Undergraduate Opportunities

Our next round of recruiting September 5, 2023 for AY 2023-2024 Positions

NNSI will hiring strategic communication interns for a September 25, 2023 start. If you are interested, please send an e-mail explaining what you hope to learn from this experience and a resume to shumate@northwestern.edu. Interviews will be conducted via zoom or in person.


The Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact (NNSI) is looking for two strategic communication interns for 2023-2024 academic year. These intern will gain valuable experience writing and creating media for various NNSI outlets aimed at nonprofit and civic leaders, policymakers, and undergraduate students. Responsibilities include:

  • Writing a weekly blog about NNSI research, relevant social impact news, and NNSI personnel
  • Designing communication campaigns including social media, podcast, website, and event planning elements.
  • Publishing a monthly e-newsletter, using Zoho Campaigns, to our extensive nonprofit leader e-mail list.
  • Created automated drip e-mail marketing campaigns.
  • Creating new content for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles.
  • Updating the NNSI website and electronic sign in the Frances Searle building.

Successful candidates will be self-starters and champions for NNSI communications. Students should have some experience writing for a general audience. Students with a background in journalism, IMC, or the strategic and organizational communication module from Communication Studies are preferred. Students are paid $18/hr and are expected to work a minimum of 8 hours per week. Students may work remotely. In addition, students will attend weekly NNSI team meetings.


* Note that NNSI is not hiring new Research Assistants this fall. All our research assistants have returned!


NNSI offers early research experience in designing and managing interorganizational networks designed to make a social impact. We conduct field research, surveys, and interviews with networks ranging from 8 organizations to 100s. Our research designs are mixed methods, which means we integrate multiple designs to come to a fuller understanding of the optimal design and best management practices associated with improved educational, health, or economic outcomes for individuals/families. We have focused on a network designed to support the help-seeking process by providing referrals to providers. This work focuses on three questions:
·       What role should human navigators (e.g., call center operators, community resource advocates, coordination center employees) play in referral networks?
·       How can community resource referral technologies, the class of technologies that support these networks, be better designed and utilized?
·       What types of interventions better support positive outcomes for clients and improve economic and health equity?:

Students will work on grant-funded research projects. Some possible tasks include:

  • Conducting interviews with organizational leaders about their organization and networks.
  • Data cleaning: to both code and structure the dataset at different levels.
  • Conducting descriptive analysis: to use R to run descriptive analysis (you’ll learn R with us)
  • Writing reports: to translate our preliminary research findings in a white paper/reports for local communities participating in the research project.
  • Writing literature reviews and creating annotated bibliographies for academic articles.

How we work:

  • The positions pay $18/hr, and we ask that you commit to a minimum of 2 quarters. We ask that you commit a minimum of 8 hours a week to the job, though we can accommodate up to 20 hours per week.
  • We meet weekly to do professional development training about social impact and research. You’ll learn a lot.
  • You’ll find a community of like-minded people – we have up to ten research assistants, including other undergraduates and Ph.D. students working together.
  • You’ll learn how to do research, how to write more effectively, and how to get research noticed.