Internships FAQ

How to Apply

Please follow the link below to apply for an internship.

Internship Application

Deadlines to apply:

Fall term: August 18th

Winter term: December 6th

Spring term: January 15th

Summer term: March 17th

If you have questions about interning in with Senator Merkley’s office please contact Hayes Ingraham, Correspondence Manager and Intern Supervisor, at

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

Interns are matched based on interest and experience with a legislative staff who work in specific policy areas. Interns are often called upon to attend briefings, write memos, and draft constituent correspondence. Interns also work with the State offices and assist with community outreach and constituent services. All interns assist with reviewing incoming correspondence. Interns working in-person, as provide administrative support to day-to-day operations.

The office also offers communications internships. These internships provide the opportunity to work with members of a congressional communications team in all aspects of press and digital operations. Responsibilities of a communications intern include preparing news clippings, conducting research, updating online content, drafting press and digital materials, and performing a variety of administrative tasks. Please indicate in your application or during the interview process if communications interest you.

Do remote internships differ from an in-person or hybrid internship?

Not much. Remote interns are still expected to attend meetings, briefings, conduct research, and working with policy, operations, and correspondence teams. Remote interns work online and do not go in to a physical office location, however there may be the opportunity for limited- in-person work for fully remote interns, depending on location.

In-person internships may be fully in-person or hybrid – offering both remote and in-person capability and are dependent upon location, staffing needs, office capacity, and COVID-19 community levels.

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.

When do internships begin and end?

Internships are offered year-round. Internships are offered for summer, fall and spring terms and normally match up to academic schedules; both quarter and semester schedules can be accommodated. 

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

For 100% remote internships, interns do not need to be Washington, DC or near one of Senator Merkley’s offices in Oregon. Interns should not plan on coming in to the office. For those that are seeking a hybrid opportunity, you will need to be near one of the office locations.

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

What time zone or hours are required?

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.

Is the internship paid?

A limited number of scholarship positions are available to full- or part-time remote interns. 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.

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).  

If I intern in D.C. is housing provided? Where will I live while interning in D.C.?

Housing is not provided, but Intern Coordinators can provide you with a list of places where interns often find housing. Previous interns have lived in local university dorms, made use of intern housing services, and have even stayed with family members in the area.

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

Our Intern Coordinators make every effort to reply promptly once an application is submitted. If you are concerned about the status of your application, please call our DC or Portland office.

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

To intern with Senator Merkley’s office on either a remote or in-person basis, applicants must be able to intern on either a full time (40 hours a week) or part time (20-25+ 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. Internships typically last 10-14 weeks but can run an entire semester.  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 or email