Jobs and Internships
The Institute for Policy Studies is a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more equitable, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful society. We believe progress occurs when people and movements come together to act on powerful ideas based on equity, peace, and the protection of our planet. Since 1963, we have been challenging corrupt power structures that undermine a true democracy. Today, we are uniting people and movements around real, transformational change through independent research, networking across issues, and visionary platforms.
IPS is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.
Digital Communications Associate
Digital Communications Associate
Reports to: Digital Communications Manager
Are you looking to start a career in digital communications for progressive advocacy? This might be the job for you!
IPS is a progressive organization dedicated to building a more equitable, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful society. In partnership with dynamic social movements, we turn transformative policy ideas into action.
The Institute for Policy Studies is looking for a Digital Communications Associate to support its communications team across a range of digital capacities — especially in assisting with the IPS email program, preparing newsletters, collecting email and social analytics, preparing social media posts, and offering occasional event support, among other responsibilities.
If you’re committed to progressive causes and have some experience in some or all of these areas, this position could be a great next step for you. You’ll get the opportunity to go deeper with the digital skills you have, learn or strengthen new skills, and work with gifted public scholars and communicators. This position reports to our Digital Communications Manager, works closely with our Social Media Strategist, and will meet regularly with our close-knit and supportive communications team.
Website support: Assist the Digital Communications Manager with a range of website maintenance tasks, including but not limited to:
- Performing monthly theme and plug-in updates across IPS websites.
- Collecting weekly analytics information for website performance.
- Posting and formatting content on IPS website as needed.
- Providing support capacity for a planned redesign of the IPS website.
Newsletter support: Assist the Digital Communications Manager with sustaining the IPS email program, including by:
- Preparing email newsletters.
- Collecting weekly analytics information for newsletter performance.
- Checking the general IPS inbox and forwarding any noteworthy messages to relevant IPS contacts.
- Monitoring other inboxes as requested.
Social media support: Assist the Social Media Strategist with social media content creation.
- Create a weekly rota of social posts or ads based on guidance from the Social Media Strategist.
- Assist with social media analytics tracking.
Event and technical support
- Upload videos of IPS sponsored events and media clips to YouTube as needed.
- Set up zoom webinars and provide other technical support as needed for IPS events, meetings, and webinars.
Other responsibilities as assigned
- Fluency in Microsoft Office and/or Google Suite programs.
- Solid writing skills, particularly in a short, punchy format suitable for social media.
- Demonstrated experience planning or executing social media strategy is a big plus.
- Knowledge of different social media platforms — including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube — with some insight into how different audiences use them and what kinds of content succeeds on them.
- Some experience with email marketing service providers, especially EveryAction.
- Some experience with WordPress and Google Analytics or related tools for website content management and analytics.
- Experience with HTML and CSS is considered a plus. So is experience running Zoom events or webinars.
- Commitment to doing excellent work — including paying attention to details, meeting deadlines, and seeking clarity and feedback.
- Excellent problem solving skills, ability to adapt, and readiness to learn new skills quickly.
- Excellent teamwork and collaboration skills, including the ability to…
- proactively identify and fill gaps,
- communicate respectfully and clearly with teammates,
- provide timely updates on projects you’re responsible for,
- and meet deadlines for team members who count on you.
- General familiarity with IPS work, progressive movements, and/or progressive policy issues.
- Some basic technical skills are required, although we don’t expect deep expertise in every single work area. If you can show us a solid foundation, demonstrate an ability to learn quickly, or show us other skills that may be valuable to this position, your application can still be considered.
Reporting and Supervision:
Excellent benefits include generous vacation, 403(b) plan upon hire, fully paid dependent health insurance, fully paid life insurance, fully paid long-term disability, optional short-term disability, direct deposit, and flex time.
Full-time salaried, exempt position, located in the Washington, D.C. office. This position is included in a union-represented collective bargaining unit, and specific employment terms are subject to collective bargaining.
How to Apply:
Please send in the following materials in a single PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Digital Communications Associate” in the subject line:
- A cover letter explaining your interest in the position and any related experience
- Your resume
- Three References
Please submit materials by Friday, March 31st, 2023. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Due to the large volume of applications, only applicants moving on to the next round will be contacted by the Search Committee. No phone calls, please.
