Public Interest Internship Program


Our 10-week internships are unpaid, and can be full-time or part-time. The specific dates of an internship are flexible and depend on our needs and the applicant's schedule. CSPI offers a collegial work environment and flexible schedule to accommodate your academic responsibilities and work-life balance. If your school offers academic credit for internships, we will work with you to meet your school’s requirements. We will also reimburse you up to $5/day for commuting expenses.

Center for Science in the Public Interest
Attn: Human Resources Department
1220 L St. N.W. Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20005

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

Summer 2016 interns.

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).

Email to: (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.

Health Promotion Policy - Reviewing Summer 2017 applications (updated 3/13/17).

The Health Promotion Policy Project advocates for health promotion and prevention of disease through nutrition policies 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.  In particular, Health Promotion Policy is working with advocates at the federal and state/local levels on policies to reduce sugary drink consumption (such as soda taxes and warning labels) and to reduce sodium in the food supply. Interest and experience in advocacy research, organizing, and lobbying are a plus.

Nutrition Policy - Spring internship filled. Reviewing Summer 2017 applications (updated 3/16/17).

This project covers hot topics related to nutrition and health policies. Current issues include the Farm bill, 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, tracking legislation and regulations, grassroots organizing to support state and local policy, and assisting in federal policy advocacy. Applicants should have a strong college-level science, public policy or law background and must submit a writing sample.

Nutrition Action Healthletter - Summer 2017 internship has been filled (updated 3/27/17).

CSPI publishes Nutrition Action Healthletter (NAH), the nation’s largest-circulation nutrition newsletter. Interns assist with a variety of projects, especially collecting information for upcoming articles, fact-checking material for articles or social media, transcribing interviews, and occasionally preparing recipes. Applicants should have strong research and communications skills as well as an eye for detail. An interest or coursework in nutrition or communications is preferred.

Litigation - Summer 2017 internship has been filled (updated 2/23/17).

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. We are considering applications from first and second year law students. Applicants should have a strong interest in consumer and regulatory law, excellent legal research and writing skills, a commitment to public interest work, and must submit a legal writing sample.

Regulatory Policy & Food Additives - Now considering Summer 2017 applications (updated 1/27/17).

This opening is for bright, hardworking law students and policy/science graduate-level students, to work on food additives and government oversight of the food supply. The work involves legislative analysis and regulatory filings as well as research and advocacy related to corporate practices. Projects may involve conducting research for policy analysis and development, tracking regulation and legislation, and assisting with 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.

Food Safety - Not considering applications for Summer 2017 (updated 3/16/17).

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, Food Safety is heavily involved with the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and actively focused on policies addressing the role of antibiotics in animal agriculture. Food Safety is seeking an intern with public health, science policy, or law experience to assist with CSPI’s work on these issues and more. 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.


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