Internship Program

Introduction:

The students in the MA in Research for Policy and Evaluation acquire the skills needed for research positions in government, not-for-profits and the private sector, as identified prior to the launch of the program through an analysis of research job postings and a survey of employers. In particular, the MA provides students with advanced policy- and practice-relevant research skills in the social sciences, and the ability to address research questions of practical value, summarize the extant literature in domains of interest, measure outcomes and evaluate programs and policies, collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data, support evidence-based decision-making, and report on the findings in a succinct and effective manner.

What sets this program apart is its interdisciplinary nature focusing on knowledge across the social sciences, the focus on solid research skills that can be applied in a broad array of work environments including government, not-for-profit organizations, and the private sector, and the mix of research and professional skill development. These skills are developed through the core courses and elective courses offered by the program, and they are supported by the Internship Course which meets biweekly through the fall and winter semesters (39 hours).

The Internship Course

In the Internship Course, students focus on professional development prior to the internship period and are then asked to reflect on their experiences during and after the internship itself. Professionals working in the field are brought into the course to talk about applied topics of relevance to the current students, such as job interviewing, the research needs of different sectors, and communicating about research with non- academics. In addition to the information imparted, the opportunity to meet with those already working in the field helps to establish the professional networks of current students.

On successful completion of the course students are able to:
1. Recognize personal workplace strengths and weaknesses, including both hard and soft skills
2. Apply coursework knowledge and research skills to the work environment
3. Adapt to the work environment of different organizations
4. Put into practice principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion
5. Adjust to feedback provided by their employer
6. Summarize their role within organizations, the value they add, their strengths, and areas for improvement

In this way, students will be ready to start their internship experiences (May to August) with the right set of skills, expectations, and strategies for success, and they will be immediately useful for organizations, as well as being able to optimize this experience for their own professional development.

Internship Characteristics

Benefits for Students:

  • Explore potential careers
  • Gain paid work experience and academic credit
  • Learn from a mentor
  • Develop marketable skills
  • Build a professional network
  • Secure career-relevant references
  • Add to their resumes and gain an edge in the job search process!


Benefits for Employers:

As employers from the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors you are invited to create internship opportunities for our students (MA in Research for Policy and Evaluation) in order to:

  • Support your decision-making processes with evidence and research results
  • Utilize an expert to design a specific research project and/or collect, analyze, interpret, and communicate qualitative and quantitative research results
  • Develop, enhance, and/or evaluate a specific project, program, or policy
  • Review, assess, improve, or adapt your policies and programs to new situations

In addition, you gain access to high-quality, high-achieving graduate students who are eager to apply their knowledge and skills; have the opportunity to host interns for up to 4 months and evaluate their potential as future employees; and increase your organization’s university connections.

Length:
12-16 weeks

Commitment:
Full-time

Time of Year:
Students are available in the Summer term (May – August).

Location:
Unrestricted. Living and travel arrangements, if needed, are the responsibility of the students.

Arrangement:
The Internship Coordinator will provide a number of internship opportunities based on long-term relationships with government departments, firms, and organizations. Students are also encouraged to explore potential internship positions themselves, as part of their professional development.

Paid Internships:
The program aims to arrange all the internship experiences as paid by the employer, with some potential matching funds identified by the Internship Coordinator.

Interview:
Interviews will be arranged between the students and potential employers.

Contact:
Michele Manocchi, Ph.D., mmanocc@uwo.ca