About the WISE Program

WISE Sponsors

WISE Alumni

Journal of
& Public Policy

Intern Orientation




American Ceramic Society (ACerS)

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)

American Nuclear Society (ANS)




Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

SAE International

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Welcome to Washington!
(Info for all new interns)


Exactly what does a WISE Intern do?

As a WISE intern, you will learn, explore, write, research, and enjoy a whole new world. You will not be serving in an office as a typical intern. No running errands or stuffing envelopes for you. Among many other things, you will:

  • Participate in weekly group meetings with individuals from Congress, the administration, and government relations professionals from the business and association community in Washington. These professionals will inform you of their respective roles in the public policymaking process.
  • Have group meetings with your fellow interns to discuss what you've learned and to review your progress.
  • Attend fun social events.


Every year is different, but to get an idea of what WISE entails, take a peek at the schedules for the 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2000 WISE programs.

A faculty-member-in-residence (FMR) will supervise your work. The FMR is an engineer with a background in public policy, or a public policy professor hired to run each year's program. Each sponsoring society also provides staff and/or volunteer mentors who work directly with you to help guide your research.

In addition to the visits and interaction with the FMR and your society mentors, you will also spend a significant portion of your time independently researching, writing, and presenting a policy paper on a topic of interest to you and your sponsoring society. Your sponsoring society will provide any specific guidelines and requirements for writing your paper. Your research typically includes opportunities to meet with policymakers and analysts. For examples of past work, see the WISE Journal of Engineering & Public Policy.

Expert Support

In addition to the society mentors and experts who you will meet when you arrive in Washington, the WISE program is extremely lucky to receive support of, and benefit from the experts at, the Library of Congress. Each year, at the beginning of the program, the WISE students receive Library of Congress (LC) Science Policy Briefings. They also continue to receive throughout the 9-week program, research support by the specialists in the LC's Science, Technology, and Business Division. An example of the program agenda can be viewed here.

What is technology policy and the public policy process all about?

Read about the Legislative Process and learn more about How Congress Works from this collection of CRS Reports.  Explore the educational resources section of the House of Representatives website and the reference section of the Senate website to learn how our Congress works.  Experiment with Congress.gov, the Library of Congress' legislative information website.

Check the pulse of Capitol Hill by reading Roll Call, The Hill and/or The Politico, which provide inside news and gossip for Capitol Hill-types.  Track the Washington-take on national issues in the Washington Post.

You'll have plenty of time to explore the unique cultural, historical, and entertainment resources and attractions of Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.


Copyright 2018, Washington Internships for Students of Engineering. Users are encouraged to link to this page and are permitted to copy and make use of its contents for the exclusive purposes of publicizing the WISE program. The WISE home page is hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) for the benefit of the WISE sponsoring societies.