Jobs at CSPI
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Attn: Human Resources Department
1220 L St. N.W. Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005
Public Interest Internship Program
CSPI was started in 1971 by three scientists who saw the need for an organization to evaluate the effects of science and technology on society and to promote national policies responsive to consumers' interests. CSPI focuses primarily on health and nutrition issues, disclosing deceptive marketing practices, dangerous food additives or contaminants, and flawed science propagated by profits. Findings are communicated in press interviews and a variety of educational materials, which include reports, books, posters, software, videos, and the Center's Nutrition Action Healthletter.
CSPI offers internships for a small number of qualified students in undergraduate, graduate, law, and medical schools each summer and during the school year. We also consider post graduates. Applications are considered on a rolling basis until all positions have been filled. Please note the application review periods:
Summer internships - Applications considered in February/March
Fall internships - Applications considered in July/August
Spring internships - Applications considered in December/January
Generally, we offer a paid internship for ten weeks. Undergraduate students (or if you have earned an undergraduate degree) are paid $8.25/hour; and graduate students (or if you have earned a graduate degree) are paid $9.25/hour. The specific dates of an internship are flexible and depend on our needs and the applicant's schedule.
Application materials should include the following:
1. A cover letter indicating issues of interest, future plans, and dates of availability.
2. A résumé. Experience with advocacy groups is advantageous.
3. Writing sample, if required by the specific project (one to three page document that demonstrates your ability to write in a clear and concise manner).
4. If selected for an interview, letters of recommendation may be requested.
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (this is the preferred method)
It's best to submit all of the requested documents at the same time.
If your background and interests are a good match for our internship, we will contact you using the information you have provided. Due to the volume of applications we typically receive we are unable to provide additional information on our selection process to applicants who are not chosen for interviews.
Please contact the Human Resources office if you have any further questions.
Food Day - Summer applications will be considered in February/March.
Food Day is a major national event that CSPI sponsors in October. The goal is to educate the public and support policy measures on such issues as diet and health, sustainable agriculture, farm-animal welfare, and food insecurity. Interns will help develop materials, identify and work with local activists around the country, and answer inquiries from the public about how to get involved in Food Day. In addition to these tasks, the internships will be specialized in two following areas (please, specify, which one you are applying for):
Social Media: We are seeking a creative, web-saavy, and detail-oriented intern to support Food Day’s presence on Facebook and Twitter; help run the social media calendar; assist with drafting and posting blogs; and assist with outreach to key bloggers and online networks.
Grassroots Organizing: We are seeking an energetic intern with a strong interest in grassroots organizing who will assist with outreach to food and agriculture organizations around the country, and will support Food Day event planning and network-building efforts. Strong oral communication skills and attention to detail are required.
Health Promotion Policy - Summer 2014 internship has been filled (updated 2/19/14).
The Health Promotion Policy Project advocates for health promotion and prevention of disease at the local, state and federal levels, encourages the food industry to improve their products and practices, and engages health professionals, academics, and concerned citizens in supporting our efforts.
Nutrition Policy - No longer accepting applications for Summer 2014 Internship (updated 2/26/14).
This project covers hot topics related to nutrition and health policies. Current issues include school foods, food additives, food marketing to children, obesity prevention, and getting junk food out of retail checkout aisles. Projects may involve research for policy analysis and development, op-ed pieces, reports, tracking legislation and regulations and assisting in policy advocacy. Applicants should have a strong college-level science, public policy or law background and must submit a writing sample.
Food Safety - Summer applications will be considered in February/March.
This department covers a broad array of topics, divided into the following areas of concentration; the production and inspection of meat, poultry, and seafood, sustainable organic agriculture, food additives, and pesticide safety. Currently, the Food Safety department is heavily involved with the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and is seeking an intern with law or public health policy experience to assist with CSPI’s comments on the proposed rules to FDA, in addition to assistance with other projects. Interns must have a strong interest in public health or food policy, and ideally have a background in toxicology, biochemistry, biological sciences, law or public health. Applicants must have strong writing and computer skills and must submit a writing sample.
Nutrition Action Healthletter - Summer applications will be considered in February/March.
CSPI publishes Nutrition Action Healthletter (NAH), the nation’s largest circulation nutrition newsletter. Interns assist with a variety of research and writing projects including: research topics for one-page articles in NAH, which then might be used on nutritionaction.com; research Canadian news items for a page of news in the Canada edition; help research articles for Nutrition Action; and help implement social media for NAH. Applicants should have strong research and writing skills. A background in nutrition or journalism is preferred.
Litigation - Summer internship has been filled (updated 3/6/14).
The Litigation Project uses state and federal courts to help correct corporate misbehavior. The project brings its own advocacy lawsuits, working with private lawyers across the country. CSPI's legal filings have produced binding settlements resulting in more honest labeling of artificial ingredients and halting deceptive marketing. Many of the legal matters in these cases are developing issues with many interesting questions of both law and social policy. Law students will work with Director of Litigation Stephen Gardner (a nationally recognized consumer advocacy lawyer) and the Litigation Project staff either in Washington or in Dallas at the project headquarters.
Food Law and Regulatory Policy - Summer applications being considered now.
This opening is for a bright, hardworking law student to work closely with the Chief Regulatory Affairs Attorney on food labeling and misbranding, food additives and government oversight of the food supply before federal agencies and in Congress. The work involves legislative analysis and regulatory filings as well as litigation over principles of administrative law and food law. Projects may involve research for policy analysis and development, op-ed pieces, reports, tracking regulation and legislation and assisting in ongoing policy advocacy. Applicants should have a strong background in public interest advocacy and must submit a non-technical writing sample (i.e., not a legal memo) as part of their application.
Center for Science in the Public Interest
1220 L St. N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005
CSPI is an equal opportunity employer.
Minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.
For updated information on this or other openings, visit: Jobs at CSPI