EXTENDED DEADLINE: Apply for the 2021 MAST Center Graduate Internship Program

Application deadline has been extended to 5:00 PM ET on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

As part of our efforts to expand and strengthen the field of researchers studying relationships and families, the MAST Center’s Graduate Internship Program aims to connect emerging scholars with our work as well as a broader network of researchers and practitioners interested in relationships and families.

Our Graduate Internship Program is open to graduate students in master’s or Ph.D. programs, as well as individuals who completed a master’s program within the last year. We seek applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in further developing their research expertise on 1) marriage, romantic relationships, and families; and 2) HMRE program implementation and effectiveness.

Our team values equity and recognizes that systemic discrimination has negatively impacted the well-being of individuals, families, and communities from groups who are also underrepresented in the research field. As researchers, we aim to be accountable for promoting equity by centering the lived experiences of disabled, socioeconomically disadvantaged, LGBTQIA+, Black, Indigenous, and people of color in our research. We also believe that people who have lived experience in the criminal justice and foster care systems bring important perspectives that are too often missing in research. Hence, we strongly encourage people with these lived experiences and identities to apply.

Child Trends, where the MAST Center is housed, is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer, and protected veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS CLOSED

Program Description

Research activities: MAST Center team members from Child Trends will work with the Intern to develop a work plan that complements or supports ongoing MAST Center research or building capacity activities and that is aligned with the intern’s skills and interests. This work will contribute to the research knowledge base on 1) marriage, romantic relationships, and families; and 2) HMRE program implementation and effectiveness. Examples of possible internship activities may include:

  • A research brief synthesizing critical HMRE program evaluation outcomes for specific groups/populations (to be determined, but could include youth; couples or families with stepchildren; or unmarried parents) to help programs ensure that the outcomes assessed are aligned with the goals of the programs and are appropriate and relevant to the people being served.
  • A research brief that synthesizes what is known about the measurement and analysis of couple-level outcomes (as opposed to individual level outcomes) in HMRE evaluations.
  • A quantitative analysis using a large scale HMRE evaluation data set (e.g., data from federally funded evaluations like the Supporting Healthy Marriage or Building Strong Families evaluations) to (1) examine the associations between specific components of HMRE programs (implementation measures) and participant outcomes and/or (2) identify meaningful subgroups of program participants (moderators).
  • Support some building capacity activities, including (1) reviewing resources to be included in the online resource library for HMRE practitioners, evaluators, and researchers and/or (2) identifying useful resources to be included on the emerging scholars page of the website.

Mentorship: The Intern will be matched with one of the MAST Center’s Child Trends team members who will serve as a mentor. This mentor will meet weekly with the Intern and help to identify the scope of the work/project to be completed by the Intern during the program. The Intern will also receive support from other MAST Center staff, as appropriate, to further support their overall professional development goals. The Intern will have access to other professional development resources offered to staff at Child Trends as well, such as trainings on data visualization, networking, project management, and more.

Networking/other involvement: The Intern will attend the monthly Steering Committee calls of the MAST Center as appropriate. They will share their proposed work plan with the MAST Center Steering Committee at the beginning of the program and a Final Report at the end.

Funding: We will fund one person for the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program in 2021. We estimate that the average time commitment for program related activities will be approximately one day per week for approximately five months (January through June with flexible start/end dates). The Intern will be paid a rate of $25 per hour and receive up to $4,000 total for the internship period.

Location: Candidates near one of the Child Trends offices (Bethesda, MD; Waltham, MA; Minneapolis, MN; or Chapel Hill, NC) will have the option to report to a physical location or work remotely. We are also able to provide a remote internship experience for candidates in some areas (see below for requirements).

Requirements

Experience, Education, and Location

  • Currently enrolled and in good standing in a graduate program as a master’s or Ph.D. student, or a recent graduate of a master’s program (within one year).
  • Strong interest in pursuing a research career related to marriage and/or relationship education, especially to focus on equity and cultural responsiveness.
  • Able to physically or remotely report to one of Child Trends’ offices (Bethesda, MD, Boston, MA, Minneapolis, MN, or Chapel Hill, NC) or participate remotely from one of the following areas: AZ, CA, CT, CO, GA, IL, MI, MT, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OK, PA, TX, or WI. If remote, the Intern must have access to a personal computer and reliable internet connection.
    • Unfortunately, if your state is not listed, we are not able to support a remote position in your state at this time.

