What is it?

This Fellowship offers Stanford students a competitive opportunity to participate in important work at the Hoover Institution across both key research areas and organizational areas. The Fellowship is a 3-quarter-long paid internship in which students will be paired in topical areas of their preference with Hoover fellows or staff members. Students in the Fellowship will provide research and operational support, while also benefiting from mentoring and partaking  in exclusive programming for the Fellowship cohort. Students should expect not only guidance from their direct managers, but also a chance to learn more about research, policy, and public affairs from influential leaders both at Hoover and beyond. We are planning for the internship to take place in-person throughout the academic year.

Applications open: Monday, August 15, 2022
Applications due: Friday, September 30, 2022

speakers and students

What projects and areas of interest are available?

Technology, Economics, and Governance Working Group
TEG focuses on three areas of study: US technology policy and opportunities and challenges associated with emerging technologies (AI, cybersecurity, quantum, biotechnology, etc.); the dynamics of innovation ecosystems and policies that incentivize economic competitiveness; and disinformation and misinformation and the tension between security and civil liberties online. RAs will have administrative and research responsibilities: author the Weekly News Roundup, support events and meetings with senior government officials, and conduct background research for TEG projects. Ideal candidates will have strong organizational, research, and writing skills and will be interested in issues at the intersection of technology, economics, and international security.   

Stalin's Terror, 1930-1939
This project focuses on what Russians call the "repressions" of the Stalin period of rule in the Soviet Union, 1930-39. The great Hoover scholar, Robert Conquest, was the first major scholar to tackle this subject as a whole. I will ask students to reconstruct the major episodes of the period, when possible using primary documents, in the Hoover Archives or published. Students with a reading knowledge of Russian and/or Ukrainian will be given preference. But there is much English-language material to be examined, as well. The final product will be a comprehensive book on the subject.

Planned Economy and Political Repression in the USSR
I am embarking on a large book project that brings together the findings from my research in the Hoover archives on the Soviet (USSR) system. This project brings together my two books -- The  Political Economy of Stalinism (Cambridge, Hewett prize) and Terror by Quota (Yale, Yale-Hoover series) -- in an attempt to explain why the command system inexorably resorts to political repression. The results of this research will be one of the first in the new Stanford-Hoover series on totalitarianism. The assistant will be assigned readings and directed to archival research in Hoover L&A. A good reading knowledge of Russian would be important. 

Cash Assistance as Policy Tool: When Does it Help and When Does it Hurt?
We investigate the positive and negative effects of cash assistance as a policy aimed at alleviating various social ills. Does cash assistance improve the wellbeing of all people who receive it, or does some segment of the population, such as families dealing with substance abuse, domestic violence, or child maltreatment issues, end up worse off? Does unconditional cash assistance work less well than conditional cash assistance? Are there positive interaction effects between cash and existing government services? The student fellow will work closely with economists and administrative data from a large U.S. county, so experience working with large data sets and using statistical software is important.

The Global Competition in Battery Technology
Battery technology is critical to national security and economic competitiveness. Against the backdrop of intensifying US-China rivalry, this project will empirically analyze fundamental science, commercial data, patent filings, trade barriers, regulatory controls, and state subsidies and industrial policies to identify trends, opportunities, and risks in the global race to improve battery performance, corner markets, and protect related supply chains. A published report will result. Students with ANY of the following preferred: experience analyzing patent, trade, and market data; background in the relevant science; advanced reading ability in Chinese.

Safeguarding Transnational Science: Data Analytics and Tools
American science thrives on academic freedom, openness, and collaboration. But not all of its global partners share its conventions and values, and some in authoritarian nations in particular may have goals adverse to American national interests. This project will develop portable methodologies, models, and code to help analysts manage that dilemma using large datasets to identify, assess, and mitigate transnational risks to research security and integrity. Students with ANY of the following preferred: advanced SQL and (Python or R) competence; experience with data engineering and ETL tools; proficiency in data science and statistical methods; advanced reading ability in Chinese; interest in geostrategic and human rights dimensions of technological competition.

