Sarah completed an independent study on solar energy with the Energy Transition Initiative. She conducted extensive research, wrote several reports, and participated in an energy policy simulator project.

Savannah worked for the Demographics Research Group on numerous projects from assisting with a report on the demographic impact of the Civil War to helping to develop a blog post on fertility trends in Virginia.

Kim worked for the Cooper Center for Survey Research as a research assistant on a range of projects from writing methods reports to doing statistical analysis to learning how to be an interview caller. 

Unique Internships and Paid Employment


The Cooper Center offers its own internships directly through the Center or through UVA’s Internship Placement Program to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in public service work. Whether working in one of our research units, our leadership development programs, or our media group, students will become integral members of the team and gain practical skills they can apply to their studies and future careers. Occasionally, units within the Cooper Center are able to offer paid positions to undergraduate students. This is especially true in the Center for Survey Research.

Internship/Employment Details

  • The structure of the internship or employment will be determined by the Cooper Center unit that supervises the student.
  • In the past, students have contributed to the Center in the following ways:
    • Assisted demographers with research on population data projects, co-authored blog posts, and attended client meetings.
    • Helped to produce Cooper Center official podcast series, videos to help illuminate the work of the Center, and animations for use on websites and in presentations.
    • Joined the Center's Energy Transition Initiative team, contributing to the work on solar energy through research and report writing, creating visualizations for an energy dashboard, and simulating ways to supply Virginia's electricity with renewables.
    • Contributed to survey research by working on client projects, serving as a telephone interviewer, analyzing statistical data, and assisting with methods reports. 


To apply, visit the Internship Placement Program website or if you are interested in working within a particular unit in the Cooper Center, contact the director/manager of that unit:

More Stories from Undergrads

Lauren completed an internship with the Cooper Center Energy Transition Initiative. She worked primarily on helping to develop the Clean Energy Dashboard for the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy.

Jamie completed an internship with the Sorensen Institute. As part of her internship, she helped to recruit students to the High School Leaders Program and developed a  presentation of Sorensen recruitment efforts for Board members.

Thomas worked for the Cooper Center for Economic and Policy Studies on a variety of projects including developing a web application for the SolTax program that allows localities in Virginia to estimate tax revenue by investing in solar.  

Nadezhda worked for the Center for Survey Research on client-based projects as a telephone interviewer and has gained a deeper understanding of survey data collection and ethical practices when conducting surveys.   

Alexis worked for the Cooper Center for Economic and Policy Studies, Energy Transition Initiative, creating visualizations for an energy dashboard and simulating ways to supply Virginia's electricity demand with renewables.