Call for Interns for LGBT Research Project

Posted on January 2nd, 2014 by Cindy Gao

Nathaniel Frank, an author and currently a Visiting Scholar at Columbia Law’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, is seeking part-time interns to work 5-10 hours per week (flexible) as research assistants on an exciting new LGBT research project being launched at Columbia Law School. A project description is below. The work, which could begin over winter break or in January, will consist chiefly of pulling together scholarly studies on LGBT research, specifically same-sex parenting and LGBT youth and health issues, and creating research briefs and abstracts for the studies. Nathaniel is author of “Unfriendly Fire,” the 2009 book about “don’t ask, don’t tell” that helped repeal the policy. While the preliminary work is unpaid, the positions offer the opportunity for future paid work and participation in the start-up project described below.

Please email a cover letter and CV to

“What We Know” Project Summary

The “What We Know” public policy research portal marks a path-breaking convergence of scholarship, public policy and new media communications. Focusing on several pressing public policy debates, the portal brings together in one place the preponderance of scholarly evidence that informs these debates so policymakers, journalists, researchers and the public can make truly informed decisions about what policies and positions best serve the public interest.

Part online library, part communications outreach apparatus, the project is designed to show, rather than tell, the public what the scholarly consensus is on a given issue by using modern technology to make bulk-information processing more viable and realistic for non-experts. The portal does not produce original research; instead it aggregates existing studies based on their quality and relevance to a particular policy question, summarizes the studies for quick reference, and provides easy links to the research (or abstracts) so readers can examine them for themselves.

The first phase focuses on research on LGBT equality, specifically gay parenting and marriage, youth challenges, and physical and mental health issues. Future phases may include additional policy issues such as economic growth, gun safety, education reform and possibly climate change, among others. The goal is to shape public policy in a “long game” that uses research-based messages to influence public opinion, law, and quality of life, particularly for vulnerable populations.


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