Summer Associates FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What degree level should I have to apply for this program?
Our preference for the program is graduate students, but we will consider undergraduates who are rising seniors (graduating in Winter of 2023/Spring 2024). In either case, students must be returning to an academic institution in the fall to continue their educational pursuits.

If I am a PhD student, am I eligible to apply for the Summer Associate Program?
Yes, as long as you continue your education the following semester. If you have already obtained your degree, we suggest checking out the IDA career postings website for ads targeting candidates with PhDs.

What is the timeline for application evaluation?
Evaluation of applications will be on-going between October and February.

What does the interview process involve?
Typically, our interviews are conducted via phone by Research Staff Members who work within the research divisions.

In which research areas do Summer Associates work?
IDA research areas depend on the needs of our sponsors. Although previous experience and expertise are often factors in deciding who works on what, Associates work within a variety of disciplines and are encouraged to work in areas outside of their major. IDA generally has tasks in areas related to computer science, information technology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, aero/astronautical engineering, mechanical or electrical engineering, materials science, statistics, economics, as well as social and behavioral sciences, human resources, security, international relations, policy studies, and finance.

What kind of work do Summer Associates perform?
IDA tasks are team based, and Associates are an essential part of the team. Every project and sponsor has unique needs, but Associates are usually involved in, and develop expertise in, many activities, such as designing approaches used to answer relevant questions, reviewing literature, preparing and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data, researching technical issues, and writing reports.

What do Summer Associates do after the program ends?
IDA encourages Associates to continue with their advanced degree program or other opportunities that allow for career growth. Former Associates have gone on to work at academic institutions, federal government agencies or other Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC’s). Many Associates have applied and been hired for full-time opportunities at IDA.

Is the Summer Associate Program a paid internship?
Yes, the Summer Associate Program is a paid internship.

What travel accommodations does IDA offer to Summer Associates?
IDA pays travel expenses for one round-trip for out-of town Associates.

Will the Summer Associates be provided with housing?
Housing and daily transportation are not covered as part of the program. IDA provides resources to assist the Associates in locating housing in the Washington, DC and northern VA area.

When do Summer Associates begin their program?
Associates are required to attend the 8-week core period between June 3, 2024 and July 26, 2024. An additional 2 weeks (or more) either before or after the core period is required for a complete 10 week internship. In some cases opportunities exist for associates to work a few weeks longer than the 10-week minimum.

Do I have to have a security clearance to apply?
No, you do not need to hold a security clearance to apply. However, all applicants must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified material and will be subject to a security investigation.

If I am not a U. S citizen, am I eligible for the program?
No, you must be a U.S. citizen to be considered for the program.

Whom do I contact if I have more questions?
Send queries via email to