Hixon Center-Ecologic Institute Summer Internship Program

The Hixon Center announced the launch of a collaborative summer internship program with the Ecologic Institute, a private, not-for-profit environmental think-tank and applied research organization based in Berlin, Germany. The partnership was formed in late 2016-early 2017 to provide internship opportunities to qualified full-time students enrolled at Harvey Mudd College in the fields of environmental policy and sustainability. The Hixon Center released its first call for applications in spring 2017, and selected the program’s inaugural students to participate in this immersive internship program the following summer.

About the Internship Program

The internships aim to expose students to environmental policy and sustainability research and problem-solving within the context of a think-tank, specifically focusing on Germany and the European Union. Interns work at the Ecologic Institute in Berlin over the summer, typically for about 12 weeks. The number of interns selected varies from year-to-year depending on funding availability for student stipends and related expenses. Applications are typically solicited at the beginning of the spring semester.


Eligible to apply are full-time, enrolled students at Harvey Mudd College who are in good academic standing and will be seniors in the fall after the completion of the internship. Students should have a strong interest in environmental and sustainability issues at both the domestic and international scales, in particular with regard to Germany and the European Union, and be curious about living and studying abroad during the summer.

Internship Duration

The envisioned duration of the internships is 3 months (12 weeks), beginning shortly after Commencement in late May, and lasting through the middle of August. The internship is longer than the standard 10-week research period in order to strike a balance between the students’ available time outside of the academic year and Ecologic’s requirements to successfully train and integrate students into its projects. The exact duration will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Number of Positions Available

Student candidates for the program will be matched to suitable projects that Ecologic is, or will be, conducting during the summer. A mentor will be assigned to each intern who is fluent in English and has experience mentoring international students. The matching process involves the skills, experiences, and areas of interest of the student, the topic and skills needed for the project, and the mentorship that can be provided by Ecologic. The number of internship positions is therefore not fixed, but may change from year to year. For this summer 2017, we hope and anticipate to fill two internship positions.

Application Process

The Call for Applications will be released at the beginning of the spring semester. Once it is released, interested students will be asked to submit the following materials to Professor Tanja Srebotnjak (director, Hixon Center) by a designated deadline:

  • Short essay describing motivation to apply and personal goals for internship (not exceeding 1000 words)
  • Updated copy of CV
  • Copy of most recent academic transcript
  • List of topic areas that student would like to work on during internship
  • Names and contact details of two academic references

The Director of the Hixon Center will pre-screen all applications (submitted by the deadline) and create a shortlist of candidates that meet the qualification criteria and are deemed as good fits for the program. A team at Ecologic will then review the shortlist and accompanying application materials and determine which candidates will be invited for Skype interviews. After the interviews, Ecologic will decide to whom they will offer a position. If a student accepts the offer, the Hixon Center and Ecologic will work with the student and HMC’s Study Abroad Office to prepare for the program (e.g., visa, travel, accommodation, project work plan).

Financial Details

Studying and/or interning abroad entails additional costs that may be a constraint to some students. The Hixon Center, therefore, offers the following financial support to selected students:

  • Support to purchase Round-Trip, Economy-class tickets from LOS ANGELES (Area Airports) to BERLIN (up to $1,500)
  • Visa application costs of up to $150 per student
  • Internship stipend reflecting a 40-hr work week for 12 weeks (or length of agreed internship) at HMC student pay rate, paid up-front to the student.

The Ecologic Institute will provide:

  • Workspace and computer for each student intern
  • Active mentoring by experience fellow / senior fellow for duration of internship
  • Ecologic will also cover any project-related expense incurred by student on behalf of the Institute during the internship, such as travel to project meetings or conferences, as long as these expenditures are permitted by the project and covered by project funds.

If you have questions about the program, please e-mail hixoncenter@hmc.edu.

About the Ecologic Institute

Ecologic Institute was founded in 1995 and has grown into one of Europe’s leading transdisciplinary research organizations focusing on environmental issues. Its researchers have academic and professional backgrounds (typically at the masters and higher levels) in a broad spectrum of fields, do research and provide policy analyses and consulting services to local, state and EU governments, government agencies, the private sector and non-profit organizations. As a private, independent and non-profit institute, Ecologic Institute is devoted to the task of addressing the relevant sociopolitical questions of sustainability research and to bring new insights into environmental policy. Innovative research approaches, an orientation toward practice, and a trans-disciplinary approach ensure the scientific quality and societal relevance of Ecologic Institute’s work.

About the Hixon Center

The Hixon Center was launched in 2015 as a college-wide center dedicated to advancing sustainability theory and practice at Harvey Mudd College. Led by the Hixon Professor of Sustainable Environmental Design, the Hixon Center seeks to make sustainability more tangible in Harvey Mudd’s curriculum, research, and campus operations. The Hixon Center works with interested faculty, students, and staff to reduce energy and resource use, promote climate and environmentally conscious infrastructure development on campus, conduct high-quality research, and integrate sustainability into courses and other educational opportunities for the students. The Hixon Center also collaborates with the other Claremont Colleges, the Claremont University Consortium, the City of Claremont, local sustainability initiatives such as the Claremont Energy Challenge, as well as external academic and research centers.

Ecologic Institute Topic Areas of Interest

Ecologic provides research and information services on a broad range of environmental and sustainability topics. More information is available on the institute’s website at http://ecologic.eu. The following list contains areas that the institute has worked on:

  • Adaptation
  • Agriculture
  • Arctic
  • Biodiversity
  • Bioenergy
  • Business
  • Cities
  • Climate
  • Consumer Policy
  • Democracy
  • Development
  • Energy
  • EU Environment
  • Foreign Policy
  • Forests
  • Global Environment
  • Governance
  • Health
  • Indicators
  • Industry
  • International Environmental Law
  • Investment
  • Land Use
  • Marine Policy
  • Nature Conservation
  • Policy Assessment
  • Public Diplomacy
  • Resources
  • Security Policy
  • Soils
  • Sustainability
  • Tourism
  • Trade
  • Transport
  • Waste
  • Water

Life and Study in Berlin

Living and studying abroad in Germany’s capital Berlin can be exciting but may also have its challenges and quirks. The Hixon Center and Ecologic will support the selected student(s) as they prepare for the program and throughout the program itself. There are many useful resources available to learn about German culture, finding accommodation in Berlin, cost of living, and many more. Below are some credible and legitimate sources. The Hixon Center is also working with the Office of Study Abroad (OSA) to identify and enlist the support of programs that specialize in study abroad and cultural exchanges to help make the experience the best possible. All accepted students are also required to take part in an on-campus orientation session.

Useful links: