The Survey Center on American Life is a project of the American Enterprise Institute. Our dedicated team conducts original survey research to examine how cultural, political, and technological changes affect the lives of everyday Americans.

Interested in joining the team? Please see below for opportunities.

Internships are available at the Survey Center on American Life for the Fall, Spring, and Summer to experienced undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates.

Research Assistant

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) seeks a full-time, in-person research assistant to work on polling, demographic trends, and American politics for AEI’s Survey Center on American Life, directed by Senior Fellow Daniel A. Cox. The anticipated start date for this position is as soon as possible.

Responsibilities for this position include assisting with research, writing, and editing for studies, papers, articles, op-eds, and media appearances. The employee in this position will also manage the Survey Center’s online presence. This includes social media posting and engagement, administration of website properties, online advertising, and media impact monitoring. The research assistant will also create visual content based on the Survey Center’s research, manage timelines for posts, gather and analyze metrics, and track social media and news mentions. Additional responsibilities include using statistical software programs to clean, manipulate, and analyze data and using data-visualization software to develop charts and graphs. Finally, this employee is responsible for helping plan and execute conferences and events. Duties include long-term projects and administrative support.

Desired skills for this position include excellent organizational and writing skills, social media account management experience, attention to detail, and a demonstrated interest in social policy, demographic trends, American governmental institutions, and social mobility. Knowledge of current events, politics, and economic news is also important.

Qualified applicants should submit their resume, a cover letter, academic transcripts, and a 500-word writing sample on a topic related to American politics or public opinion studies with their online application at This employee will report to the program manager of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies and may supervise interns.


  • Research (60%)
    • Assist with designing and developing survey questionnaires.
    • Coordinate number-checking and fact-checking for research products.
    • Work with the communications assistant to conduct analyses in response to media requests; assist in developing talking points for media interviews and television appearances.
    • Assist in developing graphics for research reports, blog posts, and presentations using Flourish.
    • Provide research and editorial assistance.
    • Coordinate research projects.
    • Assist the manager of external relations with implementing strategies to engage public interest in scholars’ research.
    • Number check and develop Flourish graphics for all American Life Blog submissions.
  • Communications (30%)
    • Manage content on the Survey Center website, including by posting and formatting new reports, blog posts, and op-eds using WordPress.
    • Work with the communications assistant to identify content to promote on social media channels including LinkedIn, Facebook, and X.
    • Track and analyze performance metrics to quantify the Survey Center’s impact through its website, on social media, and in the news.
    • Identify images and visuals to accompany all research reports and blog posts published on the Survey Center website; develop unique charts and graphics for the site using Flourish.
  • Administration (10%)
    • Assist with public events and private meetings.
    • Manage Dr. Cox’s contacts database.
    • Oversee Dr. Cox’s content on AEI website.
    • Hire interns and manage their workloads throughout the internship term.

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions at AEI

  • The employee is regularly expected to stand, sit, talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer, telephone, and keyboard. This job requires close-up vision for computer work.
  • The employee must be able to lift up to 30 pounds.
  • The employee must be able to work in a confined area.
  • Moderate noise (e.g., from computers, phones, printers, and light traffic) is expected.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential responsibilities associated with this position.


  • A BA or BS in political science, sociology, statistics, or a related field at the start date (required)
  • 0–2 years of previous applicable full-time work experience; previous internship or research experience (strongly preferred)
  • Professional writing and editing, research, and quantitative analysis experience (preferred)
  • A demonstrated interest in public opinion research, demographic trends, political behavior, and current events
  • Experience in quantitative methods and research, including proficiency in Stata (highly preferred), SPSS Statistics (highly preferred), and R (a plus)
  • Excellent editing and proofreading skills
  • Experience in managing social media, especially X (a plus)
  • Proficiency in performing administrative and logistical coordination tasks
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with a variety of people and in fast-paced environments
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office

Recent Commentary

Daniel A. Cox
July 15, 2024

The GOP is Poised to Make Gains With Young Voters

Of the many ways that Donald Trump has scrambled the country’s political demography, none is more surprising than the way he changed the GOP’s relationship with young voters. Not all polling agrees, but many reputable polling outfits have found Trump neck-and-neck with Biden among young voters. But it’s not simply that Trump has suddenly become more appealing

Daniel A. Cox
June 20, 2024

The Surprising Issue That Could Help Biden With Young Voters

Young voters are less supportive of Biden than they were in 2020. Embracing immigration may be the key to reclaiming the youth vote.

Family in wheat field at sunset

Daniel A. Cox
March 5, 2024

The Societal Cost of the Marriage Decline

Marriage is positively associated with greater community involvement across a range of different activities.

Young man laying down scrolling on his cell phone

Daniel A. Cox
February 9, 2024

Gen Z’s Romance Gap: Why Nearly Half of Young Men Aren’t Dating

Until very recently, American culture has operated on the flawed notion that teenage dating and sex required little encouragement. Teenage romance was once seen as a natural part of American adolescence. This, it turns out, is completely wrong. Teenage dating is not inevitable and it’s a rapidly disappearing part of the American teenage experience. These