Internships - Grattan Institute


Make your mark

Grattan Institute’s internships provide opportunities for university students and recent graduates interested in public policy to develop their research skills. We also consider candidates who are exploring a career change to public policy.

Internships are open to local and international students. In response to COVID, we have successfully run both virtual and hybrid internships in 2020 and 2021.

Successful candidates will work in one of our six programs: Budget Policy and Institutional Reform, Energy and Climate Change, Health and Aged Care, Economic Policy, Education, or Transport and Cities. You are welcome to specify which program interests you, but applicants will be considered for all programs.

Internships are generally unpaid. We cover the cost of interstate travel for those who don’t live in Victoria, but we cannot cover the cost of international travel.

Funded internships

We offer two funded places per internship for candidates who are from a low socio-economic background or in significant financial hardship. These places are open to local candidates (Australian citizens or permanent residents).

Internship application dates

Grattan offers three internships each year, two in summer and one in winter. We open applications for all three internships in late July/early August and applications close at the end of August each year. 

Applications have closed for summer and winter internships 2021/2022. 

We will open applications again for summer and winter internships 2022/2023 in August 2022.

Key dates

We offer internships over winter in June – July and over summer in Nov – December and January – February. We do our best to coincide the dates with university breaks.

  • Summer internship intake 1 takes place over 4 weeks between November and December
  • Summer internship intake 2 takes place over 5 weeks between January and February
  • Winter internship takes place over 4 weeks in the month of July
  • Selection criteria

    • Demonstrated interest in Australian public policy
    • Clear communication skills
    • Strong qualitative and quantitative research skills (social sciences, sciences, statistics, law, finance, or economics) and familiarity with Excel
    • Completed at least two years of an undergraduate degree by the end of 2021

    Working days and hours

    Working hours are flexible to accommodate other commitments. Internships can be worked for a minimum of three days a week up to five days a week. Grattan requires a minimum of 20 days for the duration of the internship. You can continue the internship beyond the set period to meet the minimum 20 days’ duration.

    Written application requirements

    Applicants will be expected to submit:

    • a one-page resume;
    • an unofficial academic transcript;
    • a 500-word writing sample answering a public policy question.

    Grattan Institute is an equal-opportunity employer, and we strongly encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

    For further questions about our internship program, please contact our Head of People and Development, Jasmine Malki, on (03) 8344 0083 or at

    To be notified of advertised vacancies, register for our mailing list or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Grattan?

    We are Australian’s leading domestic public policy think-tank, based in Melbourne. Our work is independent, taking the perspective of the public interest rather than any interest group; rigorous, in obtaining the best available evidence from published work and collecting and analysing our own data; and practical in articulating what governments should do to improve the lives of all Australians.

    What kind of people are associates at Grattan?

    Our associates are economists or generalists – coming from a variety of backgrounds. Check out our experts page to see our current staff.

    Do interns work on a program?

    Yes. Generally, an intern will only work on one program during the internship to get the learning benefits of working on one unique project. Interns will have the opportunity to hear from all the Program Directors through the Intern Development Program. Our current programs are Budget and Government, Energy and Climate Change, Economic Policy, Health and Aged Care, Education and Transport and Cities. Each intern is assigned a project which we endeavour to base on your capabilities, preferences, and the skills needed for the work.

    What’s the work like?

    We work in small, focused teams – generally you will work with one or two associates and a Program Director. The work is intellectually challenging and extremely varied. It includes scoping research questions; literature reviews; devising analytical approaches; quantitative analysis; assisting to drafting sections of reports; joining meetings with stakeholders.

    What is the culture like?

    Grattan has a very short hierarchical chain. The work culture at Grattan is very inclusive. Everyone at Grattan is generous with their time and helps to develop and support interns. Being a relatively small organisation, we like to share our work and learnings with colleagues in regular informal presentations. We also maintain a collegiate environment by sharing lunch together every Monday (virtually when restrictions are in place).

    What are my development opportunities?

    There is a strong commitment to learning and development. Interns participate in a structured internship development program which complements their hands-on project experience. While at Grattan, interns will also take part in our internal Tank Time Program where development sessions are presented by internal and external guest speakers.

    Who is eligible to apply for the Internship Program?

    Internships are open to current students, graduates and professionals who are looking to explore a career in public policy. Current students must have completed at least two years of an undergraduate degree.

    What are the steps of the internship application process?

    The three-step process is as follows:

    • • Your written application requires that you submit three things which include an opinion piece with a limit of 500 words, resume limited to one page, and an unofficial academic transcript
    • • Shortlisted candidates will be invited to complete a 30 mins analytical questionnaire
    • • If you successfully complete the first two stages, you will be invited for an interview to meet with two of our Associates and our People and Culture Partner.
    What do you look for when reviewing an opinion piece?

    There are three critical elements we look for when reviewing an opinion piece, namely:

    • Style: we are looking for clarity of expression, logical and easy to follow structure and enjoyability of reading the piece. We highly recommend you take the time to read opinion pieces in the various media outlets so you can get a feel for the specific style of an opinion piece.
    • Rigour: the opinion piece must clearly demonstrate research effort; it must use evidence and demonstrate a clear analysis that generates logical conclusions.
    • Argument: the quality of your argument and specifically whether you have identified the core issues and considered both for and against arguments.

    In addition to this, we also check the word count so please make sure you keep it to 500 words.