2020 HRAF Internship in Honor of Melvin Ember

Melvin Ember crossing his arms and smiling

Melvin Ember, HRAF President (1987-2009)

The Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) at Yale University is pleased to announce a one-year internship in Melvin Ember’s name. Melvin Ember was President of HRAF from 1987 until his death in 2009. The intent of the internship is to learn about cross-cultural research through practical experience.

Some of the main tasks will be:

  1. helping Carol Ember prepare modules summarizing cross-cultural research
  2. read and analyze recent cross-cultural research with the goal of summarizing materials for researchers in Explaining Human Culture
  3. participating in an on-going cross-cultural research project.

The internship will reimburse expenses (living, meals, and miscellaneous expenses) in the amount of $400 per week for approximately 50 weeks beginning in the summer of 2020 (start date is flexible). Travel costs up to $800 will also be reimbursed for a move to and from New Haven. Hours are based on a 37.5 hour week.

About HRAF

Founded at Yale University, HRAF is an internationally recognized organization in the field of cultural anthropology. HRAF’s mission is to promote understanding of cultural diversity and commonality in the past and present. HRAF supports teaching and research through online applications and other resources with large curated online collections of annotated ethnographic and archaeological documents. HRAF researchers’ projects include comparisons of different cultures from around the world identifying and testing theories about cultural diversity and change. Topics have ranged from intergroup conflict and resource vulnerability to integrative research relating cultural responses to climate-related natural hazards.


Internship candidates must already have the right to work in the United States at the time of application and have (or will have) graduated from college by the beginning of the internship. Preference will be given to candidates with the following qualities:

  1. plan on graduate study in anthropology or a closely related field (or have already started graduate school)
  2. ability to perform statistical analyses (with a minimum of one formal statistics course)
  3. have accomplished academic records particularly in their major field and/or anthropology courses.

How to apply

To apply, send electronic applications (subject line Melvin Ember internship) to Carol R. Ember (carol.ember@yale.edu), President, Human Relations Area Files, to be received by the end of the day on April 1, 2020 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline for this application has been extended to April 30, 2020.

An application should include a cover letter that summarizes your interests and skills (particularly any methodological skills) and discusses why you are interested in the internship. Also include: a resumé, an unofficial transcript (an official transcript will be requested for those who make the short list), and the names of three people willing to write on your behalf.

Candidates who make the short list will be interviewed by telephone or teleconference in April 2020.

A PDF version of this announcement is available for download here.

Further information about HRAF and its activities is available on our homepage. Find out more about Melvin Ember.

HRAF headquarters, a historic Tudor-style mansion