Jobs & Internships

Internship applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Public Scholars Project Fellow

Job Type: Internship (Unpaid)

Location: Washington, DC


The Religious Freedom Center, a dynamic and growing department within the Newseum Institute, seeks accomplished, motivated, and collaborative researchers to join the next cohort of graduate Public Scholars Project (PSP) Fellows associated with the Public Scholars Project.

The Public Scholars Project is a joint initiative of the Public Understanding of Religion Committee of the American Academy of Religion and of the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute. Through seminars and other resources, the Public Scholars Project equips scholars of religion to effectively communicate in the public sphere and to foster religious literacy.

In support of this initiative, onsite PSP Fellowships are available to graduate students who will conduct academic research at the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C., and who are either eligible to receive academic credit for their fellowship experience or enrolled as a doctoral student in good standing. There are currently five fellowship tracks available to applicants.

  1. Religious Literacy: For graduate students who conduct research about religious identity formation, best practices for teaching about religion, as well as those interested in developing online and onsite religious literacy programs for members of the American Academy of Religion.
  2. Religion and News Media: For graduate students who conduct research on best practices for reporting on religion in the United States and abroad and are interested in providing online and onsite media literacy training for members of the American Academy of Religion.
  3. Law and Religion: For graduate students who wish to conduct legal research on the historical developments of church/state relations in the United States or on contemporary legal issues concerning religion and American public life. Fellows in this track will have the opportunity to develop online and onsite civic literacy programs for members of the American Academy of Religion.
  4. Religion and Human Rights: For graduate students who wish to conduct international legal research on the human right to freedom of religion or belief with specific attention to four frames: freedom of, for, from and within religion. Fellows in this track will have the opportunity to develop online and onsite human rights programs for the Religious Freedom Center’s graduate course on human rights as well as Newseum programs on international human rights issues.
  5. Religion and Public Education: For graduate students who study the intersection of religion and education in the United States and around the globe.

All PSP Fellows will be able to develop a research agenda that is compatible with their interests, their degree program requirements, and one of the five fellowship tracks outlined here. PSP Fellows are expected to participate in the academic community of the Religious Freedom Center when possible. Participation in our research community may include support with curriculum development or a lecture or lectures to students in our graduate-level courses. Fellowships last one to two semesters, as determined by the respective graduate schools. Onsite research hours are flexible within the timeframe of Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern; offsite research hours on Fridays can be negotiated.

The fellow will work from the Religious Freedom Center, located at the Newseum—a 250,000-square-foot museum of news that offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits. The Newseum sits on America’s Main Street between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, adjacent to the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall. The Newseum is easily accessible by metro on the red, green, and yellow lines. PSP Fellows will be given a workspace—including a computer, telephone, and office supplies—as well as access to a scanner/copier/printer and meeting space.

The Religious Freedom Center is a nonpartisan national initiative focused on educating the American public about the religious liberty principles of the First Amendment. Reorganized in 2010 to expand on religious liberty initiatives begun by the First Amendment Center in 1994, the Religious Freedom Center has sponsored numerous public programs at the Newseum, developed partnerships with national and international organizations, and brought together a broad range of religious and civil liberties groups. The Religious Freedom Center carries out the mission by educating thought leaders, promoting civil dialogue, engaging the public, transforming schools, and publishing religious liberty scholarship.

As an association of more than 8,000 teachers and research scholars based at hundreds of institutions of higher education, the American Academy of Religion (AAR) fosters excellence in the academic study of religion and enhances the public understanding of religion.

Please visit to learn more about the Public Scholars Project and about the center’s mission, guiding framework, campus, partners, religious liberty courses, dialogue programs, and publications.


  • All applicants must be eligible to work in the United States.
  • All applicants must be enrolled in and be in good standing with an accredited graduate program.
  • All applicants must either be eligible to receive academic credit for their fellowship experience or enrolled as a doctoral student in good standing.
  • All applicants must possess strong intellectual capacities and substantive academic accomplishments in their respective fields of study.
  • All applicants must possess superior collaborative and interpersonal skills to successfully work as part of a research team and to manage the extensive interaction with a wide range of individuals and groups.

Application Process

Please download and complete the fellowship application form at E-mail your application to with a cover letter, resume or CV, and reference list. Please combine these documents into ONE MSWord document or PDF and name it LastName_FirstName. Your cover letter should emphasize your research interests and career goals. Use your resume to detail your relevant educational, professional, and volunteer experiences. Please also include at least three references, including one faculty member from your current school. For questions about the application process or the Religious Freedom Center, please contact Religious Literacy Specialist, Benjamin P. Marcus at or (202) 292-6469.

For the Fall 2017 semester:

  • Apply by: August 15, 2017
  • Notified: August 31, 2017

For the Spring 2018 semester:

  • Apply by: October 1, 2017
  • Notified: Nov. 1, 2017

For the Summer 2018 semester:

  • Apply by: March 1, 2018
  • Notified: April 1, 2018

Application Deadline

Until filled

The Newseum and Newseum Institute are Equal Opportunity Employers.