Research Intern, Democracy Program (RMF)

About Us

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is dedicated to fostering communities of educated, informed, and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic grant-making and Cantigny Park, the Foundation works to make life better in Chicagoland. The McCormick Foundation, among the nation's largest foundations with more than $1.5 billion in assets, was established in 1955 upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the

Chicago Tribune. The Foundation awards about $55 million a year across five grantmaking program areas.

Cantigny Park, part of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is the 500-acre Wheaton estate of Robert R. McCormick. It is home to the McCormick House, First Division Museum, formal gardens, picnic grounds, walking trails and a Visitors Center with banquet and dining facilities.

Our Values

  • We act with INTEGRITY and HUMILITY in all that we do.
  • We embrace DIVERSITY and INCLUSION and work to create EQUITABLE OPPORTUNITIES for all.
  • We champion INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES by promoting effective participation in civic life.
  • We embody a COMMITMENT TO SERVICE and EFFECTIVELY STEWARD the resources and work
    entrusted to us.
  • We strive for GREATER IMPACT through COLLABORATION.

About the Democracy Program

Our mission is to strengthen democracy in Illinois through informed and engaged citizens and communities, and responsive systems of government. The goals of the Democracy Program are that 1) youth are informed, actively participate in their communities, and have healthy civic dispositions (see the end of this document for more information about this strategy); 2) local journalism is vigorous, independent, and effective at connecting and informing all levels of the democratic system; and 3) public institutions are inclusive, transparent, and accountable to the communities they serve.

Our strategy embodies a deep commitment to racial equity and serving under- resourced communities in Chicagoland. We seek to improve overall democratic outcomes and close the civic empowerment gap by providing resources, creating opportunities, and advocating for policies to address disparities for people of color.


Opportunity: Research Intern, Engage Youth Strategy

The Research intern will support the continued integration of the Democracy Schools Initiative with our grantmaking. Completion of this internship will aid in the development and practical application of research techniques, writing and presentation skills. Interns will foster a deeper appreciation for civic education and engagement opportunities in the nonprofit sector. The internship also provides experience working in a professional office environment and with a grantmaking and civic education foundation. This is a paid part-time position from January through June 2020 (approx. 20 hours/week) that reports to the Program Officer, Civic Learning.


  • Democracy Schools Initiative
    • Manage data collection and analysis of prospective and current Democracy Schools civic learning practices and organizational cultures
    • Identify school strengths and growth areas and generate reports for schools to complete the Democracy Schools assessment process
    • Aggregate assessment data for annual Democracy School cohorts and Aggregate assessment data for annual Democracy School cohorts and produce data comparisons across time
    • Evaluate the longitudinal impact of the Democracy Schools Initiative via ongoing survey administration and data analysis
  • Grantmaking
    • Conduct research and analysis to inform best practice in grantmaking o Assist program officer with data analysis projects that support grant evaluation
    • Identify and synthesize research on emerging and established challenges and opportunities in areas of strategic investment


  • Currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree program with at least three years of college-level academic experience and coursework in political science, history, education or related field
  • Previous experience in education or at a nonprofit preferred
  • Familiarity with research methods and basic statistical analysis
  • Excellent working knowledge of American government and politics
  • Demonstrated passion for the Foundation’s values with commitment to deliver results measured against the Foundation’s mission
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and experience building relationships with multiple stakeholders by listening to new ideas, encouraging  dialogue, and inspiring people to work towards common goals
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills, particularly in communication with diverse constituencies in a variety of settings
  • Basic computer skills, including use of Microsoft Office Suite
  • All offers are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check and drug screening

More about the Engage Youth Strategy

Strategy 1) Engage Youth: youth are informed, actively participate in their communities, and have healthy civic dispositions

  •  Youth develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be engaged citizens through equitable, high-quality, school-based civic learning opportunities connected to their lived experiences
    • Support teachers’ use of proven civic learning practices, including media literacy, and implement the new high school civics course and revised K-12 social studies standards
    • Strengthen commitment among administrators to fulfill the civic mission of their schools
    • Elevate student voice through scholastic journalism and school governance
    • Build democratic school climates through community partnerships and successful implementation of Illinois’ new school discipline law o Participate in national and statewide field-building efforts

To Apply

Submit a resume and cover letter online here.

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation and Cantigny Park provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, individuals with disabilities, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital and housing status.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.