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Data Engineering Intern (Office of Technology and Data Science)

About Urban Institute:

At the Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. As a nonprofit focusing on social and economic policy, our researchers and policy entrepreneurs open minds, shape decisions, and identify transformative solutions to the most pressing issues of our time.


Our Mission:

To open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.


Our Values:

Collaboration, Equity, Inclusivity, Independence, and Integrity


For more information on the Urban Institute, please visit


The Opportunity:

The Office of Technology and Data Science data engineering intern will work closely with software engineers, data scientists, and other programmers to assist in both day-to-day and long-term projects. They will contribute to systems and processes that support data-intensive analysis using programming languages such as R and Python and cloud environments such as AWS.


The intern in this position should expect to develop their skills in gathering and translating user requirements into technical specifications, coding and developing applications, and leveraging cloud technology to support data science and policy research. They will be tasked with helping to develop a proof-of-concept system to lower barriers for analyzing data and modeling in the cloud. Working closely with other data engineers, they may also contribute to developing and improving data pipelines, tools, platforms, and open-source software across ongoing projects.


What You’ll Do:

Responsibilities include:

  • Develop a proof-of-concept project with support from data engineering staff
  • Contribute to a blog post, paper, or other published written product
  • Explore emerging technologies and make recommendations for how they can support research and analysis across the Urban Institute
  • Work on an Agile programming team in a LEAN environment


Who You Are:

The successful candidate will:

  • Have or be in pursuit of a degree in computer science, data science, mathematics, statistics, public policy, or a related field
  • Have 1-2 years of programming experience with R and/or Python
  • Have some exposure to large-scale computing and/or cloud technology (e.g., AWS)
  • Be comfortable using version control tools such as git and GitHub
  • Be able to clearly communicate with both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Demonstrate an interest in economic and social policy


Program Highlights:

  • 10-week paid internship; full-time preferred, but strong candidates will be considered for part-time positions
  • Internship program designed to provide students interested in research, public policy issues, and organizational operations with rewarding and substantive work assignments that contribute to Urban's mission
  • Intern Program Dates: June 10 - August 16
  • Participate in our New Intern "Welcome" Orientation
  • Network with Operations Staff, Senior Professionals, and others who will support your professional growth and career interests
  • Participate in intern-specific workshops and networking events designed to advance your professional development and build your soft skills
  • Engage in team-building activities that forge new friendships with other Urban Interns
  • Receive informal feedback and mentoring from your intern manager
  • Present the value of your contribution and what you learned during our End of Summer Lightning Talks


What You’ll Experience:

No matter your role with Urban, you will contribute to meaningful work that makes a difference for people and communities across the country. And whether you call the Washington, DC area or elsewhere home, you can expect to be part of a welcoming and hybrid workplace. We are committed to cultivating a community and working in a manner defined by collaboration, equity, inclusivity, independence, and integrity.


Urban’s greatest asset is our people.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned. This posting is not an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Urban management reserves the right to amend and change duties, responsibilities, and requirements to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

The Urban Institute is an equal-opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender or gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy or family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected status under applicable law.

The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.

We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. If you have a physical and/or mental disability and are interested in applying for employment and need special accommodations to use our website to apply for a position, please contact Human Resources at  Reasonable accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.