Eight-Week Internships and Research Assistantships

The Office of Career Services (OCS) administers funding which can be used to support 8-week international internships or supervised research assistantships where students are working on research questions developed by principal investigators, postdocs, or graduate students. Our research funding cannot support independent research, including thesis research.  Students must self-arrange their internship or research assistantship and demonstrate that it will be a significant cultural immersion experience. State department internships outside of the U.S. are guaranteed funding.



  • Length of opportunity: This funding source is for programs of 8 weeks or longer.
  • Home country: Preference will be given to students pursuing an international internship outside the country where they are from or have lived for a significant amount of time.
  • Standing: Students must be in good standing at the time of application and at the time of departure. Please notify us right away if your standing changes at any point.
  • Leaves of Absence: This funding source is for student who will not be on leave during the spring or fall of 2019.
  • Class year: This funding source is for first-years, sophomores, juniors, or students who are first-semester seniors during the spring of 2019.


Who Gets Funded

Last year OCS was able to fund about 50% of the students who applied for funding for internships or supervised research assistantships. Summer internships or supervised research assistantships must be at least eight weeks in duration and take place in one location in a country.

What Gets Funded

  • Supervised internships at non-profit or for-profit organizations
  • Supervised conservation work
  • Supervised research assistantships

To get a sense of the types of independent internships students may organize, please see the list of Harvard Alumni Association International Clubs Suggested Internships. Additionally, below is a sample list of host organizations and destinations where students have gone:

  • Alianza Arkana (Pucallpa, Peru)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (Paris, France)
  • Best Buddies Philippines (Manila, Philippines)
  • Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Tokyo, Japan)
  • Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (Melbourne, Australia)
  • Food Policy Research Institute (Kampala, Uganda)
  • Glow Animation Studio (Spain)

What We Cannot Fund

How to Apply

  • Reach out and apply directly to international host organizations accepting summer interns.
  • Prepare your materials for the funding application:
    • Evidence of application to or proof of acceptance from host organization (or email correspondence showing you have inquired about internship opportunities).
    • Completed Eight-Week International Experience Essay Form, saved in PDF format.
    • One-page resume, saved in PDF format (see OCS templates for guidance).
    • Unofficial Transcript, available under "View Unofficial Transcript" link in the Grades tab of my.harvard.edu.
    • One letter of recommendation from a member of the Harvard community. Letters written by faculty, TFs, proctors, tutors, academic advisers, coaches, mentors, supervisors, etc., will be accepted. We cannot accept letters written by current undergraduate students, family members, or people outside the Harvard community. Make sure to complete this step well in advance of the application deadline so that your recommender may submit a letter on your behalf by the deadline.
    • Enroll in Direct Deposit via your term bill following these instructions. Take a screenshot showing you are enrolled, save the screenshot as a PDF, and upload the PDF as part of your application.
  • Complete the “OCS Funding Application for an Eight-Week International Experience” and submit the above materials in CARAT by Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 5pm.

Award Amounts

OCS awards for independent internships are comprised of several funds, including the David Rockefeller International Experience Grant, the James O’Neil Memorial Undergraduate Travel and Research Fund and the Weissman International Internship Program Grant. Students selected for the Weissman International Internship Program will form a cohort of Weissman Fellows and participate in a number of group programs, including spring and fall luncheon events with the donors.

Awards for selected students will be based on country-level cost-of-living stipends developed by OCS and Harvard’s Global Support Services Office. Awards range from $5,000 to $7,000. Students selected for the Weissman International Internship Program and the James O’Neil Memorial Undergraduate Travel and Research Fund will also receive a summer earnings credit, if they are on financial aid.


OCS and other funding centers at Harvard aim to distribute summer funding across the undergraduate community. Therefore, students who receive OCS funding may not accept any additional Harvard funding for their internship or research project. Students are also prohibited from accepting more than one substantial Harvard-funded summer opportunity each summer. In general, substantial experiences are defined as 8 weeks or longer. Students must disclose if they are receiving Harvard funding for any other projects at any point throughout the summer, the amount of the award, and the dates of the other project as soon as possible and no later than June 1 of the year of the award. OCS reserves the right to modify awards accordingly. Failure to promptly report other Harvard-funded summer activities may be reported to the Administrative Board.



Award Notification

Students will be notified of their funding status via email by late March 2019. Students selected for funding will have one week to accept or decline the award. Students who accept an OCS award for this category will receive their funds via direct deposit upon completion of all pre-departure requirements.