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PACER Policy Intern

Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research (PACER) and Allegheny County Education Research (ACER) Policy Internship

About the Organization

Research for Action (RFA) seeks to use research as the basis for the improvement of educational opportunities and outcomes for traditionally underserved students. Our work is designed to strengthen public schools and postsecondary institutions; provide research-based recommendations to policymakers, practitioners and the public at the local, state and national levels; and enrich the civic and community dialogue about public education.

Internship Location: Pittsburgh, PA

RFA’s offices are currently closed due to the COVID19 pandemic. Despite this recent event, RFA is continuing to provide challenging, high-quality, and meaningful internship experiences for our students. To be considered for this remote internship at RFA, interns must meet tech requirements described in Tech Requirements section below and reside in Pittsburgh/ Allegheny County throughout the entire duration of the internship.

Project Description

The Spring 2021 P/ACER Policy intern will support RFA’s policy-oriented projects grounded in Pennsylvania and Allegheny County. This is a remote position with potential monthly in person meetings with supervisor and stakeholders in the Pittsburgh or Philadelphia area, if the state and local public health guidance allow for that. The Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research–or PACER–is designed to inform state education policy discussions through rigorous, objective research; regular policy briefs; and research-based commentaries in leading media outlets statewide. The Allegheny County Education Research (ACER) project provides robust, timely, and actionable independent research and analysis to inform educational policy and practice in Allegheny County public schools.

Intern Role

Support project staff to conduct research activities in support of upcoming PACER and ACER policy briefs. The P/ACER intern will conduct literature reviews, scan policies, and draft analytic memos on pressing educational policy issues that relate to the state of Pennsylvania and Allegheny County. The P/ACER intern will also contribute to descriptive data analysis on timely policy related research. 

Intern Tasks

·      Conducting Literature Review – 30%
·      Policy Scans – 30%
·      Cleaning Data – 20%
·      Descriptive Data Analysis – 20%

Required Skill Sets and Experience

Interest in education and public policy, some analytic experience.

Preferred Skill Sets and Experience

Quantitative analysis using STATA and Excel, data cleaning, research, writing.

Time Commitment

20 hour per week

Tech Requirements

If working remotely, we require that you have access to a personal computer with an up-to-date Mac or Windows operating system, up-to-date antivirus software, a functional webcam and microphone, and a stable internet connection at your residence. If hired, RFA will require a technology check of your remote system to ensure your working environment is compatible with ours.

Other Information

·      Spring internships run from January through May.
·      Target Start Date: 01/11/2021; Target End Date: 05/28/2021. The exact dates are based on the needs of the project and the availability of the intern. For this position, interns not receiving work-study will be paid $8.00/hr.
·      Only complete applications including Resume & Cover letter will be taken into consideration for the internship hiring.
·      Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until all positions have been filled.
·      At the time of application, must be actively enrolled in an accredited college or university, as a sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student in good standing. Students might be eligible for continuation of their internship after graduation.
·      Research for Action qualifies for work-study and PHEAA. Interns may also be eligible for course credit.
·      If hired, a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, must be completed at the start of employment. Please reference page 3 of the I-9 Form for acceptable forms of ID (
Research for Action is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer that is committed to building a culturally diverse staff. We strongly encourage applications from candidates of all backgrounds.