Graduate Student Summer Associate Program
About the Program | Eligibility | Structure of the Program | Applications | About RAND | Recent Projects
Note: The application period for the 2013 Summer Associates program is now open. Interviews will take place during late February and early March. Offers will be extended starting mid-March through the end of April.
RAND's Summer Associate Program introduces outstanding graduate students to RAND, an institution that conducts research on a wide range of national security problems and domestic and international social policy issues.
The program receives about 600 applications each year for the 30+ positions. The selection process is based on matching associates and their specific skill sets with researchers and their project needs. Given the ever changing research climate, we often do not know which projects may require summer associates until the beginning of the year.
The program runs in the summer months only. Summer associates work at RAND fulltime for a 12-week period. Positions are available in RAND's three major U.S. offices — Santa Monica, Arlington, and Pittsburgh. All summer associates are collocated with project mentors. The location of the project mentor determines the location of the summer associate. Students receive a stipend and are given the opportunity to conduct research that can be completed during the three months they are at RAND. The summer stipend in 2012 was approximately $12,000 (before taxes) for the 12 weeks of fulltime research.
The program is designed for fulltime students who have completed at least two years of graduate work leading to a doctorate or professional degree (e.g., law or medical degree, professional engineer certificate). Students must be enrolled fulltime in a graduate degree program during the spring and fall of 2012 to be considered for the program. Students graduating prior to September 2013 are encouraged to look at our fulltime positions at www.rand.org/jobs.html.
U.S. citizenship is not necessary except for positions that require security clearances.
Most of RAND's professional hiring is at the PhD level, so our summer program is oriented toward individuals who are generally within a year or two of completing their doctorates. Occasionally, there are projects that match the skills of graduate students in other stages of their education who also have significant work experience. Exceptions are made for masters' students applying for our engineering and computer or information science positions.
Who is not eligible: The program does not hire undergraduates for the summer. Also, those students graduating prior to the summer of employment are not eligible to apply. The program typically does not consider Master's degree students without significant work or research experience. Postdoctoral fellows are not eligible for the summer program.
Each associate is assigned to a research project and is mentored by a senior research staff member—usually one with the same academic background as the associate. This assignment is part of RAND's associateship arrangement. A student is offered an associateship only after the student and RAND agree that a good match exists between the student's interests and skills and the needs of an ongoing RAND research project.
Past associates have worked on a wide range of projects. Each student is required to present a seminar at the conclusion of the associateship.
Associates have full access to RAND's research facilities. These include state-of-the-art computer hardware and software, a nationally acclaimed library, an extensive data facility that obtains and maintains research databases, special consulting and training services in computing, statistical analysis, and oral presentations.
RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. As such, it provides a distinctive environment for graduate students.
- RAND's primary activity is research. The environment provides a rich variety of ongoing studies and an experienced staff of professional researchers with whom associates interact.
- RAND projects are typically interdisciplinary. Some research projects bring together economists, psychologists, statisticians, and health professionals, for example, whereas others bring together engineers, operations researchers, and students of organizational behavior. Learn more about the RAND environment.
RAND accepts applications only through our website at http://www.rand.org/jobs.html. Click Find a Job, click Advanced Search, select Research-Summer Associate Prog under Job Families, and click the "Search" button. Click on the position and click the "Apply Now" button. Follow the prompts for application submission. Applications mailed directly to RAND or emailed to our summer director will not be considered.
In order to apply, applicants are required to submit two documents:
- Cover Letter
- Resume or curriculum vitae
Please do not submit more than one application. If there are several positions that are of interest, applicants should choose the position that best matches their background and interest. Applications will be directed to the appropriate contacts and their colleagues for review.
Applicants will receive an automated email notifying official receipt of a successful submission.
Please contact Summer_Director@rand.org if you have additional questions about the graduate student summer associate program.