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.

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.


Each summer, Harvard graduate students will be competitively selected for Bloomberg Harvard summer fellowships. Students will complete a 10-week summer fellowship in city governments across the country on an issue of salience to the mayor’s agenda. Fellows will be supported by the Initiative’s dedicated staff during their engagement.

REQUIREMENTS: Ideal candidates for research assistant positions and summer fellowships 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.

2019 summer fellowship applications and spring 2019 research assistant application information will be made available by January 2019.

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