Policy Matters Ohio

Policy Matters Ohio is a non-profit, non-partisan policy research institute. We create a more vibrant, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio through research, strategic communications, coalition building and policy advocacy. 

PICS interns have consistently increased our capacity to do research and produce reports on policy areas that are central to our mission. Our work includes data gathering, reporting and analysis of state-level policies around work & wages, revenue & budget, and sustainable economies. We’re also increasing our involvement in the movement for justice reform, and we play a leading role in the project to ReImagine Appalachia, which focuses on creating good union jobs in sustainable industries throughout the region. 

In other words, we have a large and growing portfolio, and PICS interns help make that work possible.


Cleveland, OH

Internship #1 Description 

Intern projects are co-created with staff mentors based on interns' areas of interest, background and capacity. PICS interns work primarily with our research staff, to collect and analyze data and produce research related to state-level public policy issues including work & wages, sustainable economies, and revenue & budget. (For a recent example of the latter, see this report co-authored by PICS intern Jenny Driscoll with our Sr. Project Director: https://bit.ly/38ee8zm.) 

PICS interns have formal relationships with at least two staff members: A mentor who is an expert in their area of work, and our program coordinator. The former develops projects, provides necessary skill training, feedback and technical expertise. The latter supervises the organization's intern cohort (typically 4-6 interns, including those from PICS), using our outcome-driven curriculum to help interns make connections among their individual work, the organization's mission, and Ohio's broader policy landscape. 

This two-pronged approach skews heavily in favor of research, writing and other professional development, with 75-80% of interns' time devoted to work with their staff mentors, and the remainder spent on our program curriculum. This approach lets us supplement interns' career-oriented training in the work of a policy institute with opportunities to reflect on and process the experience, individually and among peers. 

We also expect every intern to finish the program with at least one publication to add to their CV. Typically, PICS interns have either been the sole author of a brief, or co-author on a major research paper. Other options for publication include opinion pieces in major local news outlets like Cleveland.com and the Plain Dealer, and posts to our organization's blog. *Examples of the type of work produced by PICS interns is available on request. 

Internship #2 Description

In 2021, we added the option for interns to focus on work with our communications and outreach staff. These interns learn fundamental principles of strategic communication and how to apply specific messaging frameworks — including the Race Class Narrative, which is among the most important and popular frames informing progressive politics in state-level work and nationally. Comms & Outreach interns apply what they learn to social media campaigns and traditional media monitoring, and participate in release planning and messaging workshops with research staff. 

Comms & Outreach interns also work with our Outreach Director to experience first hand the type of coalition- and movement-building necessary to advance policies that benefit working Ohioans, families and children. (In the era of COVID, this has largely consisted of participating in many video conferences coordinated by our outreach director to align coalition priorities and manage relationships.) 

Comms & Outreach interns participate in the same program curriculum described above, and are likewise expected to earn a publishing credit, typically for a blog post or opinion piece for local media.

# of weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Public Transportation Housing  Format
10 6/14-8/23 2022 10:00am  5:00pm Yes No In Person

Housing Information

Student housing on or near the campuses of Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University provides easy access to public transit, with a short ride to our office. (From CSU, the commute is walkable and bikeable.)

Internship Qualifications

Research interns: 

  • Facility with Microsoft suite, especially Excel and Word. 
  • Some experience with statistics and analysis. 

Comms & Outreach interns: 

  • Facility with Microsoft suite, especially Word.

Additional qualifications:

  • Research interns: Significant experience with data programming software / language such as Stata or R. 
  • Comms & Outreach interns: Familiarity with graphic design tool Canva; Familiarity with basic video editing; Familiarity with Facebook and Twitter. 

Both: Familiarity with or interest in Ohio and/or Midwest public policy is of course a plus.

Writing Sample Required

  • 4-5 page sample of academic writing. (Can be an excerpt of longer work.)

Special Requirements