Researching Reality – internships with the Centre for Civil Society

Researching Reality
Image: Centre for Civil Society


The Centre for Civil Society (CCS) is a public policy, research and advocacy think-tank based in New Delhi, India. It offers two rounds of internships each year, summer and non-summer internships (northern hemisphere), for which it welcomes international and domestic applicants.


The Centre for Civil Society

The CCS aims to effect social change through high-quality policy analysis. It focuses on key issues affecting the public and private sectors in India including industry regulation, social policy and education reform. Two recent research and advocacy initiatives run by the CCS include its campaign for the Street Vendors Regulation and Protection of Livelihood Act in March 2014 and School Choice Campaign.

Dr. Parth Shah, former Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan, founded the CCS in 1997. It is well recognised internationally and was ranked in the top 50 think tanks worldwide by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Society Program’s 2014 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.


Researching Reality Internships with the Centre for Civil Society

A Researching Reality Internship with the CCS provides you with the opportunity to work on current CCS projects and gain from specific learning and development modules offered to interns. The CCS aims to enhance your understanding of governance in India and develop your qualitative and quantitative research skills.


Summer internship

The summer internship is a structured, two-month, full-time program running between May and July each year. There are up to 30 places offered: 25 ‘interns’ (at the Delhi office) and five ‘externs’ (located outside Delhi).

As the CCS puts it, the program is structured around “nurturing collective learning and individual discovery”.

In addition to involvement in ongoing CCS work and learning and development activities, you will choose a research topic to work on for the duration of the internship. You get to select from a list of CCS topics, with the intention that your chosen topic aligns with both your own research interests and the objectives of the CCS. To assist you, you are assigned a research guide, who has specific content and project management expertise. Previous interns’ research papers have informed CCS’s advocacy projects and some have been published in academic journals and print media.


Non-summer internships

The non-summer internship program is similar to the summer program, but offers you the flexibility to work full-time or part-time for two-months between October and March. Only ten places are offered for this program and, unfortunately, you do not have access to the same learning and development modules offered in the summer program.

The CCS asks non-summer interns to commit to two full-time weekends at the beginning of the internship and another two at the end of the internship to complete field visits and other assignments.


Things you need to know

The CCS encourages applications from researchers, undergraduate students, post-graduate students, recent graduates and high school students (the equivalent of International Baccalaureate 11 or 12 standard). Most importantly, international as well as domestic applicants are welcome.

There is no participation fee. However, you must cover your travel and living expenses and make your own living arrangements.

The CCS will provide the necessary supporting documents to assist you with your visa. For more info on visas don’t forget to check out the Asia Options India Options page.

A further tip: while the CCS will provide you with a computer and workstation, you may wish to bring your own laptop for convenience and flexibility.


How to apply

There are two stages to the application process. First, you will be assessed on your online application form. If successful at this stage, you will be asked to an interview. This can be done over the phone if applying from outside India.

The online application includes three short assignments. The first is a brief essay, the second covers your research interests and the third covers your career objectives. Make sure you don’t miss the CCS’ requirement to reference all sources in the assignments in Chicago style citation.

You can contact Sadaf Hussain at [email protected] or +91 99531 33868 for further information.

For more advice on preparing your application, check out the Asia Options 10 important tips for successful applications.


Leave a Comment