Application Materials

Applicants must submit their applications with the following components by 5:00 PM Eastern on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

    • Letter of interest (no more than four, double-spaced pages) that includes the applicant’s:
      • Contact information (e.g., name, address, phone number(s), email address),
      • Statement indicating how you found out about this program
      • Graduate institution, program, and expected completion date (for current students), or current position and master’s graduation date (for recent graduates)
      • Personal statement that:
        • Describes the applicant’s interest in and what they hope to gain from the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program experience, including their relevant educational and professional development goals.
        • Describes why the applicant is interested in research on (1) marriage, romantic relationships, and families and/or (2) HMRE program implementation and effectiveness.
        • Describes any relevant background, experiences, coursework, and skills that will inform their ability to center equity and cultural responsiveness in their work.
        • Describes any relevant research (quantitative or qualitative) and writing skills and expertise relevant to the work being done at the MAST Center.
        • Summarizes any specific class or work-related schedules or commitments that you would like us to be aware of for the internship period (January to July 2021).
    • Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) providing information about the applicant’s educational background, publications, presentations, and any professional or personal experience related to the work and mission of the MAST Center.
    • One letter of recommendation from a current or former graduate program advisor or faculty member that specifically addresses:
      • The applicant’s relevant background and qualifications, including training and research experience(s).
      • Professional development goals, interests, or needs pertinent to the goals of the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program.
      • Verification of the applicant’s current graduate program status or recent completion of master’s program requirements.

All components of the application (letter of interest, resume/CV, and letter of recommendation) must be submitted online through Child Trends’ career page. If you have any issues with the submission process, please email a combined PDF to (recruitment@childtrends.org), referencing the “MAST Center Graduate Internship Program” in the subject line.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated by members of the MAST Center Steering Committee according to the following criteria:

  • Alignment of research interests with one or more of the MAST Center’s primary objectives.
  • Professional development goals and the extent to which participation in the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program will advance those goals.
  • Quantitative and/or qualitative analytic experience, writing skills, and other relevant experience aligned with the MAST Center’s priority areas.
  • Demonstrated ability to center equity and cultural responsiveness in the applicant’s research or previous work.
  • Letter of recommendation demonstrates the applicant’s background, interests and experiences, pursuits and accomplishments thus far, and professional development goals.

Applicants will be notified whether they have been selected for an interview by Tuesday, September 29, 2020. Interviews will occur October 5 – October 16, 2020 with notification of final decisions by Thursday, October 22, 2019. The anticipated start date for the internship is Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

FAQs

What is the goal of the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program?

The goal of the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program is to expand the pipeline of emerging scholars, including those from historically underrepresented backgrounds, pursuing research and evaluation professions related to marriage and relationship education.

Who is eligible for the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program?

The MAST Center Graduate Internship Program is open to students in master’s or Ph.D. programs, as well as individuals who completed a master’s program within the last year.

What is the duration of the program? Are the dates of the flexible?

The program will span am approximately 5-month period starting in January 2021 and ending in June 2021. We recognize that academic and work schedules vary considerably. As such, the specific dates of the program can be negotiated, as necessary, to match the selected applicant’s academic or work schedule, while still meeting the requirements of the Internship Program. A suggested start date is January 19, 2021. We estimate that the Intern will spend approximately one day a week, on average, on MAST Center related activities.

What is expected of me as a MAST Center Graduate Intern?

