Overview – Intern Position

US Ignite, Inc. (US Ignite) is seeking a paid summer intern to be the newest member of the team coordinating, supporting, and evaluating the Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) project. If you’re looking for an exciting and innovative research project to accelerate your career, come join a team that constantly seeks to spur innovation in technology and builds things better and faster to benefit our communities. This internship is an opportunity to be part of a team of brilliant people that are helping shape the future of the Internet and the way Americans across the country will experience their work and day-to-day lives.

The US Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) project is a network of more than two dozen communities developing a catalog of applications and services to address smart city and IoT challenges. You can read more about the project online at https://www.us-ignite.org/program/smart-gigabit-communities/.

About US Ignite

US Ignite is a high-tech, national nonprofit, a 501(c)(3), that is accelerating the smart community movement by guiding communities into the connected future, creating a path for private sector growth, and advancing technology research that’s at the heart of smarter development.

For the internship, you’ll be part of the SGC project, a $7M National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded effort that accelerates the adoption of ultra-fast, programmable fiber and wireless networks as the bedrock of smart communities by identifying new economic and social opportunities created by those networks. The SGC project is a network of 30 communities (including large towns, cities, regions, and military installations) that are developing a catalog of applications and services to address smart city and Internet of Things (IoT) challenges.

US Ignite Culture

The internship will be exciting, challenging, and visionary work. To make it all happen, our highly experienced (and fun) team works with people from research universities, municipalities, federal government agencies, and the biggest names of the technology sector to identify and connect resources and best practices that “ignite” new and exciting applications.

Internship Description

Applicants should be well-organized, and most importantly: able to craft clear, compelling communication that both current and prospective partners of US Ignite will enjoy receiving. Great applicants should feel completely comfortable moving between conversations with staff from exceptionally diverse organizations – from small nonprofits to government agencies to large corporations. The intern should also be a self-starter, be able to work both independently and within a small team, and must be able to thrive in a remote-work environment. This internship is funded by, and a part of, the NSF’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Specific Internships Tasks may include:

  • Work primarily on US Ignite’s SGC project
  • Be an active team member and join team meetings
  • Maintain close coordination with partner communities and engage directly with partner communities
  • Identify and address community challenges
  • Conduct primary research on communities to help them identify the appropriate technology responses to their needs
  • Develop best practices materials for use by community teams
  • Develop resources (guides, videos, PowerPoint presentations, white papers, wikis, etc.) that help explain US Ignite programs and ways in which stakeholders might benefit from participating in US Ignite initiatives
  • Draft and edit outreach materials (newsletters, follow-up memos, presentations)
  • Help handle inquiries and link community needs to research projects, write first drafts of blogs and articles talking about technology and the impact of US Ignite projects nationwide
  • Collect statistics and other information to tell the story of US Ignite’s successes 
  • Help draft US Ignite’s Annual Report 


About You

Specifically, great applicants will have:

  • Exceptional verbal and writing skills – and an ability to translate complex ideas into easy-to-understand stories
  • Basic graphics skills – with the ability to craft creative and professional visual documents
  • Ease and comfort using social media channels like Facebook and Twitter
  • An attitude that makes others eager to work with you
  • A love of working with cutting-edge technologies and people implementing them
  • Interest in the intersection between smart cities, technology, human impact, and replicating success 
  • The capability to overcome challenges and think strategically
  • An interest in learning more about advanced networks, gigabit applications, smart cities, and the future of the Internet
  • U.S. citizenship or permanent residence

Education qualifications:

  • Must be enrolled in an undergraduate educational program in the United States
  • Those majoring in a public policy or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program will be given first consideration

Location and Period of Performance

Due to the current social/physical distancing measures in place, US Ignite will consider candidates in the Washington, DC area and outside the Washington, DC area. The intern should be able to thrive in a remote-work environment, as this internship will be 100% remote. The selected intern must be able to supply their own computer and Internet connection. 

 The proposed internship period of performance is early-June 2020 to late-August 2020. Ideally, we’re looking for an intern to join our team for an 11-week period.


The selected intern(s) will receive a stipend of $500 per week, for a period of up to 11 weeks.


US Ignite is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a U.S. veteran. 

To apply, please send a  resume, short writing sample, two letters of recommendation, and a Statement of Purpose (500-1,000 words) indicating how this internship will contribute to your education and career goals to Meghan Histand and Lee Davenport at [email protected]. The deadline for this Internship opportunity is May 29, 2020.