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

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

START’s summer interns hail from across the nation— and across the Atlantic


START’s summer interns hail from across the nation— and across the Atlantic

June 29, 2015Charlotte Taylor

As the Maryland weather heats up, START’s newest interns are rolling up their sleeves to begin work on their respective projects. The START summer internship program had 306 applicants, the highest number of candidates in the program’s history.

“We had a nearly twenty percent jump in the number of internship applicants for this summer,” said Eva Coll, Internship Program Coordinator. “As the program continues to grow, we’ve had the opportunity to work with interns from a wider range of backgrounds and academic institutions.”

Approximately half of the summer interns attend institutions in Washington, D.C., Virginia or Maryland. The remaining interns hail from as far away Australia, and others still are from California, Georgia, Michigan, Utah, and other states across the country.

A majority of the interns this summer work with the Unconventional Weapons and Technology teams, including Advanced Research, Behavioral Indicators of Insider Threats, and Open Source Intelligence on Organized Crime and Terrorist Ideology. The second largest intern cohort works with the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), addressing research including Incident Location and Geographic Identification, Perpetrator Identification and Understanding the Patters and Use of Weapons and Tactics.

“START internship responsibilities can range from coding for databases, to scholarly research, to examining texts in foreign languages,” Coll said. “At START, interns have a chance to hone their research and analytical skills. But, more important, they have access to researchers who often function as mentors for the new cohort of security and intelligence professionals.” 

In addition to working on the forefront of terrorism research, interns are invited to participate in a series of seminars and talks throughout the semester.

"We frequently invite researchers, authors, law-enforcement professionals and government employees to talk about their work or recent publications,” said Beth Schwartz, Events and Communications Coordinator. “Events are a great way for interns to learn more about the counterterrorism field and to network with professionals.”

Recent START events included a book talk on June 11 presented by Bruce Hoffman, professor and director of both the Center for Security Studies and the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University, and author of Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947.

START also hosted Philip Mudd, former deputy director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center and FBI National Security Branch, who discussed his book HEAD Game: High-Efficiency Analytic Decision-Making and the Art of Solving Complex Problems Quickly.