ShapeResearch Internship

Office Description: The Center for Applied Strategic Learning (CASL) at the National Defense University (NDU) designs national security exercises, simulations, and wargames in support of the university’s core academic mission. CASL’s mission is to enhance the strategic decision making and critical thinking capabilities of military and civilian leaders from the United States and other countries through strategic-level exercises that represent the complexity of the security environment. CASL exercises challenge participants to address complex problems at a strategic level in a “not for attribution” academic setting.  Previous exercises have focused on pressing national security issues such as deterrence, failed states, nuclear proliferation, energy security, counterterrorism, stabilization and reconstruction, national resource strategy, homeland defense, pandemic disease, and regional security challenges.   

Intern Duties: Interns at CASL conduct research on national security issues using a full range of unclassified sources. Interns will work under the supervision of exercise designers and facilitators to research topics, draft scenario documents, and participate in the design and development process for exercises and wargames. Interns also support the execution of CASL exercises and participate in professional development opportunities at CASL and NDU.  Interns with the appropriate skill sets may be involved in the production of audio/visual assets, GIS products, and other supporting materials. The National Defense University offers an excellent opportunity for interns to gain practical experience in public policy, U.S. policy discussions, decision-making processes, and gain insight into the executive and legislative branches of government.   

Eligibility: Qualified candidates will generally have completed 2 or more years of higher education, with majors in international relations, political science, security studies, economics, history, game design, the liberal arts, or other related fields. Strong writing and research skills are essential, as is an interest in international affairs and national security. Training or experience in event planning, video production, graphic design, wargame and exercise design, experiential learning, or related fields is preferred, but not required.   

Program Details: The internship is located at Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, DC. This is an uncompensated internship. Interns will be responsible for covering all lodging, transportation, and living expenses while they are in the DC metro area. Interns work between 15 to 32 hours per week, with flexible scheduling options available, including partial telework. CASL faculty are willing to work with students interested in gaining academic credit from their home institutions for their internship.  

Application Process: Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and relevant writing sample to the CASL Intern Coordinator at Applications for internships in the 2022 fall term should be submitted no later than 11:59 PM, July 29. Selected applicants will be required to successfully complete a Tier 1 National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI) background investigation. In order to complete the background investigation, applicants should be U.S. citizens and have lived in the United States for 3 of the last 5 years.