Intern, Research, Climate Program

Internships Washington, District of Columbia

WRI Overview 

World Resources Institute (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean. 

Internships at WRI are learning experiences designed for current students, recent graduates, and other candidates who wish to gain knowledge about a specific area of our work. We strive to attract diverse, intellectually-driven candidates who have a passion for sustainability and development. WRI provides many internship opportunities throughout the year in all our programs.  

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.   

Climate Program Overview

The Climate Program works to advance practical solutions to reduce and remove greenhouse gas emissions, deploy clean energy solutions, improve resilience to climate impacts, and achieve a strong, clean economy that benefits all Americans. We do so through rigorous peer-reviewed expert analysis, consultation, convening, coalition building, and clear communications. We work at all levels of government and with leading businesses across the United States. Our experience, reputation and connections in the policy arena, the private sector and beyond place us in a unique position to help shape federal and state climate policy and generate new ideas and practices for low-carbon development over the coming years.

Internship Summary

In this role, you will contribute to the research and analytical efforts of WRI U.S. and its mission of providing independent and authoritative evidence for how the U.S. can meet its short- and long-term climate commitments. This will include support across WRI U.S.’ portfolio of projects, including work on Climate Federalism, Renewable Natural Gas as a Climate Strategy, Carbon Pricing, and America’s Pledge, an initiative aiming to aggregate and quantify the impact of city, state, and business climate actions and examine how additional action can impact the nation’s ability to meet its climate commitments. You will help support this work by researching and compiling quantitative and qualitative information on state and local climate actions in the U.S. You will also contribute to research reports and communications materials as needed. This work will be done in close collaboration with project leads, technical partners, and other WRI programs. Strong consideration will be given to candidates with quantitative skill and familiarity with energy and climate related data in the U.S.

Learning Outcomes

The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

  • Conduct original quantitative and qualitative research to support WRI’s work on Climate Federalism, Renewable Natural Gas as a Climate Strategy, Carbon Pricing, and America’s Pledge.
  • Conduct original quantitative and qualitative research on state, city, and corporate climate actions.
  • Maintain and synthesize energy and emissions related data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and other key sources
  • Write short reports on research findings, or assist in the writing of larger reports with leading subject matter experts
  • Help draft blogs and other materials to communicate research findings to a wider audience; and
  • Leverage growing expertise in energy and climate datasets to assist colleagues in related tasks on other workstreams as needed
  • As needed, assist with scheduling meetings, preparing and organizing briefing materials, providing logistical support for events, assisting with meeting follow-up, and helping to ensure internal coordination

Internship Qualifications

  • Pursuing or achieved bachelor’s degree in environmental policy, environmental science, economics, public policy or related field, or a relevant law degree; Master’s degree preferred
  • Demonstrated understanding of U.S. climate policy landscape, particularly at the subnational level
  • Excellent research and writing skills
  • Excellent data collection and management skills—e.g., through Microsoft Excel, CSV
  • Strong oral communications skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently as well as part of a team
  • Ability to present complex information in a clear and concise manner
  • Ability to work well in a team, manage multiple priorities, and work under tight deadlines
  • Understanding of Microsoft Office suite and other relevant applications

General Internship Requirements 

  • Applicants must have personal health insurance coverage.  
  • US work authorization is required for this opportunity. WRI does not sponsor interns for visas. 


This is a paid internship.


This is a six-month (24 week) internship with flexible start and end dates based on the student’s availability and need for the project.

How to Apply 

Please submit a resume and cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. 

The World Resources Institute ( is an environmental and development research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, it is WRI’s policy to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, citizenship, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, protected veteran status, or disability. WRI’s global agenda requires a staff that is diverse – with respect to race, gender, cultural, and international background. Diverse perspectives and experience enhance the way WRI selects and approaches issues, as well as the creativity and applicability of WRI's policy research and analysis. WRI, therefore, encourages applications from U.S. minorities, persons from other countries (especially developing nations), and from women of all backgrounds.