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. 

Internships


Internships

START offers unpaid internships year round on a variety of our research projects and teams. During the course of their internship, participants are exposed to the most up-to-date theories, methods and information related to the study of terrorism. They are versed in critical questions being tackled by homeland security practitioners, policy makers and researchers, and they are mentored in a professional environment geared toward student success. The program is designed to prepare the next generation of homeland security scholars and practitioners through real-world research experience.

START’s internship program is open to undergraduate and graduate students (as well as some recent graduates) in any related discipline from any institution.  Each internship lasts for one term.   Participants work at least 10 hours/week during the fall and spring semesters and 20 hours/week during the summer. Our internships can be undertaken for academic credit, and this is highly encouraged.  Interns participate in a program of enrichment and career development opportunities.  All interns are required to work onsite with their research project staff. Because interns work directly with our researchers and staff on current research projects, the internship positions vary depending on our research portfolio.

START is currently accepting applications for our Summer and Fall 2014 internships. Internships available for each semester are listed below. Please note applicants must submit a separate application for each semester, if applying for both.

Summer Internship Program Notes and Application:

  • Priority Application Deadline: March 23
  • Final Application Deadline: April 6
  • Mandatory Intern Orientation: June 2-3
  • Final Day of Program: Aug. 8

**Download Summer 2014 Internship Application.**

Fall Internship Program Notes and Application:

  • Priority Application Deadline: June 8
  • Final Application Deadline: June 22
  • Mandatory Intern Orientation: Aug. 28 -29
  • Final Day of Program: Dec. 12

For Fall 2014 START will be using our new online application platform, access the application form here.

Internship Listing Internship Description Deadline Semestersort ascending
Risk Communication & Community Resilience Internship

Government, non-profits, and other organizations rely on public communication to deliver important messages to various audiences. Professional communicators today use social scientific research to improve this process, and START’s research teams have several current and upcoming communication projects that address current research questions. One research area that START specializes in is risk communication which includes threat assessment, information delivery and exchange, resource allocation, and community resilience.

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June 22, 2014 Fall 2014
Special Projects Pinch Hitter

Designed for students who enjoy variety and don’t mind multi-tasking. Enables students to work on several different focus areas depending on division needs or may be assigned to any of the other Special Projects focus areas or a new project that begins during the semester (if you are interested in many of the listed Special Projects focus areas and are having difficulty choosing your top three, this broader area may be of interest to you).

Qualifications:

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June 22, 2014 Fall 2014
Terrorist Ideology Internship

It is well recognized that, in addition to providing a focal point for its members’ grievances, ideology performs several important motivational functions, including providing an explanation for the circumstances that underlie grievances, identifying offending parties and providing overarching plans for redressing grievances. Several scholars explore ideology as a galvanizing force that attracts recruits, provides organizational cohesion, and legitimates the violent behavior of members against others and themselves (as in the case of suicide bombings).

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June 22, 2014 Fall 2014
Special Projects Advanced Research

Designed for highly motivated, high-performing students. Advanced Research Interns provide high-level research assistance on substantive research and analysis for a variety of short-term and long-term Special Projects and project proposals. More advanced concepts and analytical skills will be explored and developed. Tasking will be extremely varied and will often involve quick turnaround. Advanced Research Interns will be involved in multiple projects and have the opportunity to help transition projects into a variety of mediums and publications.

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June 8, 2014 Fall 2014
Understanding Domestic Radicalization Internship

This internship is part of the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) project, which is building a quantitative dataset on the causes of domestic radicalization and a series of case studies on individuals’ radicalization trajectories.  PIRUS has already generated significant attention among policymakers and scholars, and PIRUS researchers have written several reports and blog posts about the project. The project began in January 2013, and will be concluding at the end of 2014.

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June 22, 2014 Fall 2014
Open Source Intelligence on Organized Crime and R/N Trafficking in the United States Internship

Conduct open source research to profile domestic and transnational criminal organizations, as well as more loosely organized criminal networks, in the United States that may be relevant to attempts to traffic illicit radiological and/or nuclear material. Interns will research specific groups, write summaries of their activities, and identify new or emerging patterns relevant to national security interests.

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June 22, 2014 Fall 2014
Risk Assessment and Threat Analysis Internship

As part of a larger research team, evaluate the potential threats, vulnerabilities and consequences of a radiological/nuclear (RN) attack on critical infrastructure/key resources (CI/KR) in the United States as well as the likely costs associated with a range of defensive investments, including technical and non-technical detection capabilities.

Qualifications:

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June 8, 2014 Fall 2014
CBRN Database Coder Internship

The Profiles of Incidents involving Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Agents by Non-state Actors database - known as POICN – includes information on terrorist plots, acquisitions, and attacks relating to CBRN agents. The initial version of the database focuses on both international and domestic CBRN terrorism cases from 1990 to 2011.

