A major component of a Next System Fellowship involves an internship with a partner organization, union, or research group, or with Mason’s own Democratizing NOVA project.

In the process, Fellows will gain practical experience and skills and build networks that advance them toward a rewarding and meaningful post-college career. They also will make important contributions to building a better society in the here and now.

You may choose from one of two internship tracks:  

Track 1: DNOVA - On this track, a Next System Fellow interns with the Democratizing NOVA (DNOVA) project at Mason's Center for Social Science Research. DNOVA is a new community-engaged civic research project of the Center for Social Science Research (CSSR) at Mason dedicated to deepening democracy in northern Virginia ("NOVA"). DNOVA interns will begin each week with a Monday team meetings on the Mason campus. Each intern will develop a research portfolio and partnerships in a particular democratization area. Interns will work together to build the first DNOVA Community-Campus Summit.

Track 2: Partner Organization - Another excellent alternative involves securing an internship with a partner organization (see list of confirmed partners, at right). To do this, a Next System Fellow must apply for an internship with the organization of their choice, and notify us that they have done so. We will follow up with our partners to confirm that the applicant has been accepted into the Fellowship and to discuss collaboration. For those Fellows who seek yet fail to secure an internship with a partner organization, the DNOVA internship remains as a fallback - you will have an internship either way.

In addition to your internship, you will enroll in an Internship Practicum course (in Sociology, this is SOCI 416, but you can take a version of this course through some other programs as well). You will take this course for 6 credits, completing 270 hours of internship work over the semester, and will perform independent research related closely to your internship experience.