Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

City Research Scholars Internship

Ready to act locally to tackle our greatest global challenges?

Take your interest in nonprofit management, public policy, human services, or local government to the next level by becoming a City Research Scholar.  Scholars receive $4,000 to complete ten full-time weeks of intern and research activities during the summer. Successful applicants will be matched, according to their interests and previous experience, with partners, who will then have the opportunity to vet final candidates through interviews.  This opportunity is open to all William & Mary undergraduates.

Applications for Summer 2024 are now closed.

The Charles Center is excited to offer the following internship opportunities for Summer 2024.

Internship information
download-3.png The Arc of Greater Williamsburg



The Arc of Greater Williamsburg's mission is to improve the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through community activities and advocacy.

Internship Description

The Arc of Greater Williamsburg serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities as they age out of special education at age 21. We are in the beginning stages of planning for an expansion and have many areas that need to researched and surveyed to determine what the future Arc Education Center look like and best supports the needs of our community.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Experience with creating and distributing surveys and questionnaires 

Learn more about the Arc of Greater Williamsburg here.

Internship information
thumbnail City of Williamsburg

wc,1During the 2020 State of City address, Mayor Douglas Pons unveiled a new vision statement for City of Williamsburg, charting the City's course for the future: "One Williamsburg that is courageously leading, innovating a modern city, prioritizing safety and wellness, engaging with our partners, while connecting with the world."

To advance the City's vision, every two years the Williamsburg City Council identifies and adopts new strategic objectives for City government. The biennial Goals, Initiatives, and Outcomes (GIOs) provide an expression of City priorities, as specific and measurable as possible, covering a two-year period.

Internship descriptions

The City of Williamsburg has four internship opportunities in areas that align with the City's top priorities:

  • City Photo HistoryThe City of Williamsburg is seeking a self-directed student researcher to help (1) identify partner archivists and curators for a rotating photo history of the City in the Stryker Center Art Gallery and (2) curate the first exhibit complete with museum quality mounts, descriptions, and credits.
  • Town/Gown ReportThe City is seeking a motivated student to develop an inaugural, annual Town/Gown Report that focuses on the collaboration between W&M and the City. This report will need to highlight the economic impact of W&M, the contributions of the student body to the community, and how the community enriches the student experience. The report will also need to include data on collaborative enforcement actions. The student researcher will need to identify topic areas and sources for data and work with the City’s staff to develop a digital and hardcopy report design that can be replicated annually.
  • Golf Cart Community – The City of Williamsburg is considering becoming a more micro transit-friendly community. Our first step in this direction is to evaluate the logistics and public support for becoming a golf cart city. The selected student will need to be self-initiated and driven to research the best practices of golf cart communities (a previous intern did initial reviews), consider and develop a model local ordinance based on the Code of Virginia, create transit scenarios including golf carts that are custom to Williamsburg, develop a cart requirement and inspection process, create and launch a community support tool designed to test support for golf carts as an alternative to vehicles.
  • Middle Housing – A driven and motivated student will research the topic of middle housing. Middle housing is a planning tool currently being implemented in communities nationwide, but not without controversy. The concept deconstructs single-family zoning to support more housing types, including higher-density concepts such as duplexes and accessory dwelling units. The work product of the research project will be a report that reviews successful, unsuccessful, and underway middle housing initiatives in the state and nation. The report will use this background and a working knowledge of Williamsburg’s planning ecosystem to recommend strategies and policies for consideration by our planning staff.   

For an example of the kind of project a City Research Scholar would be engaged in, read about the experience of History major Jack Boyd '23, whose research with the City paved the way for the creation of a future Williamsburg African American Heritage Trail.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests

  • Excellent organizational, research, and communications skills.
  • A strong interest in public service, community development, public policy, or related field.
  • Previous coursework in Government, Political Science, History, or related field.
  • Collaborative, team player

Learn more about the City of Williamsburg's goals here.

Internship information
lackey-clinic-cross-logo.png Lackey Clinic


Lackey Clinic is a faith-based nonprofit providing free and charitable healthcare to uninsured adults in Virginia.

Internship Description

The aim of this project is to evaluate the feasibility and impact of using new technologies to improve access, quality of care and health outcomes of our patients. Possible phases include- technology survey and review, cost and implementation analysis, timeline/tasks to implement, and projected benefits.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests
  • Ability to research and analyze technology products and understand their potential application
  • Experience in economic cost/benefit analysis
  • Ability to think strategically to envision the what and the ability to break down the steps needed to implement

 Learn more about the Lackey Clinic here

Internship information
lat-house-thumbnail Latisha's House Foundation


Latisha’s House provides a long-term, transitional housing program for adult, female survivors of sex trafficking and offers individualized support to empower them to build a bridge from their traumatic past to a positive future.

