Summer Internship for International Students

We are accepting a small group of GDL Summer Interns who are international students currently enrolled in Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programs in the social sciences at selected universities in Africa. MIT will support the selected international students’ applications for a J1 student visa to be in residence at MIT in the US for approximately 8 weeks in June and July 2024.  

To be eligible to apply, international students must:

  1. Currently be enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program at an African university, with an expected completion date after August 2024, and that degree program must be at a university that is an English-language institution or an institution that requires significant coursework in English
  2. Must commit to returning to complete their degree program in their current country upon conclusion of the MIT program.  
  3. Be available to be in residence at MIT in the US for approximately 8 weeks in June and July 2024 without seriously interrupting their course of study at their current university. 

Master’s students are preferred, but applications from advanced undergraduates will also be considered. The strongest applicants will be those with some existing research experience who are actively considering applying to Ph.D. programs in the social sciences in the future. 

While in residence at MIT, students will split their time between participating as (paid) Research Assistants on GDL’s current research projects and working on their own research project (e.g., initial work for a thesis) under the supervision of an MIT faculty mentor. The program also includes weekly workshops with MIT faculty and graduate students, both inside and outside of GDL, during which interns will be exposed to additional research projects and also participate in skills training sessions aimed at preparing them for careers in social science.  

MIT will provide on-campus housing, a full stipend, and health insurance for the period of the residential program, as well as cover all travel and visa application costs.

By providing research experience and mentorship opportunities, the program’s goal is to increase the number of students from Africa who are in a strong position to secure admissions to Ph.D. programs in the social sciences in the US. 

The following application materials are required: 

  1. Research Statement
  2. CV
  3. Academic transcripts
  4. Contact details for a faculty member who will write you a letter of recommendation for the program
  5. A paragraph about why you want to be a part of this program

Research Statement

The research statement should be approximately 500 words and describe your current research interests, what motivates you to study this topic(s), and how these interests relate to your Bachelors or Masters coursework and/or to your professional or research-related experiences. The statement should also summarize the state of any research efforts you have already undertaken related to these interests (e.g., any initial work on a Masters thesis). 

Application Deadline

The deadline for international students to submit their applications is Tuesday, December 5, 2023. Short-listed applicants will be contacted shortly afterward for Zoom/Skype interviews. Successful applicants will be notified of their selection and begin the visa application process by the end of December 2023. If you have any questions about your eligibility for the international students’ program please email

The application for international students only is available HERE

Information Session/ Webinar

We will be holding a webinar for interested students to learn more about the program and application on Wednesday, November 29th, 2023 at 7:30 pm EST. Register for the webinar HERE.

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