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Intern at the FSF

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on May 07, 2009 05:02 PM
This is an educational opportunity to work with the organization that sponsors the GNU project, publishes the GNU General Public License (GPL), and fights for software freedom.

As an intern, you work closely with FSF staff members in your area of interest, such as campaign and community organizing, free software licensing, systems and network administration, GNU project support, or web development.

All applicants must be:

  • open-minded and tolerant of others,
  • able to work as part of a team, and
  • interested in the ethical ramifications of computing.

We strongly prefer applicants able to work in-person at the FSF headquarters in downtown Boston, but applicants based elsewhere may also be considered.

Unfortunately, due to the complexities of US immigration law, applicants who are not US citizens or permanent residents and do not have a visa allowing them to work in the US must work remotely from outside the US.

These positions are unpaid, but the FSF will provide any appropriate documentation you might need to receive funding and school credit from outside sources. We place an emphasis on providing hands-on educational opportunities for interns in which they work closely with staff mentors. Take a look at our past interns and some of their projects, focused on promoting GNU, launching the free Javascript campaign, contributing to Defective by Design, and updating the Email Self-Defense project.

The campaigns team is particularly interested in interns interested in working on the End Software Patents campaign or the International Day Against DRM.

The End Software Patents campaign works to end the patentability of ideas in software. While other advocacy groups focus on bad or stupid patents, and on patent trolls, we emphasize that these are only symptoms of a fundamentally broken system. *No* software ideas should be patentable.

We're looking for an intern to join us for the summer to be part of the process of refreshing the campaign's Web site and online presence. It'll be an exciting time, featuring opportunities to research and write text about the practical and ethical problems with software patents, be part of a video production project, and learn how an advocacy campaign builds a broad coalition across small business leaders, free software advocates, large corporations, and academics.

The International Day Against DRM is a distributed day of action with events taking places in multiple countries on July 9th. Interns can work with FSF staff in person at the FSF office or in Washington, DC, or work remotely from anywhere, though location may affect the nature of the internship. Self-directed projects will include overhauling the Day's Drupal Web site, organizing events, and creating promotional materials.


The application period for fall internships is currently open.

Deadline for applications: July 31, 2017

Next internship period: September 5th to December 8th, 2017

Each position lasts for one twelve-week term. There are three terms: summer, fall, and spring. There can be some flexibility with start and end dates if necessary.

Any of the terms can be worked as either full time (forty hours per week) or part-time (twenty hours per week) positions. We will prefer candidates able to work full time, particularly during the summer term.

How to apply

Send a letter of interest and resume with two references by e-mail to Make sure that your materials are in free software friendly formats (PDF and plain text work well), and include "Internship" in your subject line. If you can, please include links to sites you've made (personal blogs are okay!) designs or code you've done, and--most of all--things you've written. Please include these as URLs, though email attachments in free formats are acceptable too.

Please direct any questions about the program to

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