China: Judging revolution-The CCP’s takeover and reconstitution of the Chinese legal system and state
Research assistance on a book-length, archival history of the takeover of Beijing by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949 and its reconstitution of the Nationalist state and legal system. Seeking applicants with an interest in modern China, Chinese history, and computational methods in historical research. Minimum requirements: near native-level reading proficiency in Chinese language and intermediate skills in Python.

US Foreign Policy in Europe and the Middle East
Address various questions in US foreign policy regarding either Europe or the Middle East. European topics include shared security concerns, relations with the European Union, and questions of sovereignty and nationality. Middle East topics involve tensions between security and democracy promotion, competition among allies (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel), repercussions of the Afghanistan withdrawal, and cultural questions. Students with relevant language skills (French, German, Central European languages or a Middle Eastern language) are especially welcome.

The Church and the European State: Fragmentation, the Crusades, and the Reformation
This project seeks to explain how religion influences governance by examining the history of papal involvement in historical European politics. It will examine how the papacy fragmented the Holy Roman Empire in the middle ages, the rise of political crusades, which targeted wayward kings and princes rather than defending the faith, and how the causes and impact of the Protestant Reformation. Interns would gather data on papal pronouncements, the crusades, and how these led to the conversion of princes and kings to Protestantism. Familiarity with Excel or Numbers is a must, experience with Stata or R preferred but not necessary, and knowledge of Latin and/or German very welcome. 

Politics, Markets, and Pandemics: K-12 Education’s Response to COVID-19
Despite significant evidence that K-12 schools could be reopened safely, COVID-19 kept half of all public-school students in the United States out of school for an entire year. This project examines why. It will show how partisan politics, adult interests, and perverse economic incentives – far more than a dispassionate analysis of public health risks – influenced elected officials’ decisions to keep schools shuttered. Research will involve collecting and analyzing data on school board candidates, elections, and teachers unions. RAs will also analyze survey data comparing and contrasting the experiences of families attending private, charter, and traditional public schools. RAs should have strong quantitative skills (familiarity with Excel and Stata). The ability to use Python or R for web-scraping and text analysis is highly desired. 

Trends in U.S. Federal Spending Power: 1789-Present 
This project traces the evolution of federal spending power from 1789 to the present. The research involves examining historical and contemporary federal documents to identify key expansions in the scope of the power and the rationales used to justify them, federal budgetary materials to measure their financial impact, and Supreme Court documents to understand the Court’s rationale in treating the federal government’s spending power differently than its other powers. This project requires research assistants to have a keen interest in government affairs, a facility to work with budget data, and knowledge of Excel.

Devolving the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program
This project is to develop a proposal to devolve the federal-state unemployment insurance program entirely to the states. The current program is incredibly inefficient and unsuccessful.  States set all eligibility rules, benefit levels, and employment taxes to finance benefits.  Yet, states are required to send the tax proceeds to the U.S. Treasury and to request them from the Treasury when needed.  Additionally, the federal government levies its own employment tax and returns these funds to states to finance its UI administration, which is an inefficient and wasteful arrangement. This project requires research assistants to have a keen interest in government affairs, a facility to work with budget data, and knowledge of Excel.

Library & Archives: Social Media and Web Archiving
Help us collect, crawl, capture, and preserve social media channels and web content related to the Russo-Ukrainian Conflict (2022), US Withdrawal and Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan (2021), and other areas within the scope of Library & Archives’ collecting mission, to allow future researchers to study the impact of war on people and society. Proficiency in Ukrainian, Russian, Pashto, Dari, Chinese, Japanese and/or Python languages desired.

Library & Archives: Machine Learning Methodologies
The goal of this project is to enhance information retrieval from the Hoover Institution Library and Archive (HILA) digital collections using machine learning. The process may involve researching and analyzing data-mining methods, products, and applications that enable scholars to detect relevant stories and connections within Hoover's digitized newspapers, diaries, correspondence, handwritten documents, photographs, posters, and more. Examples of NLP and computer vision technologies to be explored include OCR, HTR, named entity recognition, imaging classification, etc. Proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, Farsi and/or Python languages desired.

