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Center for Labor Research and Education

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Applied Research and Policy

Gain Experience in Applied Research & Policy

Contact: Kineshia Cadogan, 510-642-1027, kcadogan@berkeley.edu

» Apply now!
» 2017 Program Flyer PDF

The Labor Summer Applied Research and Policy track teaches students applied research skills that are used in unions. Students get the opportunity to learn from union researchers involved in some of the nation’s most exciting and important organizing and policy campaigns that are making a difference for working people, especially immigrants and people of color.

Strategic Research Workshop

As a part of the orientation, Applied Research and Policy interns participate in the Labor Center’s two-day Strategic Research Workshop where they are joined by researchers working at labor unions and community-based organizations. Together they learn the basics of strategic and policy research in a labor environment and some labor economics.

Past Applied Research and Policy interns have:

  • researched low-wage jobs in Silicon Valley and their economic impact regionally as well as on individual workers (Working Partnerships USA);
  • created surveys used as a tool to talk to electrical workers about job quality and conditions while getting a better understanding of their work (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 617).
  • gathered voting data using the U.S. Census and The Bureau of Labor Statistics to support Latinos building power in the Central Valley (UC Berkeley Labor Center)
  • developed reports outlining barriers and options for licensed vocational nurses to become registered nurses (Service Employees International Union State Council)
  • and collected resources and conducted interviews of labor and climate justice leaders to create worker-oriented trainings on climate change and the transition towards a low-carbon economy (Don Vial Center).

Career opportunities

Students who have participated in Labor Summer have used the skills they learned in the program long past their internships. Many students who participate in Labor Summer remain connected to the labor movement after the summer is over, either with their host site or in a related organization. Some continue as graduate researchers during the academic year; others find new topics for their master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation; still others take permanent staff jobs with labor organizations as researchers, educators, and organizers.

How to apply

We conduct rolling admissions, and students are encouraged to apply early as the program is very competitive. We typically receive over 100 applications for 20-25 slots.

Due date for applications is Monday, February 27 at 8 a.m. PST.