faculty + students

Student Opportunities

The Initiative seeks Harvard graduate students to work with staff and faculty on projects that support participating cities, research, and curriculum development. The Initiative’s work with cities creates an opportunity to inspire a future generation of city leaders. Harvard graduate students will have the opportunity to gain experience in city government by working on real-world city issues. In so doing, students can provide immediate value to participating cities and contribute to emerging research.




Harvard graduate students will be selected for Bloomberg Harvard negotiation fellowships. Between May and August 2019, students will complete a 12-week negotiation fellowship. Fellows will research and author two cases for the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative on city negotiation. These cases will illuminate core concepts of negotiation that are critical for effective city leaders, and will be published by the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative for use by city leaders. 

Fellows will be supported by the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative and the Harvard Kennedy School Negotiation Project during their engagement. Fellows will be awarded a stipend of $10,200 plus round-trip travel to their case locations. They will be based in Cambridge, MA.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from March 15-31, 2019.

This fellowship is open to all Harvard graduate students, including 2019 graduates and international students.  Ideal candidates demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills, possess an entrepreneurial spirit and comfort with ambiguity, have a proven ability to collaborate, and possess strong analytical, research, and creative problem-solving skills.


  • Conducting research for and authoring two cases on city-focused negotiation

  • Collaborating with the project manager to design a research plan for the cases, following a Harvard Bloomberg City Leadership Initiative framework

  • Researching similar or related negotiation scenarios to the case topics

  • Analyzing primary (i.e. news stories, reports) and secondary (i.e. media reflections, academic articles, post-negotiation analyses) sources

  • Interviewing negotiation participants from case scenario, including senior-level personnel

  • Traveling to case location(s) for on-the-ground research and interviews


  • Familiarity with negotiation skills, frameworks, and concepts (ideally through graduate-level work in negotiation)

  • Research experience, including but not limited to: qualitative interviews, action-oriented research meant to advance policy-making, periodical searches

  • Experience using analytical frameworks for processing qualitative data, historical analysis, and/or public policy analysis

  • Excellent interpersonal skills that resonate with audiences of different backgrounds

  • The ability to communicate persuasively, concisely, and clearly in speech and writing

  • Excellent time management

  • Ability to adapt to an existing case framework

  • Willingness to receive and implement feedback

  • Proven organizational, creative problem-solving, and analytical skills

  • A relentless work ethic—coupled with an enthusiasm for rolling up their sleeves to do whatever it takes to get work done—whether strategic and/or routine and mundane


To apply for the Bloomberg Harvard negotiation fellowship, email your application materials (see below) in PDF form to cityleadership@harvard.edu. Include ‘Negotiation Fellowship’ in the subject line of your email. 

Applicants must provide the following supporting items:

  1. Resume

  2. Statement of interest that articulates the candidate’s interest in negotiation, city government, and case writing. Statement should be 1-2 pages in length 

  3. Single page, memo-style writing sample that addresses a policy problem for practitioner

  4. List of relevant coursework

  5. Contact information for two references (faculty member or former work supervisor), who will be contacted if that candidate becomes a fellowship finalist

Please contact Project Manager Elizabeth Patton with questions about negotiation fellowships.


We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.


Harvard graduate students will be competitively selected for Bloomberg Harvard summer fellowships. Beginning in June 2019, students will complete a 10-week summer fellowship in domestic and international city governments on an issue of salience to the mayor’s agenda. Fellows will be supported by the Initiative’s dedicated staff during their engagement. This year, we are proud to offer 17 summer fellowship positions. Fellows will be awarded a stipend of $8,500, plus round-trip travel to their fellowship city.

Click here to view the project descriptions for this year’s fellowships. To learn more about the work done in cities by last year’s summer fellows, read the 2018 Summer Fellows Blog.

Please contact Program Manager Glendean Hamilton with questions about summer fellowships.


In Laredo, Texas - a border city through which more than $214 billion worth of trade moves each year - 2018 Summer Fellow Santiago Mota helped officials understand why a third of households remain in poverty for generations.




Students perform research to help mayors and senior leaders make progress on a range of organizational challenges by learning from practices instituted by other cities and the innovative ways they addressed similar challenges.


Students work with the Initiative’s content team on projects to support the development of curriculum and cases.


Students work on various short-term projects to support the Initiative and its cities on an as-needed basis.

These research assistant opportunities are paid positions, for varying lengths of time, depending on the project. Ideal candidates for research assistant positions demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills, possess an entrepreneurial spirit and comfort with ambiguity, have a proven ability to collaborate on teams, and possess strong analytical, data analysis, and creative problem solving skills. Prior experience in consulting or research is a plus.

Information about spring 2019 research assistant applications will be made available by February 2019.

For questions about student research opportunities or general questions about the program, please feel free to contact us here or email cityleadership@harvard.edu.