Defend democracy in the South.

Openings - Summer Internships

The Institute for Southern Studies, an award-winning nonprofit research and media center based in Durham, North Carolina, seeks Summer Interns to support the Institute's research and media projects covering a range of critical issues in the South. Institute internships provide opportunities to develop research and writing skills while connecting with leaders, advocates, writers and researchers in the region. Ideal candidates bring a passion for advancing issues of democracy and social justice in the South as well as strong research and writing skills.

About the Institute for Southern Studies

Founded in 1970 by veterans of the civil rights movement, the Institute for Southern Studies is a research, media and education nonprofit dedicated to exposing injustice, strengthening democracy and building a community for change in the South. The Institute publishes the online magazine, Facing South, and has earned numerous awards for its media and reporting projects on issues ranging from money in Southern politics to key trends and issues relating to demographic change, human rights and racial justice. Learn more at

Institute Internships

The Institute is committed to bringing up the next generation of social justice researchers and writers. Prior interns have gone on to careers writing for national and local media publications and leading research efforts at major advocacy organizations.


Interns primarily provide research support for Institute projects and reports for Facing South on topics like immigration, environmental justice, labor and workes' rights, voting rights and money in politics. Ideally, internships will involve a longer-term project or focus that culminates in a final product by the end of the summer. Interns may have an opportunity to publish stories at Facing South, depending on the individual's interests and experience.

While research and writing are typically the focus of Institute Internships, we are also open to other media- and nonprofit-related internships if a student brings a specific focus on certain capacities, such as archival research, digital media strategy, marketing, etc.


Internships are usually 8 weeks long over the summer, full time and based at the Institute's office in Durham, North Carolina. While we have been flexible on some of these details in the past, we find this arrangement allows our staff and the intern to have the most productive summer together.


The Institute is committed to providing stipends to interns who work with us over the summer. Stipend details depend on the internship arrangement and budget constraints. Interns are encouraged to seek out additional funding that schools, foundations and others offer.


Some qualities that we look for in a great intern include:

  • Strong interest in the issues the Institute covers (see to learn more)
  • Connection/commitment to the South and advancing democracy and justice in the region
  • Strong writing skills and an interest in media and journalism
  • Qualitative and/or quantitative research experience preferred
  • Ability to work with a team of colleagues both in-person and remotely
  • Reliability, organization and proactive communication with supervisors and colleagues
  • Sense of curiosity and a resourcefulness in finding answers to questions a plus
  • At least a high school degree. Strong preference for those pursuing degrees in relevant fields like journalism, political science, public policy, history, etc.

Internship Details

Hours: Full-time, at least 30 hours/week, standard working hours

Location: Based in Durham, North Carolina

Stipend: Available, details vary

Time frame: 8-week period running consecutively between May and August

Vacation: Summer holidays and pre-approved vacations*

*Please coordinate dates so that vacations do not overlap with the 8-week period of the internship.

To Apply

Please email your resume and cover letter to with “Summer Internship” in the subject line. In your cover letter, please describe any writing and/or research experience you have, particular issue area interests and availability over the summer.  

The priority deadline for internship applications is 9 a.m. ET, Monday, March 25, 2019.

The Institute for Southern Studies values the diverse perspectives and experiences that interns bring. People of color, women, LGBTQ individuals and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.