The Intern will:

  • Work with the MAST Center’s Child Trends team to develop and implement a work plan that complements or supports ongoing MAST Center research or building capacity activities and that is aligned with the individual’s skills and interests. This work will contribute to the research knowledge base in 1) marriage, romantic relationships, and families; and 2) HMRE program implementation and effectiveness.
  • Be matched with one of the MAST Center’s Child Trends team members who will serve as a mentor. This mentor will work with the Intern to identify the scope of the work to be completed during the program. The Intern will also receive support from other MAST Center staff, as appropriate, to further support their overall professional development goals.
  • Meet with their mentor (in person, by phone, or by video conference) call to develop their Initial Work Plan and present their proposed work plan to the MAST Center Steering Committee at the beginning of the program. The Intern will also submit a Progress Report at the mid-point of their program and a Final Report at the end, summarizing their experience and documenting the completion of any specific reports, briefs, or other products proposed in their work plan.
  • As appropriate, contribute to other capacity building and/or research products or activities that are part of the MAST Center’s work plan.
  • Participate by phone or video conference call in the monthly MAST Center Steering Committee meetings, as appropriate, for tasks outlined in the Intern’s work plan.

What type of guidance/oversight will be available to me as an Intern?

  • The Intern will be matched with one of the MAST Center’s Child Trends team members (their mentor) to further develop and/or expand upon ongoing work within the MAST Center’s primary objectives. The Intern may also receive support from other MAST Center staff, as appropriate, to support professional development.
  • The Intern will attend the monthly Steering Committee calls of the MAST Center, as needed, to support their work. The Intern will receive feedback on their work from the MAST Center’s Steering Committee.
  • The MAST Center will facilitate the Intern’s connection to other emerging scholars, researchers in the field, key organizations, and Federal agencies that may be of interest to the Intern’s longer-term professional development.

Where is the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program located?

The MAST Center Graduate Internship Program can support an on-site or remote intern currently located near one of Child Trends’ physical office locations in Bethesda, MD, Boston, MA, Minneapolis, MN, or Chapel Hill, NC. Interns can also participate remotely if they are located in one of the following areas: AZ, CA, CT, CO, GA, IL, MI, MT, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OK, PA, TX, or WI. Interns who participate remotely must have access to a personal computer and reliable internet connection. Whether on-site or remote, the Intern will have regular check-ins with their mentor and MAST Center leadership.

Unfortunately, if your state is not listed above, we are not able to support a remote position in your state at this time.

What is the amount paid to the MAST Center Graduate Intern?

The Intern will be paid $25 per hour up to $4,000 total for the internship period. We estimate that the average time commitment for program related activities will be approximately one day per week for five months (January through June 2021).

How many MAST Center Graduate Interns will be funded this year?

The MAST Center anticipates selecting one intern for 2021.

I have other projects and grants underway. Will it still be possible for me to continue work on them during the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program?

The internship is expected to occur concurrently with graduate school or outside post graduate work. We estimate that the time commitment devoted to internship activities will be approximately one day a week.

Who should apply for the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program?

Individuals enrolled in master’s or Ph.D. programs, as well as individuals who completed a master’s program within the last year, who have a strong interest in pursuing a research careers related to marriage and/or relationship education, with a focus on equity and cultural responsiveness, should apply.

Can undergraduates or post-docs apply for the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program?

No, the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program is currently only open to individuals enrolled in master’s or Ph.D. programs, as well as individuals who completed a master’s program within the last year.

Do I need to be a U.S. Citizen to apply for the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program?

The position does not have citizenship requirements. However, the Intern must be authorized to work in the United States and will be asked to complete USCIS form i-9 on their first day.

How do I know if my research and evaluation interests are a good fit with the MAST Center?

The MAST Center conducts research on marriage and romantic relationships in the U.S. and healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programs designed to strengthen these relationships. Please see the description of the MAST Center and the research areas to determine if your interests are a good fit. The MAST Center is funded by the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE). You can learn more about OPRE’s healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) initiatives here.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions about the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program?

If you have any questions, please contact mastrd@childtrends.org and recruitment@childtrends.org referencing the position in the subject line. No phone calls please.

Contact Information and Questions

For additional program information, you can reference FAQs about the MAST Center Graduate Internship Program above. You may also email mastrd@childtrends.org and recruitment@childtrends.org referencing the “MAST Center Graduate Internship Program” in the subject line. No phone calls please.

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