Strengthening U.S.-India Relations
Provide research support for scholarly and policy-oriented work focusing on the relationship between the U.S. and India. Provide support in preparing background material and reports for key meetings of Hoover's Program on Strengthening U.S.-India Relations. Seeking applicants who have a strong interest in India, economics, and/or security. Data visualization skills are a plus; no language skills are required. 

Hoover Institution’s Institutional Programming
Research and develop engagement strategies for students at Stanford and other universities that include programs such as Hoover’s Summer Policy Boot Camp. Create and maintain target audience lists for the distribution of core research products and programs. Assist in the planning and execution of select Institutional programs such as the Veteran Fellowship Program and the International Student Seminar. 

State and Local Governance Initiative
The Hoover Institution State and Local Governance Initiative is seeking an intern at the undergraduate or graduate level to work with Senior Fellow Joshua Rauh and other researchers on a wide variety of state and local policy topics, including: public pensions, tax and fiscal policy, energy, economic and workforce development, and other topics. The best-suited intern would have an interest and academic background in public policy, economics, and statistics with specific experience using R and STATA. Excellent writing and qualitative research skills are also preferred. 

Washington in the Cold War
This book project examines the history of Washington, D.C., during the Cold War, tracing its growth into the nerve center of a global empire.  The book will focus in particular on the tension between its roles as a national capital waging a global battle for freedom and a minority-majority city struggling to obtain home rule and often excluded from the wealth of an ever-expanding federal government.  RAs will help identify and use digital archives on 20th-century American urban, social, intellectual, and diplomatic history, in addition to working with important secondary sources.

US and California Economic Policies: Housing, Homelessness, Energy, Taxes, and More
Students will research current California and U.S. policies and how they affect our economy, including tax policies, housing policies, education policies, competition and anti-trust policies, environmental policies, and policies that affect innovation. Students will analyze how these policy changes affect economic growth, quality of life, and economic opportunities. Students will assist with Hoover’s weekly "California on Your Mind” column.

Taking Guns to a Knife Fight: The Determinants of Military Effectiveness in Counterinsurgency and Irregular Warfare
Research involves using detailed incident-level microdata to empirically demonstrate that military units which operate under similar resource constraints and threat conditions can have vastly different experiences at the operational and tactical levels of counterinsurgency. Seeking a diligent student to assist in compiling, analyzing, and presenting findings from the supporting data for a manuscript project on the determinants of military effectiveness in counterinsurgency and irregular warfare. Students will access the Hoover Library and Archives as well as support with additional research additional research and case study development needed to complete Fellow’s ongoing manuscript project.

The Politics of Anti-Government Protest in China
Based on a series of surveys conducted in China and data about protests across China, this book project in progress argues that popular support for the Chinese government is much lower than conventionally understood and that religious believers are at the forefront of protest in China, despite the regime's use of propaganda and repression to demobilize protesters. The RA will conduct literature reviews about topics related to protest and repression in China and will gather data about protests and Chinese government policies. Fluency in Mandarin is preferred but not required.

Trust the Experts? Consumers vs. Professionals in Predicting Inflation
Students will help analyze if consumers or professionals do a better job predicting inflation (as measured by statistical tests of bias, rationality, and efficiency), and whether that relative performance varies systematically across different inflation regimes. Students will work with micro-data on individual responses to the oldest surveys of inflation expectations available (dating back to 1946) and the University of Michigan survey of consumers (dating back to 1960).  

Rethinking Defense Budgeting
This project will explore the first principles of defense budgeting in a democracy, such as adequacy, consistency, predictability, accountability, efficiency, incentive compatibility. How have the actual budgets compared to these norms, and how might they be improved going forward at a time of growing budget deficits and debt and elevated national security concerns in a more dangerous world.