Internship description

Latisha's House is working to expand services to various subpopulations in human trafficking. The ideal intern will assist in gathering and analyzing trends surrounding services for various populations including minor victims and male victims.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests
  • Interest in nonprofit management or past experience with nonprofits
  • Student of human services or behavioral science
  • Interest in understanding and preventing sex trafficking locally and regionally
  • Excellent organizational, research, and communications skills

Learn more about Latisha's House Foundation here.

Internship information
lfl,thumb1 Literacy for Life

lfl-rodolfo-sarmiento-and-lenola.jpgIlliteracy or low literacy can limit a person’s opportunities in life. Even seemingly simple tasks like helping a child with homework or reading a medicine bottle can remain out of reach if you can’t read or speak English.  But through free and low-cost tutoring programs, as well as job support, health literacy lessons and much more, Literacy for Life is opening new doors for members of our community.

Literacy for Life empowers adults by building foundational skills for success in life and work. Volunteer tutors provide free, individualized instruction in reading, writing, math, and English language skills. Literacy for Life also offers tutoring and classes in health literacy, financial literacy, digital literacy, high school completion, work readiness, and citizenship. Our vision is that every adult in our community has access to the skills and resources they need to live thriving and self-sustaining lives.

Internship description

Literacy for Life has an existing collection of un-curated, unorganized video interviews as well as photos and B-roll. The intern will organize existing files thematically; develop a system for searching those files; and also shoot and edit new videos, interviews, and B-roll.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests
  • Videography and video editing skills
  • Ability to communicate empathetically and effectively with diverse communities
  • Ability to work independently

Learn more about Literacy for Life here.

Internship information
village-logo-tagline-black-1.webpThe Village Initiative for Equity in Education



The Village is an organization formed to promote unity and education while building a bridge between local schools and parents, to help them get connected with the tools available to aid each child in reaching their full potential. Our goal is to create the blueprint to build villages wherever they are needed.

We will work with Williamsburg-James City County (WJCC) schools to address the achievement gap and the disproportionate percentages of expulsion and suspension of minority youth which leads to the pipeline to prison. We also seek to educate the community on voting at all levels and promote social justice by inviting everyone to be part of the process.

Internship description
The intern has the opportunity to work closely with The Village Initiative, a Black-led, grassroots organization focused on equity and racial justice in the Williamsburg-James City County School Division. The intern will work with the Village on two key research tasks. First, the intern will support the organization in the creation of an archive of its work suitable for long-term archiving, ultimately in a library setting. Second, the intern will conduct archival research to support a new digital exhibit on Black communities in early 20th century Williamsburg as part of the Village's Local Black Histories Project.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests
  • Interest in Black history and preserving/reviving lost or neglected Black histories
  • Willingness to make connections in the community
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Experience with archival research, experience with managing qualitative or archival data preferred

Learn more about the Village Initiative here.

Internship information
vpfb,thumb1 Virginia Peninsula Foodbank


Virginia Peninsula Foodbank is committed to helping neighbors struggling with the hardships of food and nutrition insecurity by providing services and education to partner agencies and to our community through accurate information and quality food products, while reducing waste and caring for the environment.

Internship description

Virginia Peninsula Foodbank (VPF) has an internship opportunity focused on education, data collection and analysis, and community-centered communications. VPF is seeking an intern who will assist in the training of our partner agencies on new software which will be replacing the existing software which captures data on the individual households ("neighbors") that we and our partner agencies serve. This data currently consists of demographic data about the households, including number of members, their ages, income levels, etc. The Foodbank expects to have our current historical data transferred over to the new software no later than the Spring. Once our staff is trained, we will need assistance in training our 145 partner agencies on the new software.
Should the training take less time than expected, there will be opportunities to assist in special projects relating to our partner agencies, the neighbors we serve, and health equity.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests
  • Previous experience in data collection, analysis, and/or process improvement
  • Strong interest in health equity, nutrition, and/or cultural relevancy
  • An independent self-starter who is detail- and community-oriented
  • Ability to train others
  • Access to private transportation

 Learn more about Virginia Peninsula Foodbank here.

