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. 

Pathways to Violence: Understanding Hate Crime Offenders - Spring 2019

Pathways to Violence: Understanding Hate Crime Offenders - Spring 2019

November 11, 2018
Semester Year: 


This internship will support START researchers in identifying and assessing the individual pathways of hate crime offenders via the new BIAS (Bias Incidents and Actors Study) dataset. BIAS builds on the team’s PIRUS (Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States) dataset, which contains information on the pathways, mechanisms, and consequences of violent and non-violent extremism at the individual level. The BIAS dataset draws on an innovative combination of research in terrorism, criminology, sociology, psychology, and political science, with the goal of identifying the configurations of background characteristics, life-course events, and social relationships that condition and facilitate individuals’ involvement in hate crimes.  

Spring interns will assist project researchers by conducting research to construct the BIAS database of individual hate crime offenders in the United States, following the PIRUS model. Interns will research information on hate crime offenders using publicly available sources and record relevant data to help researchers create unique quantitative data for use by academics, policymakers, and practitioners.

Through this internship opportunity, interns will gain the invaluable experience of contributing to a project with significant and real-time impact upon countering bias-motivated crime in the United States. Interns will also acquire insight into the pathways into violent and non-violent bias crime, current trends in hate crimes and extremist movements in the United States, as well as transferable skills in conducting open-source research.

Supervisor: Patrick James (pajames@umd.edu), Liz Yates, (eyates14@umd.edu), and Aaron Safer-Lichtenstein (asafer@umd.edu

Deadline: Sunday, November 11th, 11:59pm

Citizenship Requirement: US citizenship is not required.

Team Meeting Times: Wednesday afternoons.

Work Location: START HQ. All internship hours must be completed at START HQ, unless otherwise specified. Working remotely is not permitted.

Required Qualifications:

  • Record of strong academic achievement
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Excel and internet-based research
  • Excellent analytical skills and attention to detail
  • Strong proficiency in English
  • Strong time management skills
  • Ability to work independently and in small groups

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with coding for a social science dataset
  • Students with knowledge of extremist radicalization, bias-motivated crime, and forensic psychology are strongly encouraged to apply

General Information for all START Internships


START Headquarters is 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 office unless otherwise specified. Working remotely is not permitted. 

Schedule Requirements:

Orientation Date: Thursday, January 24th, 2019. All interns are required to attend orientation. You may be required to attend an additional day of orientation on Friday, January 25th, 2019. Your supervisor will inform you if you are required to attend both days.
Internship Duration: Thursday, January 24th, 2019 to Friday, May 10th, 2019. 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 Spring 2019 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 Spring 2019, 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 Spring 2019. The spring application form will be open until Sunday, November 11th, 2018 at 11:59pm. However some projects for the spring semester have an earlier application deadline of Sunday, October 28th, 2018 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.