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Research Internship (GSR 718)

Overview

All matriculating students in the Graduate Social Research Program must complete 6 credits of a supervised internship. The internship may take place in an approved private- or public- sector research agency and must entail the execution of a research project applying research methods. The content and scope of an internship should be similar to work performed by an entry-level research assistant and must be supervised by a qualified research specialist.

Students may register for GSR 718 ("Research Internship") during the fall or spring semester for internships accomplished during the fall, spring or summer months. The process of identifying and obtaining approval for an internship should be initiated at least one semester in advance.

First Steps: Once you have chosen an area of application, or defined an area for yourself, set up a meeting with the internship advisor in your area to discuss internship options. Students are responsible for finding their placements, but your internship advisor is an important resource for you. Advisors can help you to clarify your internship goals and requirements, and recommend organizations that can suit your needs.

It is strongly recommended that students who are uncertain about where they might intern should first schedule an Exploratory Meeting with the Program Director to explore placement options. When meeting with the Program Director for this purpose, students should furnish a current resume and a completed GSR Internship Assessment Form which is designed to evaluate the student's academic and professional interests and identify appropriate placement settings.

It is not necessary for students who have already identified an internship setting to furnish a resume or GSR Internship Assessment Form. However, all students must submit an Internship Proposal, developed in consultation with and signed by the intern's supervisor.

The Proposal: Once you have decided to pursue an internship opportunity, check with your internship advisor to ensure that it meets our criteria. Once you are offered the position, you must write up a proposal, usually about 2-3 pages, including the following information:

  • The learning objectives the student seeks to accomplish
  • A brief description of the student's role and responsibilities
  • A brief description of any special project to be completed
  • The method by which the intern's supervisor will monitor and evaluate the student's work
  • Contact information for the intern supervisor and the academic internship  advisor
  • Performance targets
  • The time commitment (hours per week, total number of weeks)
  • The anticipated internship start and completion dates
  • Rate of compensation (if any)
  • Signature line for supervisor and advisor

The Internship Proposal must be approved by the Program Director before students can register for GSR 718 and initiate the internship. This usually means working out the details with your area internship advisor, and then submitting a copy of your proposal, signed by both your placement supervisor and your internship advisor, to the Director for the class permit. Furthermore, students should consult with their area internship advisors prior to initiating the internship, as those faculty members may have additional expectations.

Requirements

Time commitment
Internships may be conducted on a full-time basis for approximately three months or a part-time basis for six months.

Research and Training
Internships must be research-oriented. Students need to be involved in project planning, data collection, data analysis or other research activities. The internship site must be prepared to provide oversight and training, as needed. This training may include specific software tools, coding techniques, or help with analysis procedures.

Performance Evaluation
A student's performance in the internship will be evaluated based upon:

  • The total number of hours worked
  • An evaluation from the student's internship supervisor and, if applicable, faculty supervisor
  • The submission of a Research Internship Report

Credits Earned
Students who have successfully completed the internship will receive 6 credits toward the MSSR degree. Grades will be given in the pass or fail format.

Internship Report Guidelines

Upon completion of an internship, every student is required to submit an Intern Report in addition to any other materials specified by their internship advisor(s). The Report is intended to provide a systematic and concise evaluation of the internship from the intern's point of view and should include a discussion of at least the following items:

  • Discussion of the agency/institution within which the internship took place including:
    • Lines of reporting (who is responsible to whom and for what)
    • Decision making processes insofar as the student's assignments were concerned
    • Description of work/services carried out/provided by agency/institution
  • The learning objectives the student outlined at the outset of the internship and how well those were achieved
  • A description of the student's role and responsibilities including job title, if any
  • A description of any special project that was completed
  • The method by which the intern's supervisor monitored and evaluated the student's work
  • The internship start and completion dates
  • The time commitment (hours per week, total hours)
  • Rate of compensation (if any)
  • Extent to which prior research training at Hunter proved sufficient with respect to the internship. Students are encouraged to identify the courses offered in the Graduate Social Research Program which proved most helpful for the internship
  • Working relation between intern and agency supervisor
  • Problems the intern might have encountered in the internship, including the extent and quality of supervision
  • Extent to which the internship is thought to be helpful for future work with respect to (a) knowledge acquired, (b) contacts established, (c) work experience gained.
  • Suggestions regarding the internship process and/or setting for the Internship Coordinator.

The Intern Report is a critical component of the internship experience. The Report is complemented by an evaluation of the student's performance by the professional that supervised the student's work.

Note: Internship credits will only be granted when the required Intern Report as well as the evaluation of the student's performance by the internship supervisor has been received by your area advisor, with copies to the Program Director.

Companies & Organizations

Some of the companies and organizations that have sought GSR students and alumni for jobs and internships: