Internship FAQ

What does an intern in Senator Merkley’s office do?

Interns are matched based on interest and experience with a legislative team member who work in specific policy areas. Interns are often called upon to attend briefings, write memos, and draft constituent correspondence. Interns also provide administrative and day-to-day support for the office. 

The office also offers press internships. Press internships offer a unique opportunity to work with members of a congressional communications team. Responsibilities of a press intern include preparing press clippings, conducting research, updating the web site, drafting press materials, and performing a variety of administrative tasks. If this is something that interests you, please let us know when you apply or during your interview.


How does a remote internship differ from traditional?

Remote interns are still expected to attend meetings, briefings, conduct research, and working with policy, administrative, and correspondence teams. The interns will be working online and not going in to a physical office location.


When do internships begin and end?

Internships are offered year-round. The remote internship program will be offered for the foreseeable future and normally match up to academic schedules; both quarter and semester schedules can be accommodated.


Is the internship paid?

A limited number of scholarship positions are available to full- or part-time interns in doing a remote internships. The scholarships are designed to provide financial support for Oregonians who would not otherwise be able to afford the opportunity to intern in the Senator’s office.  For more information on the scholarship program, click here.


Do I need a computer or other equipment to be able to intern?

All Senate work must be on Senate equipment, therefore each intern will be issued a laptop.


Will I need to, or be able to go into the office?

As this is a 100% remote, online internship, interns do not need to be Washington, DC. Interns should not plan on coming in to the office.


What time zone or hours are required?

While the remote internship is primarily working with the Senator's Washington, DC staff, the office takes remote interns from any time zone, though working primarily during regular business hours (M-F 9-5) is needed. There will be interns from several time zones working with the office.


Who is eligible for an internship?

Any individual with an interest in government and the political process as a whole is welcome to apply. Preference is given to those with Oregon residency or strong ties to Oregon. All individuals must be able to certify that they are in the United States legally.  Scholarship applicants must meet one of the citizenship and/or residency requirements set forth in Pub. L. 115-141 704 (2018).  


When should I expect to hear from the Intern Coordinator after I submit my application?

The Intern Coordinator will make every effort to reply promptly once an application is submitted. If you are concerned about the status of your application, please call (202) 224-3753.


How long is the internship, and how much time do I need to commit?

To have a remote internship with Senator Merkley's office, applicants must be able to intern on either a full time (40 hours a week) or part time (25+ hours) schedule. Interns working on a part-time schedule, are expected to work at least two full days and at least one half-day per week during the academic year. Class schedules are taken into account for the fall and spring semesters/quarters.

Each internship lasts 10-14 weeks. The fall term typically begins in late August/early September; the winter/spring term begins in January; and the summer term begins in late May/early June, with specific start and end dates flexible. Only full-time internships are offered during the summer in D.C.


You may reach the Intern Coordinator at (202) 224-3753 if you have any additional questions.

Click here to return to the previous page.