. We are unable to accommodate applications mid-term.