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.




Reporting to the program manager for mayoral relations, the Initiative is seeking two summer associates to support the Bloomberg Harvard team in preparation for the July and August executive education programs for mayors and senior leaders. Based in Cambridge, this is a unique opportunity to contribute to the development of some of the most effective public officials in the world.

The two summer associates will be integrally involved in a range of operational, programmatic, analytical, and administrative functions.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Gathering, synthesizing, and developing profiles on the 40 new cities participating in the Initiative — both to give city leaders a sense of the room and to give the teaching faculty insight into the specific priorities, opportunities, and challenges identified by city leaders; particularly as they relate to the content and curricula for the program

  • Helping plan and execute baseline data collection, including check-in calls with mayors who have completed the program, to measure and evaluate program effectiveness through 1. application of program learning by participants, and 2. change over time in leadership approach and behavior by participants and improved organizational capabilities in participating cities

  • Overall knowledge management and system improvement for the Initiative

  • Additional research and analysis as needed

Summer associates will be paid hourly with the total compensation amounting to $8,500 for 10 weeks, which includes living expenses. The positions are open to all Harvard graduate students, including 2019 graduates.


Between May and August 2019, three 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.

This fellowship is open to all Harvard graduate students, including 2019 graduates and international students.


  • 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

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


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.

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