Please note:  IPA Volunteerships are unpaid. 

IPA seeks a US-based student volunteer to work on the Policy & Communications team in the summer of 2018. This position is based in New York, NY (preferred) or New Haven, CT. The student volunteer will assist in in supporting and growing IPA’s external communications and policy outreach and internal knowledge management. The student volunteer will be mentored and supported by IPA’s growing global Policy & Communications team. This position offers a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience in an organization undertaking cutting-edge social science research.

What You Will Gain:

  • Experience working with a mission-driven organization at the forefront of social science research about global poverty.
  • A multitude of opportunities to learn about the existing evidence and the ongoing research and policy questions in the sectors where IPA works.
  • An understanding of the operations of a large international organization.
  • Experience translating complex academic work into language understood by the people who are best-positioned to use it.
  • A chance to participate in long-term strategic planning for IPA’s future.


Learning Opportunities

These are flexible depending on the volunteer’s skills, interests, and previous experience. Examples of projects that this position may support include:

  • Significant involvement in a review and classification project of existing IPA research to help the organization track its impact and prepare its future research agenda.
  • Supporting the team on a range of written projects for external audiences.
  • Literature reviews and other secondary research support.
  • Supporting website content updates and improvements.
  • Assisting with the overall execution of IPA’s external research and policy communications strategy.
  • Other responsibilities as assigned.
  • Currently pursuing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in social sciences, history, communications, or a related field
  • Excellent writing and copy-editing skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to prioritize in a fast-paced environment
  • Close attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ability to closely read, understand, and succinctly summarize rigorous social science research
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Word and Powerpoint
  • Ability and desire to work closely with a team, including some remote members
  • Strong interest in international development, economics, social science research, and/or social policy
  • Experience with knowledge management, basic HTML, Drupal, and/or Salesforce is a plus
Application Instructions 

1) Send a resume and a cover letter to

  • In the email body: Put your full name, first (given) name followed by last (family) name.
  • Attachments: Please attach your resume and cover letter.
  • In the subject line: Copy exactly the following position line: Summer 2018 Policy and Communications Student Volunteer Application
About IPA 

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. In recent decades, trillions of dollars have been spent on programs designed to reduce global poverty, but clear evidence on which programs succeed is rare, and when evidence does exist, decision-makers often do not know about it. IPA exists to bring together leading researchers and these decision-makers to ensure that the evidence we create leads to tangible impact on the world. Since its founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 575 leading academics to conduct over 650 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 


Innovations for Poverty Action is an EO Employer-MF/Veteran/Disability. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected class. IPA will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you believe you require such assistance to complete this form or to participate in an interview, please contact us at or via phone at 1-203-772-2216. Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work to be performed by the specified position. The statements are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet organizational needs as necessary. Please note that IPA will never request any form of payment from an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to confirm the information listed above with IPA prior to releasing any extensive personal information to the organization. Please direct questions to

** Please note that only qualified applicants will be contacted by the hiring manager.