We are looking for interns with a wide array of skills and majors (including but not limited to: Criminology, Communications, Government, International Relations, Public Policy, History, GIS, Geography, Economics, English,Mathematics, Psychology, Languages and Statistics). Students from any institution may apply and we will consider current and recently graduated undergraduates and graduates as well. In addition to the experience gained during their internship, interns will also receive mentoring, training and are able to participate in a calendar of professional development activities. START is also willing to work with academic institutions to enable students to undertake our internships for credit. Our internships are unpaid and students must be able to undertake their work hours at START at the University of Maryland College Park, unless stated in the internship description.
Below is a short summary of the opportunities available. Please visit our website for more information and to access the application form: http://www.start.umd.edu/careers/internships.
Global Terrorism Database (GTD)
The GTD is an open source, unclassified database including information on terrorist attacks around the world since 1970 (currently updated through 2013). The database is maintained by researchers at START. The GTD includes systematic data on domestic as well as international terrorist incidents that have occurred during this time period and now includes over113,000 cases. The GTD intern team is organized into the following themes:
- GTD: Incident Location and Geographic Identification
- GTD: Perpetrator Identification
- GTD: Target Classification
- GTD: Understanding the Patterns and Use of Weapons and Tactics
- GTD: The Consequences of Terrorism – Casualties and Outcome
- GTD: Coding Intern At Large (Generalist)
Unconventional Weapons and Technology
The Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division consists of a number of intensive, shorter-term research projects concentrated on research topics within the larger study of terrorism and politically violent non-state actors:
Intern positions are available in the following focus areas:
- Unconventional Weapons Internship
- Advanced Research
- Organized Crime
- Behavioral Indicators of Insider Threats
- CBRN Terrorism Incident Research
- Individual Radicalization of Bioscientist
- Terrorist Ideology
Risk Communications and Community Resilience
Government, non-profits, and other organizations rely on public communication to deliver important messages to various audiences. Professional communicators today use social scientific research to improve this process, and START’s research teams have several current and upcoming communication projects that address current research questions. Risk communication is important for delivering messages about impending storms, terrorist attacks, public health crises, and more. Interns working on this team will support several ongoing research projects as well as new projects.
START is continuing to develop the Terrorism Data Archive Dataverse. Interns for this project will learn about terrorism-related data through archiving datasets and reading over documentation. Interns will serve as Assistant Editors and would be responsible for preparing data for archiving onto the START Dataverse. Depending upon the dataset, there will also be opportunities to create Codebooks and add labels and values to the data. Interns will receive training in the archiving process.
Strategic Military Assessment Research and Transition (SMART) Projects
SMART projects focus on the relationships of violent non-state actors (terrorist, pirates, etc) and state authorities to analyze their patterns of interaction and strategies of violence.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Analytical
Interns will contribute to the construction of a global, multimodal transportation network. Tasks will include analysis and aggregation of large-scale datasets, database triangulation, manual vector editing, extensive open-source research into traditional and illicit transportation methods, digital cartography/mapmaking, and translation of START’s qualitative research into geospatial format. Interest/experience in global security and/or terrorism is beneficial.
Naval Research Laboratory Adversarial Modeling and Exploitation Office
Two internships are available with AMX onsite at their offices in Washington DC. The AMX has a number of ongoing research projects related to counter-terrorism, behavior detection, law enforcement, crime analysis, and geospatial analysis. The use of information by law enforcement, often called data driven policing, is an ever evolving and expanding field.
- JDLR SOUTHCOM
- Extended Visual Search
- System Engineering Analysis & Support
- Statistical Analysis & Modeling Support
- GIS Analytical
START communications team is seeking interns to assist with START’s communication activities and products. Interns’, responsibilities will vary but may include: Writing and editing press releases and featured stories, planning and attending events, creating media kits, developing and tracking media lists and monitoring social media.
TEVUS Handbook and Simulation Internship
The Terrorism and Extremist Violence in the United States (TEVUS) Database integrates existing and new open-source data sets to facilitate more robust and sophisticated analyses of the behaviors, operations, and activities of violent extremists within the United States.
