RFF Summer Research Internship Program

Program Description

Summer 2022 Research Intern Applications Are Open!

Do you want to begin a career in academic or policy research? Are you interested in contributing to impactful, balanced research that is aimed at improving environmental, energy and natural resource decisions? A summer research internship with Resources for the Future (RFF) might be right for you. The RFF summer internship program provides an opportunity for students to prepare for careers that engage in academic and policy-relevant research. Interns are essential members of the RFF Research and Policy Engagement team. They are responsible for providing technical support that, under the direction of RFF Fellows, allows for the production of compelling and impactful research that aligns with RFF’s mission of improving environmental, energy and natural resource decisions through impartial economic research and policy engagement.

Our research internships are a 10-week program paid at $16.10 an hour for up to 35 hours a week. Internships will run from June 6, 2022- August 12, 2022. Start or end dates can be changed with an approved exception. All internships will be conducted in RFF’s offices in Washington, DC.

Vaccine Policy. RFF has made the safety of our staff and community a top priority. As a part of that commitment, all staff and visitors are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as defined by the CDC. RFF will require all staff and visitors to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 to work in our buildings.

Applications for the summer 2022 hiring season will close on March 1st, with interviews conducted between March 29th and April 9th. We anticipate making hiring decisions by April 15th. Internships will run from June 6, 2022 to August 12, 2022. Start or end dates can be changed with an approved exception.

Projects that will be supported by a summer intern include:

  • Leaving After the Storm? The Local Economic and Fiscal Impacts of Buyouts. As coastal areas experienced more intense storms and frequent flooding in recent years, property buyout programs have attracted increasing attention as an option to move homes out of harm’s way. However, this strategy raises serious economic and equity concerns for local communities and there is little empirical evidence to inform on these issues. This project evaluates the short- and medium-run impacts of New York State’s post-Sandy buyout program on nearby property values and development levels, as well as the distribution of such impacts. We seek an intern with skills in geospatial analysis to assist in dataset assembling and estimation.
  • Native Nations in the Energy Transition. In the energy transition, sovereign tribes, the federal government, and other stakeholders need to consider which types of energy development are compatible with their values and goals for economic development, emissions reductions, environmental justice, and energy access. This research project seeks to inform these decisions by examining the potential effects of different public policies on future energy development on Native American lands. It will do so by (i) directly engaging with multiple oil and gas producing tribes, (ii) employing energy and geospatial modeling techniques, and (iii) analyzing law and policy.
  • Energy Savings Devices on Heavy Duty Truck Trailers. RFF has been collecting data on the use of energy saving devices on trailers for heavy duty trucks using major arteries in the mid-Atlantic region.  We are using this data in an analysis of the in-use incidence of these technologies.  The intern working on this project will expand the data base on the use of energy saving devices on trailers for heavy duty trucks. With this expanded set of data, the intern would carry out statistical analysis to identify key factors affecting the use of these devices.
  • How Does Public Transit Service Quality Affect Ridership and Traffic Congestion? The objective of the project is to conduct 1-2 case studies of how changes in public transit service quality affect ridership and traffic congestion. The summer intern will have two tasks: a) complete a review of the literature on the effects of public transportation fares and service quality on ridership; and b) identify 1-2 suitable cases studies and collect data on ridership.
  • Can Removing Development Subsidies Promote Adaptation? The Coastal Barrier Resources System as a Natural Experiment. As natural disasters grow in frequency and intensity under climate change, limiting populations and properties in harm’s way will be key to adaptation. This project evaluates the effectiveness of one policy approach to discouraging development in risky areas— the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) of 1982, which eliminated federal incentives for development, such as infrastructure investments, disaster assistance, and subsidized federal flood insurance. We seek an intern with skills in geospatial analysis to assist in estimating the effects of the CBRA on development, disaster damages, and local property taxes.
  • Developing US & Canadian Electric Power Transmission Network Models for Power Sector Simulations. Working with RFF's E4ST power sector model, this project will simplify models of the eastern, western and Texas transmission grids, using the Ward reduction process.
  • Does Weather Volatility Limit Effective Adaptation to Climate Change? This project leverages a new dataset created by RFF researchers to ask if weather volatility impacts economic agents' ability to adapt to climate change. For example, in the agricultural sector, we will examine whether differences in temperature and rainfall volatility drive differences in the adoption of adaptive technologies (e.g. irrigation, flood resistant crop varieties) and the negative effects of climatic conditions on crop yields.
  • Wildfires, Air Quality, and Avoidance Behavior. The growing frequency and intensity of wildfires have exposed millions of people to elevated levels of air pollution due to smoke. The resulting health effects depend crucially on people’s behavioral responses to limit such exposure. In this project, we use smart thermostat data to study whether people change their time spent indoors in response to wildfire smoke and the degree to which they can make such adjustments. We seek an intern with data analytics skills to assist in dataset assembling and estimation.

To apply visit this page and fill out the application.