Internship information
9c4707_eb23c0d265f142c4a23d95a6889a48f1mv2.png Virginia Racial Healing Institute


tvg-l-racialhealing2-va0130668584.webpVirginia Racial Healing Institute is “a healing place!"  We are a safe and welcoming space to engage in dialogue, classes, and pilgrimages to foster racial healing and reconciliation at the birthplace of America.  We are helping to the heal our communities and nation, one person at time.

Internship Description

Virginia Racial Healing Institute wishes to broaden its scope of diversity training and cultural awareness programming. Research needs to capture who would benefit from such an opportunity, what is the best curriculum to utilize, and how might this be scheduled within one year with an effective evaluation tool. The ultimate goal is to build bridges that bring greater unity to the community by educating its citizens and workers (education, businesses, health field, faith-based groups, and local government) one person/group at a time!

Preferred skills, experience, and interests
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Experience in digital communication tools (Microsoft Office suite, for example)
  • Able to manage and present data

Learn more about the Virginia Racial Healing Institute here

Internship information
wfm,thumbnail2 Williamsburg Farmers Market


wfm,1The Williamsburg Farmers Market's mission is to sustain, foster, and operate a weekly farmers market in Merchants Square for growers and producers to sell fresh seasonal food and farm products direct to consumers in the Williamsburg, Virginia, area.

Internship description

Williamsburg Farmers Market seeks to understand better the farmers market's impact on the surrounding community and to share that information with stakeholders, sponsors, partners, vendors, and market shoppers. Over the past year, the market has worked to create processes to gather quality data and now needs a path to store, visualize, and share that data.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests
  • Experience working with Python, R, or similar programming languages
  • Knowledge of visualization applications
  • Knowledge of data gathering, cleaning, and transforming techniques

 Learn more about Williamsburg Farmers Market here.

About the City Research Scholar Program

As City Research Scholars, William & Mary students participate in distinctive applied learning opportunities that hone their research skills while furthering the missions of local organizations.  Through creative partnerships, we seek to create distinctive experiences that put classroom learning into practice in ways that better our world.

City Research Scholars internships are designed to be substantive and transformative.  Host institutions provide mentored research experiences that align with their needs and strategic objectives.  Students are expected to apply and practice what they learn by contributing to the creation of an original project (e.g., report, digital initiative, etc.) that reflects the latest methods and best practices in the field.

Internships may include applied learning opportunities in the areas of program development, data collection and analysis,  community engagement, or nonprofit management and leadership, etc.


Applicant must be:

  • a student in good academic standing.
  • a continuing undergraduate student (i.e., not a graduating senior).
  • eligible to work in the United States on or before May 1 of the internship year.
  • available to complete ten full weeks of intern and research activities in the summer.
  • Internships will have a research component with specifics to be arranged with the internship supervisor. Students receiving internship funding are required to blog about their research experience during the summer on the Charles Center Summer Research Blog.
  • Students are required to participate in the Internship & Applied Learning Showcase, typically held in September. 

Your application for the City Research Scholars internship includes:

  • City Research Scholars Internship Application form (online)
    • You will be asked to enter the names of two references :
      • One reference must be a faculty member who has taught you in class.
      • A second reference may be a former supervisor, acquaintance, etc. who can speak to your ability to be successful in the internship.
  • Cover Letter, addressed to the Charles Center, explaining the following:
    • why you are interested in the City Research Scholars internship
    • the skill sets, academic preparation, and special interests or experiences you possess that qualify you for the internships you selected
    • why you consider yourself a good fit for your chosen internships
    • your personal qualities that make you suitable for this opportunity
    • how this internship relates to your career and academic goals
    • what you hope to gain from this experience
  • Writing Sample, ranging from 3 to 5 double-spaced pages (not including bibliography, footnotes, or appendix) demonstrating:
    • A capacity to craft a coherent and compelling argument using primary and/or secondary sources
    • An engagement with social issues, policy, law, community, or similar topics
    • Attention to language, grammar, syntax, and overall construction
  • Resume
  • Banner (unofficial) transcript
    • To access your unofficial transcript, log in to Banner at, navigate to the “Student” tab, select "Student Records" and then “Student Profile.” On the left-hand menu of your student profile, click “Unofficial William & Mary Academic Transcript.” Select “Undergraduate” and “Web Self-Service” on the drop-down boxes. This will take you to your unofficial transcript; right click anywhere, select “Print,” and select the destination as “Save as PDF.”
  • Supplemental work (optional)
    • Demonstrates research ability not displayed in the writing sample
    • Examples include: art portfolio, digital project, community project

For more information or questions about the internship program, please contact Maxwell Cloe at

Upcoming Events



See all events