IPS is strengthened by the diversity of our staff and board, and we actively welcome applications from people of color, women, LGBTQ candidates, and candidates who hold other historically marginalized identities. We invite you to fill out this optional and confidential survey to help us ensure the diversity of our candidate pool.
Thank you very much for your interest in working with us!
We have several summer internships open for application through our Next Leaders Program, our paid professional development program designed to develop the skills and knowledge of young activists who seek a long-term career in social change.
New Mexico Fellowship
The New Mexico Fellowship is an 18-month, paid, public policy fellowship, with the first year at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in our Washington, DC office, and the final 6 months working with a non-profit in New Mexico. This fellowship program seeks to help mentor a new generation of progressive leaders in New Mexico. In the past, this fellowship has recruited diverse candidates that are now serving New Mexico in multiple ways. Each of our former IPS New Mexico fellows are back working in New Mexico nonprofits, practicing law, and shaking up legislation.
The New Mexico Fellowship provides the opportunity for college graduates and/or young scholar-activists residing in New Mexico to come to IPS to be trained in public scholarship, a term we define as the connection between grassroots activism and policy research. Through the fellowship, participants sharpen their knowledge of the progressive landscape and policy world, and develop their capacities to think, write, research, and make connections to social movements. After learning about the organizational structure and operations of a thriving non-profit in Washington, D.C., fellows will return to New Mexico for a six month paid placement at a social change organization. The Fellow will work with our advisory board, which includes former Fellows, to find a placement in New Mexico that is a fit for their skills and interests. Past fellows have been placed with groundbreaking institutions such as Center for Civic Policy, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, and New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty.
Each fellow receives hands-on experience by working closely with 1-2 IPS projects under the individualized mentorship from our IPS public scholars. We believe that each scholar-activist brings a unique skillset to the table. Accordingly, upon acceptance, we tailor the fellowship to participants’ personal interests by pairing them with IPS projects for 2 six-month segments where they will become an essential part of that project’s staff. Fellows also have the opportunity to learn effective fundraising and communication strategies by working with the development and communications teams in addition to their personalized projects.
Fellows can expect to work on at least one of the following IPS projects in 2023:
- Global Economy, CEOs and Workers: IPS expert Sarah Anderson is leading work around worker/CEO inequality, executive compensation, tax rules and loopholes, and supporting the organizing of low wage worker groups by providing them research and writing to enhance their campaigns. Prospective Fellows with experience and interest in low-wage worker organizing would potentially have hands-on experience working with groups as a collaborator. NM Fellows who were interested in the CEO/corporations side of the equation could learn and work on executive compensation, tax loopholes, and other policy work.
- Mining, Trade, and Latin America: IPS expert Manuel Perez-Rocha is working with groups in Latin America to defend against the environmental, social, and economic consequences of mining. He also works on issues around international trade agreements, for example NAFTA and TPP. The NM Fellow, especially if they had bilingual Spanish-English capacity, could help develop research and campaigning materials for this work.
- Criminalization of Poverty: IPS expert Karen Dolan leads work around the criminal justice system with a particular focus on how race and poverty intersect. The NM Fellow would add capacity to research, storytelling, writing op-eds, and developing innovative projects that are responding to current events around poverty, racial justice, and criminalization.
- Climate Justice: IPS work on climate justice is focused on both domestic climate inequality issues, for example clean power and democratic control, as well as international climate issues, for example climate funding at the UN.
- Poor People’s Campaign and Congressional Progressive Caucus Center: IPS has served as a key research arm to the Poor People’s Campaign, a national Call for Moral Revival that is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality. IPS has also recently partnered with the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center to provide independent progressive research and analysis on key emerging issues for Congress. Through either partnership, New Mexico fellows could help us provide timely analysis of emerging legislation, offering bill summaries, talking points and message guidance to campaign strategists and Congress members.
