Fellowships & Internships

Applicant Info

start applicant info

Eligibility

All registered full-time MIT and CME students are eligible to apply. CME students may apply for IAP funding. Note that we have very limited funds available for graduating students and can only fund projects for graduating students for up to three months after their graduation.

Funding

MIT students can apply for Fellowship or Internship funding for the summer, IAP, or during the semester. We will consider projects that combine work at MIT during the semester with fieldwork over the summer or IAP.

You can work on a project by yourself or as part of a small team (the usual team size is 2 or 3). However, funding is applied to individuals, not teams. Each team member must apply separately and we may not fund all members of a team.

Internship and Fellowship funding is intended primarily for living and travel expenses.

You must submit a budget outlining your financial needs for the project and any other secured or potential sources of funding. Funding amounts will be determined on a case-by-case basis and take account of the potential impact of the proposed work. We are unlikely to fund short-term projects with high expenses.

Average IAP funding: $2,500
Average summer funding: $4,500

For summer and IAP, funding is provided upfront as a direct deposit or check. For most semester-time projects, funding is provided at $10 an hour through the MIT payroll system.

You may apply for a supplemental grant to cover some expenses such as prototyping materials, printing and binding, safety equipment, etc. Grant requests must be submitted in advance of making any purchases. We will not consider retrospective grant requests. You must not rely on this option, as you are not guaranteed a supplemental grant.

Time Commitments

Preference is given to projects with potential for significant community benefit and sustainable outcomes, and these typically require substantial time commitments.

For summer, we favor projects of 6 weeks duration or longer.

For IAP projects, we favor four-week projects, but will accept shorter projects if the scope of work is appropriate.

For local semester-time projects we favor a minimum of 5 hours a week and cannot fund students for more than 20 hours a week.

Topic and Location

Applicants to both programs can suggest projects tackling any issue faced by under-served communities around the world, including the US. If you are planning an international project, check the MIT travel policy and travel warnings at http://informit.mit.edu/epr/3.0travel.html

We take your safety very seriously, and so should you. You must carefully consider the safety implications of the challenge you are working on and your proposed location and address these in your application.

Preparation

Start early! Once you have found an opportunity that interests you, and before submitting your application, you MUST contact the community organization you’ll be partnering with to:

  • Learn more about their needs
  • Collaborate with them to develop your project and work plan
  • Arrange for someone to be your official community partner and submit a letter of support for your application
  • Make sure they understand that you are seeking funding for the work, but may not receive it. Be sure not to promise anything that you may not be able to deliver.
  • You also need to:

  • Make sure your plans are feasible given the time you have available, and the skills and knowledge you can provide
  • Leave plenty of time to get letters of recommendation from your community partner and an MIT faculty or staff member

  • If accepted – program requirements

    Before your Internship or Fellowship you must:

    • Sign a contract, liability waiver, and MIT travel forms. Minors will also need the signature of a parent or guardian on their forms
    • Submit a spreadsheet of personal and contact information
    • Arrange for all necessary health, safety, and legal needs: e.g. passport and visa if needed, health insurance, vaccinations, etc
    • Arrange your own travel and accommodation

    During your project you will must:

    • Check-in at least once a week with the Internship or Fellowship staff, sending us a few paragraphs describing your work so far, your plans for the next week, and reflections on your experiences
    • Ensure that your community partner supports your work appropriately and checks-in with the PSC staff as requested

    After your Internship or Fellowship you must submit:

    • A brief report describing your experiences and reflecting on their effects. (Alternatively, you can write a project blog during the course of your work.)
    • An evaluation form
    • Photographs with captions

    We may also ask you to give a presentation for the MIT community on your experiences.

    Help

    If you would help developing your Fellowship or Internship ideas or feedback on a draft of your application, let us know. The earlier you contact us before the application deadline, the better. Contact Alison Hynd.