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 2020-21. First-year students are technically eligible, but we ask that any first-year student considering an application come to staff office hours to discuss their plans.
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. We 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 during 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 during Winter and Spring Quarters.
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 begins. This applies only to students who have not already taken an approved course. Human Rights coursework is not a requirement for applying.
Summer Internship: complete a 10- to 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, where they have an opportunity to share their experiences with the University community.
We hold info sessions each Autumn Quarter where prospective applicants can learn about program details and meet our staff and Peer Leaders. Students who can’t attend the session are welcome to meet with staff during office hours. Please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for more details about the program and application.
We welcome any questions you may have about internships or applications, from the general to the specific.
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 can’t provide line-by-line edits. Note that Peer Leaders will not evaluate submitted applications.
Pozen Center office hours are held at 5720 S. Woodlawn Ave., Second Floor, Room 206. At Ex Libris and Harper, Peer Leaders will have a sign indicating Human Rights Internship office hours.
Office hours for the 2019-20 academic year have ended.
Application for the 2020 Human Rights Internship Program is now closed.
The application asks for some brief 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- to 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 when possible.
See our Internship Application FAQs for tips and more details about the application process.
For help with any remaining questions, please contact Faculty Director Mark Bradley.