Who We Are Looking For:
Candidates are selected from two streams of applicants residing in New Mexico:
- Recent college graduates (BA or MA) who would benefit from mentoring and work at IPS
- Members of activist groups where IPS and the group feel it would benefit the individual to have training in public scholarship in Washington
The ideal candidate is:
- Motivated, flexible, organized
- Able to multi-task and navigate between demanding and sometimes tedious work of research, and the pace and energy of campaigns
- A strong writer, reader, and critical thinker, with interest in learning how to improve their writing to be accessible for multiple audiences
- Committed to building analysis across issue areas
- Dedicated to building relationships with thought leaders and social movements. IPS is a warm, learning community, and we’d like someone to join us who is seeking to build community with us!
- A self-starter. We are looking for someone who will take initiative in defining what they want to learn, approach work challenges with a problem-solving mentality, and who will speak up when there are gaps in their work.
- Able to work independently and in a team
- Passionate about, and has already devoted time and effort to, social justice
The New Mexico Fellow is required to come to the IPS office in Washington, D.C. for one year, if the COVID-19 pandemic permits, and then to work with a New Mexico non-profit for six months to use the skills acquired at IPS to further public scholarship and activism in New Mexico.
NOTE: This position is included in a union-represented bargaining unit, and all terms and conditions of employment for this position (including any specific items described below) are subject to collective bargaining and a potential future Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The New Mexico Fellowship is a full-time Fellowship with a yearly compensation of $43,000 (before taxes) , subject to increase, paid semi-monthly. The Fellow will receive three weeks of paid vacation and 12 days of sick leave. Full medical, vision, dental, and life insurance coverage is also provided. IPS staff will also connect the Fellow to networking and professional development opportunities, and the Fellow will be included in all IPS staff-wide activities. In the second portion of the program, the Fellow will be paid at that same rate for the final 6 months with the New Mexico non-profit (a pre-tax total of $21,500 for six months).
We want this fellowship to be an incredible and safe learning experience. We will closely monitor the COVD-19 safety protocols and we will plan for the fellow to relocate to DC when it is safe to do so. We presently expect that the fellowship will either begin with us in June in DC or that the first few months of the fellowship will be remote and in person beginning in September. Our June start-date is intentional. To ensure the fellow is plugged into our broader IPS community, they will begin their fellowship with our remote Next Leaders cohort. The Next Leaders program is a professional development program for scholar activists and comprises 12+ workshops on public scholarship and progressive frameworks.
Travel expenses to/from DC and New Mexico are covered at the beginning and end of the fellowship, and IPS staff will advise the incoming Fellow about D.C. housing options. IPS Staff have compiled some resources to help the fellow find housing in the metro D.C. area and are happy to assist in the process.
We would like the New Mexico Fellow to begin on June 1, 2023.
How to Apply:
Applications are due by March 20th and we aim to interview candidates in late March and select the fellow by early to mid-April.
Your application should include the following in a single PDF file:
- A cover letter which includes the following information:
- Tell us about which of the issue areas above you’d like to work on at IPS. What excites you about them? What areas of policy and research would you like to dig into?
- Tell us about a social movement group that you’re passionate about (for example: a group in your community working on a local issue, or a national coalition that you’re part of, or a global social movement like the Movement for Black Lives). What energizes you about this movement group? How is this group making change?
- What skills, experience, and/or knowledge would you bring to our team?
- What do you want to gain from this experience to better your activism in New Mexico?
- How did you hear about the Fellowship?
- A 2-4 page writing sample (e.g., excerpt from a research paper, an article, or letter to the editor)
- The contact information for 3 references. Please make sure at least one of your references is from a prior work, internship, service or organizing environment in which you have worked.
Email materials in one PDF file to: email@example.com using “New Mexico Fellowship” as the subject line.
Due to the large volume of applications, only applicants that are moving to the next round will be contacted by the Search Committee. Thank you so much for your interest in the New Mexico Fellowship. We look forward to hearing from you.
The Institute for Policy Studies is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, indigenous communities, people with disabilities, the LGBTQIA community, and other groups that have historically been subject to discrimination.
Next Leaders Summer Internships
Our Next Leaders internship is a 10-week program that offers young activists training in public scholarship, that is, the connection between policy research, advocacy, and grassroots activism. Through its workshop and events series and individualized mentorship, Next Leaders looks to sharpen young scholar-activists’ voices and hone their skills. In addition to hands-on experience, each cohort will leave the program with a more nuanced understanding of environmental, racial, economic, gender, and peace justice.