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June 8, 2014 Fall 2014
Individual Radicalization of Bioscientists Internship

Interns will identify and develop in-depth profiles of biological scientists who have both radicalized and de-radicalized, and conduct historical research on de-radicalization efforts in various contexts. This project involves writing case studies of biological scientists who have radicalized and worked with extremist organizations, as well as scientists who had radicalized but later broke their ties with radical groups.

Desired Qualifications:

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June 8, 2014 Fall 2014
Global Nuclear Detection and Security

The purpose of the internship is to provide students with in-depth knowledge of the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture (GNDA) and the factors that contribute to nuclear/radiological security on a global stage. Students will be assisting the team in capturing data from previous GNDA reports and transferring it into a database/technical interface being constructed to enable analysis of risks and capabilities relating to the detection of rogue (e.g., purposely obtained by terrorists/criminals, accidentally obtained by other individuals, etc.) nuclear/radiological materials.

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June 22, 2014 Fall 2014
General GIS Internship

Interns will contribute to the construction of a global, multimodal transportation network.  Tasks will include analysis and aggregation of large-scale datasets, database triangulation, manual vector editing, extensive open-source research into traditional and illicit transportation methods, digital cartography/mapmaking, and translation of START’s qualitative research into geospatial format.  Interest/experience in global security and/or terrorism is beneficial.

Desired Qualifications:

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June 22, 2014 Fall 2014
Dataverse Assistant Editor Internship

START is a research center focused on homeland-security related issues, housed within UMD’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. START is continuing to develop the Terrorism Data Archive Dataverse, which began in June, 2011. Interns for the Dataverse Project will learn about terrorism-related data through archiving datasets and reading over documentation.

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June 8, 2014 Fall 2014
Advanced GIS Internship

Multi-modal transportation network building and analysis, terrain integration, and geostatistical analysis of large-scale models and databases.  Internship tasking will involve substantial work on a global transportation network that integrates qualitative data from varying projects at START.  Interns will perform various tasks constructing representations of existing transportation systems as well as more abstract, theoretical models of non-traditional transportation networks.  Tasking will regularly encourage creation of automated processes/tools in a model builder/python environment.

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June 22, 2014 Fall 2014
Terrorism Propaganda Research Internship

The nature of the project is analysis of several hundred transcripts of terrorist propaganda videos produced by Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda affiliate groups. One aspect of the project will be somewhat descriptive in that we hope to learn: 1) what the message of the video transcript is (e.g. to defend the prophet, to prevent future grievances, to promote jihad, etc.) as well as 2) how the message is conveyed including the type of persuasive attempt used (rational vs. emotional) and 3) who the target audience is. The coding manual taps into each of these contents.

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June 8, 2014 Fall 2014
START/State Department, Terrorist Organizations Internship

START is excited to be able to offer a limited number of highly selective intern positions to students interested in working on projects for the State Department using START data (such as the GTD) and other open sources.

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June 8, 2014 Fall 2014
Government Actions in Terror Environments Internship

What is the best way to reduce terrorist attacks? Recent research suggests that governments have a vast set of policy tools at their disposal vis-à-vis terrorist groups, and that pure reliance on repressive policies can be counterproductive. While policymakers increasingly recognize the importance of non-military counterterrorism tools in addition to military ones, it is not yet known which type of government actions are effective; and when carrots might be more effective than sticks in defeating terrorist groups.

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June 8, 2014 Fall 2014
Global Terrorism Database Internships

The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) is an open source, unclassified database including information on terrorist attacks around the world since 1970 (currently updated through 2012). The database is maintained by researchers at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. The GTD includes systematic data on domestic as well as international terrorist incidents that have occurred during this time period and now includes over 113,000 cases.

The Internship

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June 22, 2014 Fall 2014
Education Research

We are seeking graduate and exceptional undergraduate interns with interest in terrorism, terrorism education, and behavioral interaction to assist with current research Education team is working on with analyzing the real world skills gained through START education and education transition programs.  Research will focus on growth assessment and skill development in internships as well as development of gameification and simulation based learning in traditional classrooms.

Qualifications:

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June 8, 2014 Fall 2014
Naval Research Laboratory Internships

START has partnered with the Adversarial Modeling and Exploitation Office (AMX), US Naval Research Laboratory, to provide opportunities for highly qualified University of Maryland students to undertake a fall semester internship onsite at the Naval Research laboratories in Washington DC working on projects for AMX. 

The AMX has a number of ongoing research projects related to counter-terrorism, behavior detection, law enforcement, crime analysis, and geospatial analysis. Specific projects are outlined below:

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June 8, 2014 Fall 2014