Ronald Reagan Fellows Internship & Law Clerk Program
We've been blessed with the opportunity to stand for something, for liberty and freedom and fairness. And these things are worth fighting for, worth devoting our lives to.
-- President Ronald Reagan, speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee, March 8, 1985
The Ronald Reagan Fellows Program
An important part of the Goldwater Institute's mission is to equip young people with the knowledge and skills required to advance the free market ideals championed by President Reagan. Each year, the Institute pursues this goal by offering college students and recent graduates the opportunity to participate in the Ronald Reagan Fellows Internship Program.
The program was named in honor of the late President Ronald Reagan, a recipient of the Barry Goldwater Award for his incomparable leadership and commitment to human freedom. According to the program's founder, Mr. Dean Riesen, "It is a tribute to President Reagan's faith in future generations and will help those generations carry on the great work he began."
Through policy research, staff mentoring, seminar attendance, event participation and administrative assistance, Ronald Reagan Fellows gain a foundational understanding of the classical liberal principles that shaped Reagan's presidency. They also gain first-hand knowledge of how those principles relate to current public policy, and how organizations like the Goldwater Institute shape public policy at both local and national levels.
Fellows are selected each fall, spring and summer semesters. A minimum of 24 hours per week is required during the spring and fall semesters. All summer interns are expected to work 40 hours per week. The program offers a modest stipend.
To ensure exposure to both classical liberal principles and the operational aspects of a public policy research organization, Fellows are placed in one of three department areas: policy, communications, or special events and fundraising. Policy Fellows can expect to help policy analysts conduct research. Communications Fellows assist the communications team with a variety of tasks, including helping place opinion columns in newspapers, updating the website, and other special projects. Special Events and Fundraising Fellows can expect to assist the fundraising and events team with mailings, event planning and staffing, and donor outreach. Additionally, the Goldwater Institute hires one journalism student per semester to work with its investigative reporter. During the application process candidates should list their department preferences and every effort will be made to match Fellows with their first choice.
Fellows participate in a number of activities designed to enhance familiarity with classical liberal principles, research organizations and public policy leaders. Fellows are given reading assignments and attend in-house lunch-and-learn sessions with Institute scholars. Fellows also write one letter-to-the-editor per month in an effort to develop their writing skills and help them practice applying Goldwater Institute policy solutions to current issues facing the state. Additionally, Fellows have opportunities to network at public policy events and guest speaker forums. On occasion all Fellows will be asked to assist with major Goldwater Institute events and with large mailings.
Many Goldwater Institute interns have chosen to attend graduate school to study law, economics, or public policy. Others have gone on to assume policy research positions in the nation's capitol. The Institute has also hired interns as full-time employees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What types of activities do Fellows participate in?
A. In addition to working on projects in their department area, Fellows will have an opportunity to participate in lunch-and-learn seminars, attend local events, meet and network with public policy leaders, and receive staff mentoring. With guidance from a Goldwater Institute policy analyst, Policy Fellows may also carry out an individual research project.
Q. What can Fellows expect to gain from participation in the Ronald Reagan Fellows Internship Program?
A. The goal of the program is to expose students to both classical liberal principles and the operational aspects of a public policy research organization. Fellows can expect to gain a foundational understanding of the principles that shaped Ronald Reagan's presidency, as well as how those principles relate to current public policy, and how research organizations advance public policy at both the local and national levels.
Q. Who qualifies for participation in the program?
A. Applicants should be college juniors or seniors, graduate students or recent graduates, although exceptions may be made. Individuals should be able to work at least three full days per week; exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis. Both domestic and international applications will be considered, however, overseas applicants must possess authorization to live and work in the United States.
Q. What qualities do you look for in an ideal applicant?
A. Successful applicants will demonstrate: 1) An active interest in public policy; 2) Strong intellectual aptitude; 3) Eagerness to work cooperatively and supportively with others; 4) Exceptional judgment and integrity; 5) An appreciation for the free enterprise system and constitutionally limited government; and 6) An interest in learning how to advance free market principles.
Q. Does participation carry a stipend?
A. Yes. Fellows earn a modest stipend based on fellowship duration and hours worked.
Q. What are the deadlines for submission of application materials?
A. The deadline for summer Fellowships is March 15; for the fall semester the deadline is August 19; and for the spring semester the deadline is December 10.
Q. What are the required application materials?
A. Applicants should review the Application Process section below and submit all required material.
Q. What is the process following submission of application materials?
A. All applicants will receive acknowledgement that their materials have arrived, and those selected for further consideration will be contacted directly by Institute staff to arrange a telephone or in-person interview shortly after the application deadline has passed.
Q. What do you mean by "full-time" participation in the program?
A. Fellows are expected to work a minimum of 24 hours per week at the Institute during the spring and fall semesters. During the summer, however, only applicants who are available to work 40 hours per week will be considered. Participation in the program is typically for the duration of a semester: fall (September-mid December), spring (mid January-late May), or summer (late May-mid August). Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Q. Who should I contact if I am having difficulty with the application process, or have questions regarding the Ronald Reagan Fellows Internship Program that are not addressed on this website?
A. Questions should be directed to Roger Zetah at email@example.com.
The Goldwater Institute seeks college juniors and seniors, graduate students and recent graduates to participate in the Ronald Reagan Fellows Internship Program. Applicants should be able to work a minimum of 24 hours each week during the school year and 40 hours per week during the summer semester; part-time applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Both domestic and international applicants are encouraged to apply, however, overseas applicants must possess authorization to live and work in the United States.
Applicants best-suited for the program will possess eagerness to work and learn, exceptional judgment and personal integrity. Although the Institute does not expect Fellows to enter the program with a thorough grounding in classical liberal thought, it does seek applicants who demonstrate an active interest in public policy and an appreciation for the free enterprise system.
Individuals interested in applying for the Ronald Reagan Fellows Program should submit the following:
- Cover letter explaining interest and availability
- Two references or letters of recommendation
- Answers to questions below
- Preferred department, in order of preference (policy, communications, special events and fundraising)
Please send short answers (200 words maximum for each question) to the following three questions:
1. What do you think is the proper role of government in a free society, and how did you arrive at this view?
2. What book, speech, event or similar item has been most influential in your philosophical development?
3. What do you hope to gain from participating in the Goldwater Institute's Ronald Reagan Fellows Internship Program?
Materials should be sent to:
The Goldwater Institute
500 East Coronado Road
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Materials may also be sent via e-mail to Roger Zetah at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via fax to (602) 256-7045. No phone calls please. All applicants will be informed when their application materials are received, and those whom the Institute wishes to consider will be invited to interview either in person or over the telephone shortly after the application deadline has passed.
Applicants who have questions regarding the program or application process should first visit FAQ's about the Ronald Reagan Fellows Internship Program on this page. Further questions may be directed to Roger Zetah at email@example.com.