The Human Rights Internship Program is an opportunity for University of Chicago students to explore human rights in practice.
The Human Rights Internship Program is open to University of Chicago students only. Eligible applicants for 2020 internships include second and third year College students, and SSA graduate students who will be continuing in their academic program in 2020-2021. First year students are technically eligible, but should consider coming to staff office hours to discuss potential applications.
Students planning to study abroad during the 2019-20 academic year may be eligible. Students studying abroad in Autumn Quarter 2019 may apply while abroad. Students who plan to study abroad in either Winter 2020 or Spring 2020 are eligible to apply. The Pozen Center will make special training arrangements for students who are abroad for one quarter.
Students who are not eligible include College or SSA students graduating in 2020, and students who plan to study abroad in both Winter and Spring Quarters 2020.
The year-long Human Rights Internship Program includes:
Check-ins and Training: weekly check-ins with an assigned Peer Leader and participation in six mandatory training sessions in Winter and Spring Quarter.
Work Plan: complete an agreement with a host organization by mid-April.
Coursework: take one approved human rights course in Winter or Spring Quarter before the summer internship. This applies only to students who have not already taken an approved course. Human rights coursework is not a requirement for application.
Summer Internship: complete a 10-12 week, full-time summer internship with an approved host organization.
Reports: send reports to the cohort and Pozen Center throughout the summer, and a final report upon return to campus. All returning interns present at our annual Internship Symposium to share their experience with the university community.
The Pozen Center holds info sessions each Autumn Quarter where prospective applicants can learn about program details and meet Pozen Center staff and Peer Leaders. Students who cannot attend the session are welcome to meet with staff during office hours. All applicants are encouraged to consult the Frequently Asked Questions for more details about the program and application.
The Pozen Center welcomes general questions about internships, as well as specific application questions.
Peer Leader Office Hours
Peer Leaders are former Human Rights Interns and are available to meet with prospective applicants. Peer Leaders can review indvidual applications but cannot provide line-by-line edits. Note that Peer Leaders will not evaluate submitted applications.
Jahne Brown: Wednesdays, 9am-11am; Sundays 3pm-4pm Pozen Center
Taylor Fox: Wesdnesdays, 3pm-5pm; Thursdays, 2pm-3pm Pozen Center
Jamie Koenig: Sundays, 1pm-4pm Hallowed Grounds
Mo Rodriguez Cruz: Mondays, 3pm-5:30pm Pret; Tuesdays 1:30pm-3pm Pozen Center
Pozen Center office hours are held at 5720 S Woodlawn, Second Floor, Room 206. At Ex Libris and Harper, Peer Leaders will have a sign indicating Human Rights Internship office hours.
Staff Office Hours
Angelica Velazquillo, Internship Coordinator, holds office hours on Wednesdays & Thursdays, 2pm-3pm at the Pozen Center (5720 S Woodlawn, Second Floor).
Susan Gzesh, Executive Director, holds office hours on Tuesdays from 3-5pm at the Pozen Center (5720 S Woodlawn, Second Floor).
*Application for the 2020 Human Rights Internship is now closed.*
The application asks for short, biographical information as well as answers to the following essay questions:
(1) Please explain how you have demonstrated a serious interest in human rights. Include influential academic, work, volunteer, activist, or personal experiences that have (a) influenced your decision to apply and (b) prepared you for a summer human rights internship. (500 word limit)
(2) Describe your ideal 10-12 week summer human rights internship. Where would you work? What issues would you work on? You can include specific tasks that could be accomplished as part of your ideal internship. (750 word limit)
(3) What do you hope to gain from this experience? What kind of impact do you expect this human rights internship will have on your academic/professional outlook? (500 word limit)
(4) Consider your ideal internship proposal from Question #2. Reflect upon one or two challenges you foresee during your internship experience. How would you plan to address these challenges? (500 word limit)
Note to recommenders: The Selection Committee is interested in your assessment of the applicant’s intellectual abilities, maturity, commitment to social justice, and how well the applicant will work within a non-governmental organization or agency context.
For example: were you the applicant’s teacher or supervisor in a job or extracurricular activity? Can the applicant work independently while also fitting into an organizational structure? Can the applicant learn from difference, in a new and challenging setting? The most helpful letters address these questions as specifically as possible. A letter should be on letterhead if possible.
See our Internship Application FAQs for tips and more details about the application process.
Other questions may be directed to Angelica Velazquillo, Internship Coordinator.