At Harris Public Policy, we believe the next generation of policy leaders need the tools to understand what's best for society and the real-world experience to know how to get it done.

Donor support for internships and practica enable more students to participate in experiential learning programs, sharpening their skills while driving positive social change.

Funding for internships allows students to take unpaid or underpaid, substantive positions with governments, NGOs, and nonprofits, where they gain valuable experience on high-impact projects. One in three internships is funded by Harris and Harris donors.

Providing Invaluable Experience

Harris Policy Labs

Through Harris Policy Labs, our signature applied experience program, students work with major institutions in Chicago, from government agencies to nonprofit organizations, to address and develop solutions to an issue directly related to the client organization's mission and policy area.


Harris students are encouraged to pursue internships in order to apply and develop skills, gain professional experience, and explore career interests. Thanks to our supporters’ generosity, this year we were able to provide funding for 94 otherwise unpaid internships.

Examples of student internships funded by Harris include:

  • World Trade Organization, Switzerland: Interns provide data analysis to support the World Trade Report
  • Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kosovo: MPP candidates monitor international events and research neighboring countries
  • Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE): Working with senior policy analysts, interns develop recommendations for improving US energy security

Harris alumni also play an important role in supporting paid internship opportunities for our students, providing the next generation with invaluable professional development experience.

Recent examples include:

  • James Bartlett Fellowship Program: Thanks to the generosity of Harris alumnus John Bartlett, EPIC will offer paid internships in energy and environmental research to students during the academic year and over the summer.

How You Can Help

Make a direct impact on a student’s future by supporting the Harris Internship Fund.

When you support an international or domestic internship, you may also make recommendations on the award recipient(s). 

Endowed Internship Funds

Establish an endowed internship fund and name the internship in your honor or in honor of a loved one. You will also receive a report on each recipient.

For more information about establishing an endowed fund, please contact Rena Dascal, Director of Development, at

Headshot of Kofi Amoako-Gyan
Student profile

Student Profile: Kofi Amoako-Gyan, MBA/MPP Class of 2022

“I’m motivated by leaving some type of legacy in the Energy and Infrastructure space. I want to leave whatever I touch in a better place than I found it.”
Zion Township-Lauren Daurizio
A team of Harris Policy Labs students field a question from a Zion resident regarding their analysis of local government efficiency. (Photo by Lauren Daurizio)
Zion Township-Lauren Daurizio
Students interviewed elected officials to analyze the cost of several local government consolidation scenarios. (Photo by Lauren Daurizio)
Harris students Sarah Vogel and Paul Mack discuss their analysis of a particular segment of the state’s population of SNAP (food stamp) recipients with James Dimas, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, and his management team. A subsequent team of Policy Labs students built on their work to analyze barriers to employment, including history of incarceration, for these IDHS clients.  (Photo by Jean Lachat)
Policy Labs students discuss their analysis of Illinois' SNAP recipients with the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services. (Photo by Jean Lachat)
ArtHouse Project
Policy Labs students conducted stakeholder interviews about ArtHouse on behalf of their clients, the City of Gary and Place Lab. (Photo by Andrea Bauer)
Harris students with Gary, IN, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson
Policy Labs students and advisors with the Mayor of Gary, Place Lab Director Theaster Gates, and their respective staff after the team’s final client presentation. (Photo by Tim Lace)
Gary Project
Harris students conduct a land parcel survey to assess the number of vacant buildings in Gary. (Robert Kozloff/The University of Chicago)
Navy Pier Survey
A Policy Labs team designed and conducted a survey aimed at identifying barriers to visiting Navy Pier. (Photo by Ben Kolak)
Students present their survey results to Navy Pier.
They then developed and presented recommendations for Navy Pier on how to attract more visitors to the most popular Midwest tourist destination. (Photo by Ben Kolak)