John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Internships and Research Opportunities

The Institute has benefited from the contributions of graduate interns who have worked on a variety of projects including research, writing, and direct involvement in Institute activities. Graduate students or working professionals who are interested in spending a period of time (usually one academic term) working with the Institute are invited to contact below. On-site internships are preferred; however, the Institute will consider interns who combine off-site with on-site work. A limited number of internship slots are available during any academic term, and currently the Institute is unable to offer financial assistance to interns.

In 1999, the Gardner Institute (formerly the Policy Center on the First Year of College) began its service to the international higher education community, with special emphasis on assessment and planning efforts to improve the success of entering college and university students, both first-time and transfer. The Institute is located in the beautiful western North Carolina Blue Ridge mountains, in Brevard, a small county seat town of 6000 people. Brevard is a college town of note particularly because it is the home of the world famous Brevard Music Center and Festival. Also, the town and the Institute are very close, 35 miles, to an outstanding regional city, Asheville, N.C. with a regional airport just 19 miles from the Institute.

Location: The Gardner Institute is located in downtown Brevard. The office is pleasant and accessible. Parking is absolutely no problem! Applicants would be able to work on site in a dedicated Institute office or from an off-site location. However, preference will be given to applicants who are able to work on site.

Compensation: This would not be a funded position.

Qualifications: Applicants should have the following abilities:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge of qualitative research methods
  • Outstanding organizational and self-management skills
  • At a minimum, applicants must be enrolled in a graduate degree program.

For internship applicants, preference will be given to those with a master’s and/or doctoral degree.

Chief among these qualifications are strong organizational and communication skills. The Gardner Institute may request a writing sample from applicants.

How to apply: If you would be interested in exploring this opportunity, please correspond with the Institute’s Vice President and Senior Scholar, Dr. Betsy Barefoot at

Please provide a cover letter detailing your academic interests and experience and attach a resume.