Rethinking Federalism
This project will explore various aspects of the role of federalism and federalist principles of governance in the United States and around the world. In recent years, including the COVID-19 crisis and other economic crises, the relationship between federal and state and local government has been strained, often legally contentious, as massive amounts of funds have flowed from the federal treasury to state and local governments, then sometimes on to NGOIs or to citizens directly. How can these resources be used in the most effective and efficient manner?HSFP

Media Relations
Research and report new or up-and-coming media sources, update weekly media tracking and monthly metrics of activity for media relations & outreach, create and maintain distribution lists, assist in the planning/execution of Hoover Media Academy, send scholar media confirmations.

Government Relations
Report on briefings, hearings, and scholarly events on Capitol Hill, create and maintain distribution lists, update metrics of activity for government outreach and scholar activity, assist in the planning/execution of DC programming including the Leadership Forums, Congressional Fellowship Program, State & Local Government outreach, and Hoover Capital Conversations.

The Kremlin, K Street, and Congress
Foreign influence in American politics long predates the 2016 election. This project probes how Russian lobbying has shaped American politics. Among our central questions: Do campaign contributions from lobbyists under contract to the Russian government shape voting patterns in the US Congress? We marshal an enormous amount of data to answer this question: records of all Russian lobbying activities since Vladimir Putin ascended to power in 2000, all Russia-related legislation before Congress, and all congressional votes and bill sponsorships. The RA will help finalize the set of bills that we include in our analysis and conduct case studies of key votes. This project will most appeal to students who are interested in American foreign policy and Russian politics. Proficiency with basic statistics is a plus but not required.

Hoover History Lab Global Futures Project
The Hoover History Lab seeks a student intern for its Global Futures project, whose goal is to enhance understanding of where global developments are headed, what will drive them, and what could alter projected trajectories.  In addition, the project aims to illuminate the contemporary policies and future prospects of China, Russia, Iran and other key players and how they affect and are affected by global developments.  The work will be geared toward a major conference during the 2022-23 academic year involving a wide range of invited participants, including some from government bodies.  Knowledge of Chinese and/or systems and complexity theory desirable.

Program Application

Thank you for your interest in the Hoover Student Fellowship Program!

Click here to submit your interest and apply for a student fellowship at the Hoover Institution. Please note that you will be asked to upload a résumé and unofficial transcript.

Apply Now

Student responsibilities:

Conduct advanced research and work on special projects for Manager, often including:

  • Executing online research.
  • Collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing data.
  • Analyzing trends and reporting on current events in each respective fellowship area.
  • Writing summaries and memorandums on requested topics as well as proofread and help edit materials.

Assist with operational duties, including: scheduling and prepping for meetings, building distribution lists for event information dissemination, responding to correspondence the Manager receives, crafting marketing materials or output for the Manager, and potentially assisting with general Hoover events (e.g. simulations).

All interns will be asked to complete a final presentation at the culmination of the fellowship. Final projects will vary by Manager and topic area, to be agreed upon by each student and their Manager. Each final project will be presented to the Director of the Hoover Institution and all Fellows and Staff managers involved in the internship program.

Additional: Interns expected to perform other related duties as requested. The internship will be structured to maintain flexibility and tailoring based on staff or fellow needs.

Who is eligible?

  • Fully-enrolled Stanford undergraduate (sophomore, junior, or senior) of any major
  • Any Stanford graduate student (GSB, SLS, any Masters program, and PhD program)
  • Students must commit to the internship position from Autumn 2022 through Spring 2023
  • Students with strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills. Emphasis on flexibility, attention to detail, and ability to work efficiently and independently in a fast-paced environment.

Questions? Contact Josie Bianchi (she/her) at jbianchi@stanford.edu for more information!

Program Deadlines

Applications open
August 15, 2022

Applications due
September 30, 2022

Semi-finalists will be interviewed in late September

Internship begins
Early October 2022

Program Application

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