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Geospatial Intelligence and National Security Technologies Internship Spring 2023

ISW Internship Program Overview

ISW is offering remote, hybrid, and in-person internships for Spring 2023. 

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is committed to training the next generation of national security leaders through its innovative educational programs. ISW seeks motivated and experienced college students or recent graduates to join our intern team. ISW offers internships across diverse research portfolios and departments, including Russia, China, Afghanistan, and Iran's proxy networks. ISW also offers internships in National Security & Intelligence Analysis and in non-profit management, including Business Development and Editorial.

Why Work for ISW?
ISW believes that ground realities must drive the formulation of strategy and policy. In pursuit of this principle, ISW conducts detailed open-source intelligence analysis to provide timely and accurate information on current conflicts and security threats directly to policy-makers and warfighters.

Interns at ISW have an unparalleled opportunity to analyze conflicts in ways that directly inform policymakers on some of the most pressing issues facing American national security. Our interns work directly with analysts. They receive classroom education, regular leadership engagement, and a chance to work with cutting-edge technologies employed in business and the intelligence community. Interns have the opportunity to stand at the front lines of military research and policy development, tackling the latest crises in the headlines.

The ISW Internship Program is one of three core education programs housed within The General David H. Petraeus Center for Emerging Leaders, launched to identify, educate, and develop the future cadre of leaders committed to America’s national security. ISW views interns as an integral component of its team. ISW has worked with interns to draft, edit, and publish their own research under the mentorship of senior analysts. It has also hired many interns onto its staff.

Geospatial Intelligence and National Security Technologies Internship: ISW uses emerging technologies and establishes software partnerships to improve research collection, intelligence analysis, and visualizations. Interns will use Geographic Information Systems (GIS), satellite remote sensing, data visualization, Python, HTML, and JavaScript coding skills to help refine how ISW’s analysts implement these cutting-edge tools. This internship provides practical hands-on experience using GIS in national security and intelligence applications. Interns will support data collection, analysis, and visualizations that support ISW’s world-renowned maps. Interns may also have valuable interactions with software partners who are transforming the national security space. Interns will receive further training on some of these platforms. ISW’s roster of technology partners includes Neo4J, Ntrepid, Linkurious, Microsoft, Sayari Analytics, BlackSky, and Semantic AI, among many others. This is a full-time internship (five days per week), but part-time work will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


  • Candidates must be motivated and organized college students or recent graduates with demonstrated expertise in a related field;
  • Candidates must possess excellent writing, editing, and oral communication skills;
  • Candidates must possess strong capabilities in a programming language such as Python, JavaScript, or HTML; web development experience with HTML or JavaScript is preferred;
  • Candidates may substitute programming language skills with experience using ESRI’s ArcGIS mapping software;
  • Candidates must display the ability to conduct complex tasks in a timely and efficient manner;
  • Candidates should be self-motivated, independent, creative, and capable of working in a dynamic and fast-paced environment;
  • Candidates will preferably have a demonstrated interest or expertise in national security issues, particularly Russia, China, or issues in the Middle East;
  • Candidates must show commitment to—and interest in—the core mission and values of ISW.

Spring 2023 Internship Program Dates: ISW internships start January 9, 2023. The program will run through late May. Interns must both be authorized to work in the United States and be physically present in the United States during their internship tenure. Working remotely outside of the United States is not authorized.

ISW will work with students to gain academic credit for internships where applicable. 

ISW Scholarship Application
In the spring of 2023, the Institute for the Study of War will offer intern candidates up to a $1,000 monthly living stipend as part of a scholarship program.*
Candidates will be assessed based on the following criteria:
  1. Ability to contribute as a member of one of ISW’s research, operations, business development, or external relations teams; and
  2. Financial need, such that an unpaid internship would not be possible without assistance.
  3. To be considered for the scholarship, candidates must upload a scholarship application as part of their internship application. 
Within the scholarship application, candidates should upload a 2- to 3-page cover letter which answers each of the following questions. (This should be a different cover letter than the one used for the internship application itself.) 
  1. Which ISW internship is your top choice? Why do you believe you are qualified?
  2. What do you believe to be the most pressing national security problem the US faces today? What solution(s) would you propose?
  3. Where do you see yourself in your future career? How will an ISW internship help you get there?
  4. Why have you chosen to apply for this supplemental scholarship?
  5. Are you currently receiving federal financial aid and/or need-based aid from your university? Feel free to describe using as much detail as you are comfortable.

*Please note that the up to $1,000 monthly scholarship is classified as taxable income.