A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

START fosters a collaborative, multidisciplinary environment to create a team to meet the needs of the homeland security enterprise and train the next generation of scholars and practitioners. 

International Crisis Behavior Project Internship - Fall 2018

International Crisis Behavior Project Internship - Fall 2018

July 8, 2018
Semester Year: 


The International Crisis Behavior Project (ICB) has for over 40 years collected and analyzed data on all military security crises in the international system. Under the direction of its founders Michael Brecher and Jonathan Wilkenfeld, ICB focuses on crucial themes including crisis trigger, major response, crisis management techniques, third party intervention including mediation, and forms of crisis outcomes. Recently, ICB has collaborated with the University of California San Diego (UCSD) on a long-term project focusing on cross-domain deterrence (CDD) in international crises. That is, the use of deterrence in one domain (for example economic sanctions) to counter an adversary’s behavior in another domain (armed attack). This joint University of Maryland/UCSD effort involves the merging of the CDD and ICB datasets prior to empirical analysis for both the academic and policy communities. Work on this project is funded by the Minerva Research Initiative, administered jointly by the Office of Basic Research and the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense.

By joining the ICB Project this fall, students will experience what it is like to be a member of a large, multi-disciplinary team of researchers focusing on policy relevant questions in the area of national security. Interns will also gain valuable data management and analytical skills, will be able to network with academic leaders and peers, and participate in career development workshops.  

Supervisor: Alexis Li (alexisli@umd.edu

Deadline to apply: Sunday, July 1, 2018; 11:59pm

The ICB Project is seeking 4 interns for the fall semester 2018. Interns must be either upper-level undergraduates or graduate level students. The interns will:

  • Work with ICB senior staff in identifying CDD variables to be adapted and then imported into the ICB dataset, with particular focus on escalation management in gray zone crises (such as Ukraine, South China Sea, Syria, Yemen);
  • Import the new variables and conduct preliminary examinations to determine which are most promising for further analysis;
  • Participate with ICB senior staff in the development of coding procedures and codebooks for further data collection;
  • Identify hypotheses to be tested in follow-on simulation and experimental work.

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Research on cross domain deterrence in international conflicts and crises;
  • Identification of key variables for analysis;
  • Creation of spreadsheets with merged ICB/CDD variables;
  • Preliminary analysis of data;
  • Preliminary identification of research questions for further analysis;
  • Engaging in the University of Maryland START Center educational enrichment program and speakers’ series.

Required/minimum qualifications:

  • Graduate students or undergraduate seniors and juniors only;
  • Excellent communication, research, persuasive writing, and editing skills;
  • Must be in good academic standing;
  • Must have attention to detail;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in MS Word and Excel;

Preferred/ideal qualifications:

  • Demonstrated academic proficiency or personal experience/interest in one or more of the following:
    • Regional / Functional Expertise (i.e., Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, East Asia, North Africa, Russia, Latin America);
    • International relations international conflict and crisis.

US citizenship requirement: No

General Information for all START Internships


Currently START Headquarters is located at 8400 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD 20740, however we will be moving to a new location in May of 2018. Our new office will be located in the Discovery District in College Park, MD. Our exact address will be provided upon being invited for an interview. All internship hours must be completed at this new office unless otherwise specified. Working remotely is not permitted. 

Schedule Requirements:

Orientation Date: Thursday, August 23rd, 2018. All interns are required to attend orientation. You may be required to attend an additional day of orientation on Friday, August 24th, 2018. Your supervisor will inform you if you are required to attend both days.
Internship Duration: Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 to Friday, December 7th, 2018. All interns must be able to commit to the duration of the whole program.
Work Hours: All interns must work at least 10 hours per week during the Fall 2018 program. Work hours are scheduled from Monday to Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm. Interns may not work longer than 8-hour shifts.

Other Information:

  • All internships are UNPAID and START is unable to provide travel stipends or housing arrangements.
  • We strongly encourage and recommend that interns seek academic credit for their internship through their home institution or department, if possible.
  • If undertaking the internship for credit, you must indicate this on your application form. Be sure to notify your internship supervisor if you need to work more than 10 hours per work for this reason.
  • Applicants interested in applying for an internship for any semester other than or in addition to Fall 2018, must submit a separate application for each semester with the correct application form for that semester.

How to Apply for START Internships:

START is currently accepting applications for Summer and Fall 2018. The summer application form will be open until Sunday, March 25, 2018 11:59pm and the Fall application form will be open until Sunday, July 1 2018. However some projects for the fall semester have an earlier application deadline of June 17th at 11:59pm. Late, incomplete, or applications not submitted correctly will not be considered. To access the application: click here.


  • Applicants must pay close attention to the requirements of each internship they are applying for, including attendance to team meetings and minimum time commitment. Inability to attend compulsory meetings or work the minimum required hours will result in the revocation of any offer made.
  • Address your cover letter to the internship supervisor of your first choice project.
  • Failure to complete the application form in full, including the selection of 1-3 internship preferences could result in your application being rejected without further consideration.
  • Failure to submit the proper materials according to the directions provided in the project description could result in your application being rejected without further consideration.
  • Due to the high volume of applicants, only top candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.
  • Applicants may be asked to attend more than one interview.
  • Any successful candidate will be asked to respond with a firm acceptance within 48 hours of the offer being made. Failure to respond could result in the vacancy passed to another candidate.
  • Any questions regarding the specific requirements for the internship vacancy should be directed to the supervisor(s) listed for the project.
  • Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to the START Education Team at internships-start@umd.edu.

Application Materials:

All internship applicants must submit all materials in one .pdf file using the file name format:

LastName, FirstName_InternCandidate.pdf or .doc.

 The internship application packet should include the following documents in the following order:

  • One page cover letter
  • One page resume
  • Official or unofficial transcript(s)
  • Two-page writing sample (Communications applicants must submit two writing samples.)

Note for International Students:

START welcomes applications from international students for all of our internships where US citizenship is not a requirement (see the qualifications listed for each project for details).

It is, however, the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that their visa or immigration status permits them to undertake an unpaid internship. It is also the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all proper paperwork, like documented approval from your home institution, is available and processed in time for the start of the internship. Failure to comply with these stipulations, or provide the paperwork required to verify your status, will result in your internship offer being rescinded without further consideration. START is unable to sponsor visas for non-US Citizens due to the short timeline of our program and the lengthy processing time for visas. Unfortunately, this largely limits our ability to accept anything other than F-1 visas on regular, not OPT, status.