I-RSS Internship Program: Fostering Leadership Through Arts and Social Sciences Research

The I-RSS internship program fosters the next generation of social science and humanities researchers, advocates and policy leaders. The program supports our overarching mission to create original and relevant research, and space for outreach, advocacy and discussion on issues affecting Muslims in North America. 

I-RSS interns are undergraduate students in the social sciences and humanities. Interns may be at any stage of their undergraduate program. Internships are mutually beneficial, with interns doing meaningful work to support the Institute’s projects and mission. However, the emphasis of the program is on ensuring that the students benefit from a rich, first-hand experience of professional research work. 

Hands-on experience as professional researchers

The internship program creates paid research opportunities that undergraduate students often do not have access to in traditional academic settings. Interns get to participate in all aspects of the day-to-day work of a researcher. They shadow interviews with research participants, do secondary and text-based research, assist with writing and copyediting reports and papers, and work on translating research findings into graphics, policy recommendations, and communications for the public. Interns also get to see behind the scenes at a research institution. There is often the chance to assist with various other aspects of running the Institute, such as helping format the I-RSS journal, which helps interns expand their academic and professional experience. 

Working in a field with critical importance for Muslims and all Canadians

Mentorship and leadership opportunities in the arts are needed for young Muslims. Research based policy is critical to addressing the social, political and cultural issues facing Muslim communities, and to support those communities in their growth and success. It is essential that Muslims be active participants and leaders in the research, advocacy and policy decisions that affect not only their own communities, but broader Canadian society as well. STEM fields are highly valued and emphasized in many Muslim communities, but the humanities and social sciences will equip young Muslims to be the researchers, advocates, and policy leaders we need. Furthermore, working or gaining an education in these fields fulfills the Islamic mandate to be justice-minded and engage critically with society. 

Creating opportunities and challenging narratives

I-RSS is dedicated to changing misinformation and biased narratives about Muslims and Islam. Working with I-RSS gives interns first hand experience and tools to challenge the biased narratives and Islamophobia that they encounter. This is especially important for young Muslim women, who often bear the brunt of public Islamophobia and distorting narratives. 

I-RSS is privileged to do the work that we do, and the internship program is one way of leveraging that privilege to give advantage to disenfranchised communities. Our interns come from diverse backgrounds, bringing unique experiences and perspectives to their work. Many of our talented interns are first generation university students. Many are young Muslim women. The program is an opportunity for these students to gain valuable work experience and expand on their education, but it is also an opportunity for them to do work with and for other Muslims and sets them up for future careers serving their communities. 

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