Understanding Domestic Radicalization
This internship is part of the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) project, a three-year project which seeks to establish an empirical basis to investigate the underlying mechanisms and processes for individual radicalization in the United States. Previous intern teams researched information on radicalized individuals and entered it into a dataset; wrote case studies on radicalized individuals; performed quality-control checks on the dataset; performed structured qualitative analysis; and assisted project staff in conducting analysis on the quantitative data.
Developing Technology in Explosive Detection Dogs
Interns for this project will assist in developing deployment strategies with explosive detection dogs while utilizing new technology in the field. Interns will be working closely with four K9 dogs and their handlers while training and being deployed for Person Borne Improvised Explosive Device Detection. Interns must have a flexible schedule and ability to be around dogs. Interns will be required to pass a brief background check.
START/State Department Terrorist Organizations Project Internship
Students will gather and analyze statistics on terrorist organizations over time. Projects will include collecting the number and type of attacks over time, looking at trends, and possibly even modeling group capacity out into the future. Interns will also provide assistance in researching open source information on the leadership of some groups for possible future designations.
Interns will be co-supervised by researchers at the University of Maryland and by project leads at the State Department. The State Department leads will set and give feedback on tasks. Interns will be based at START’s offices on the University of Maryland campus.
Government Actions in Terror Environments (GATE)
Recent research suggests that governments have a vast set of policy tools at their disposal vis-à-vis terrorist groups, and that pure reliance on repressive policies can be counterproductive. While policymakers increasingly recognize the importance of non-military counterterrorism tools in addition to military ones, it is not yet known which type of government actions are effective; and when carrots might be more effective than sticks in defeating terrorist groups. This is a unique opportunity to better understand the terrorist conflict in the US and across specific regions of the world and to get a unique view of how governments deal with those conflicts.
Terrorism Propaganda Analysis
The nature of the project is analysis of several hundred transcripts of terrorist propaganda videos produced by Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda affiliate groups. One aspect of the project will be somewhat descriptive in that we hope to learn: 1) what the message of the video transcript is (e.g. to defend the prophet, to prevent future grievances, to promote jihad, etc.) as well as 2) how the message is conveyed including the type of persuasive attempt used (rational vs. emotional) and 3) who the target audience is. The coding manual taps into each of these contents. The next step of the project, which will occur after all of the transcripts are coded, will examine 4) if the target audience, the message, or the frequency of these tapes have a discernible pattern, and 5) if these patterns change over time. The final aspect of this project includes analyzing the rhetoric and persuasion techniques used in the transcripts and testing the same messages, both in the US and abroad.
Why choose an internship at START?
- Experience working with a large team of dynamic and experienced researchers.
- Exposure to cutting edge theories and methods.
- Deepen your understanding of current issues in terrorism and homeland security.
- Work on projects of immediate interest to the practitioner and policy community.
- Hone and develop a range of transferable skills attractive to future employers.
- Opportunity to work with and meet other students and researchers with similar interests.
- Enrichment activities offering wide opportunities for learning and personal growth, schedule includes simulations, career presentations and research talks.
- Mentorship from START staff and researchers in a successful professional environment.
- Internships can be undertaken for academic credit (depending on approval from your institution and department).
Applicants for all internships must:
- Have a good academic record.
- Demonstrate an interest in the subject matter.
- Be able to complete their internship work hours on site at START.
- Agree to attend orientation and training.
- Submit an application by the deadline, all application packets must include:
- A complete application for the correct semester (available at http://www.start.umd.edu/careers/internships ),
- One page resume,
- Cover letter,
- Writing sample,
- Unofficial transcripts from most recent institution.
Each project may have additional requirements, including minimum credit hours, preferred majors and compulsory meeting times. For specific requirements and information visit: http://www.start.umd.edu
How to apply
Application deadline Summer 2015:
Priority Date: midnight Sunday March 22nd (Please note this will be the final deadline for some projects, as noted on our website. All international students must apply by the priority deadline in order to help ensure that appropriate paperwork is completed in time for start of the program.)
Final Deadline: midnight Sunday April 5th
Applicants should visit http://www.start.umd.edu/careers/internships for access to the application system and instructions.
For more information about the projects, requirements and for the application form visit: http://www.start.umd.edu/careers/internships