The Human Rights Internship Program is an opportunity for University of Chicago students to explore human rights in practice around the world. Human Rights Interns are awarded a flexible grant of $5,000 to pursue a 10- to 12-week summer internship related to their regional or thematic interests. We designed the program to give students both a wide range of choices and comprehensive support.
Each year we support an internship cohort of up to 30 students. Since it began in 1998, our program has helped place over 500 students in human rights internships.
Our About page gives details about the program cycle, answers frequently asked questions, and more.
Now held in November, our annual Internship Symposium is an opportunity for the campus community to hear presentations by returning interns and for interns to network with participating alumni.
Hear from Alumni Voices of the program to hear more about what sets us apart.
Our page for Host Organizations provides helpful information for organizations that are considering hosting a summer intern.
And of course, once you’re ready, apply to the program!
What makes the Human Rights Internship Program different?
Human Rights Framework: Our program is an ideal opportunity to take a human rights-based approach to your internship experience. As a training process that emphasizes professional and emotional skills of particular use within the human rights context, our program sets aside extractive internship models in favor of one in which you and your host organization both derive value from your collaboration.
Choose Your Own Adventure: An ideal model for students looking to be proactive and create their own opportunities, the Human Rights Internship Program gives you the flexibility to pursue whatever experience best fits your goals, anywhere in the world—no bidding or pre-defined menu of options. For some Human Rights Interns this means securing an existing internship. For others it means seeking out an organization that has never hosted an intern and working with that organization to create an opportunity from scratch.
Staff and Student Support: Human Rights Leaders, who were part of the previous year’s Human Rights Internship cohort, are available at every stage of the process, from brainstorming potential host organizations to helping think through your summer budget. Faculty and staff from the Pozen Center and Career Advancement provide additional advising on resumes, internship selection, work plans, and more.
A Cohort Experience: Our program uses a cohort-based model where students learn from and about each other, pool resources, and share knowledge throughout the year. The cohort is a space for students who share similar values to network and support each other, as you begin to build the kinds of personal and professional relationships that pay dividends throughout a career in human rights work.
Alumni Network: Since its inception in 1998, the Human Rights Internship Program has graduated more than 20 internship cohorts. Program alumni have earned graduate degrees from top colleges and universities, been selected for prestigious awards and fellowships, and become leaders and innovators in their respective fields around the world. Some are even still involved with their internship host organizations, and many are very active and loyal supporters of the program! Program alumni are a crucial resource for current interns, now and for the rest of their careers; cohort members often find their internships by contacting alumni who interned at the same or similar organizations.