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.

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.  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:

  • Class of 1991 Internship Fund: In honor of their 25th Reunion, Harris graduates from 1991 raised over $17,000. Each summer, one Harris student will receive a minimum of $3,000 from the Class of 1991 Internship Fund to support their work in a substantive, unpaid internship. The fund will support students for a total of five years, until the class of 1991 gathers for their 30th reunion.
  • 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

You can have a direct impact on a student’s future through several internship funding opportunities:

  • With a donation of $200,000, you can fund a named endowed international internship.
  • With a donation of $150,000, you can fund an endowed domestic internship
  • With a donation of $100,000, you can support a named endowed Chicago internship

You may choose to have the internship named for you, and you will also receive an annual report about the student who receives the scholarship. Those who support international and domestic internships may also make recommendations on the award recipient.

Alumni and BallotReady co-founders Aviva Rosman and Alex Niemczewski
Student profile

App the Vote!

Alumni and BallotReady co-founders Aviva Rosman and Alex Niemczewski developed a nonpartisan online voter guide.
Zion Township-Lauren Daurizio
A team of Harris Policy Labs students were invited to present at a special meeting convened by the Zion Township Supervisor in January, 2017. Following their presentation, Harris students Dan Gold, Hannah Bent, and Corey Husak 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. After the presentation, the Zion Township Supervisor, Cheri Neal, shakes hands with student Hannah Bent. (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)
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. (Photo by Jean Lachat)
ArtHouse Project
Student Becca Sherman conducts a survey with an attendee at the ArtHouse launch in November, 2017, in Gary, Indiana. Policy Labs students designed surveys and 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
The ArtHouse students with Karen Freeman-Wilson, Mayor of Gary, and Theaster Gates, Place Lab Director, their respective staffs, and Policy Labs advisors, after the team presented its findings to their clients. (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
Policy Labs students Mika Choi, Jenna Romlin, and David Fuentes conduct a survey of a park visitor at McKinley Park Fieldhouse. The team designed and conducted a survey aimed at identifying barriers to visiting Navy Pier by residents in neighborhoods with low visitorship. (Photo by Ben Kolak)
Students present their survey results to Navy Pier.
After conducting more than 200 surveys, the Policy Labs team analyzed the results and developed their recommendations to Navy Pier on how to attract more visitors to the most popular Midwest tourist destination. Here they discuss their findings with Navy Pier CEO, Marilynn Gardner, and her management team. (Photo by Ben Kolak)