The Center for International Development (CID) cultivates and supports interest in international development at all academic levels. All Harvard students have the opportunity to engage directly with CID staff, faculty, and practitioners through seminar series,  research funding, internships, hands-on programs, and special events.  

For a summary of all student engagement opportunities this AY 2023/2024, review the one-pager here

Throughout the semester, CID hosts a Speaker Series Seminars, where academics and practitioners from various disciplines and organizations in international development speak on current development issues, their organization’s recent work, and/or their own work experience. The talk is followed by a Q&A session with the audience predominantly composed Harvard students, although all are welcome. Our students play an active role in selecting and inviting seminar speakers.

The Speaker Series is an in-person event that also offers the opportunity to engage virtually. Lunch is served.  To receive seminar schedule updates, subscribe to CID's Weekly Events Email. Registration for the fall 2024 speaker series will be available shortly

Following most Speaker Series events, the guest speaker will engage with interested students in either a 1:1 or a roundtable 'career chat.' This is a space for students to ask questions and discuss their career goals with the international development practitioner. Sign-ups for these meetings will be available through CID's weekly events & student engagement newsletter, sent on Monday mornings. There will be limited slots for each speaker. Career Chats are open to Harvard students only. 

What is a CID Student Ambassador?

CID's Student Ambassador Program offers Harvard graduate and undergraduate students an opportunity to contribute to and embody CID’s mission of building a thriving world for all. Student Ambassadors are selected annually based on their commitment to help drive international development research and programming, organize and lead fellow students, and represent CID internally at Harvard and externally with leading practitioners and researchers. 

A CID Student Ambassador is passionate about solving the world’s most pressing development problems. They are leaders and doers, proactively leaning in to help CID build, convene, and deploy talent here in Cambridge, MA and around the world. Ambassadors serve for nine-month terms from September to May each academic year. They bring diverse experiences and come from a variety of disciplines and schools across the university and are eager to connect CID with an organization or cohort in which they represent.

What are the responsibilities of a CID Student Ambassador?

  • Ambassadors are the face of CID with students across Harvard University. 
  • Ambassadors promote the work of the center and share upcoming international development opportunities and events across all schools and interested student groups. 
  • Ambassadors may help plan and execute CID events including CID’s Speaker Series, CID’s flagship Global Empowerment Meeting (GEM), the Road to GEM event series, Career Chats, and other timely engagements.
  • Ambassadors may interview guests for CID’s podcast channel and/or create written content for CID’s website and blog. 
  • Ambassadors work closely with CID staff and programs to support the center’s strategic goals for the year and bring the voice and interest of students to the forefront of the center’s work. 
  • Note that this is an unpaid volunteer position. 

How are Student Ambassadors Selected?

A CID Student Ambassador is...

  • An actively enrolled Harvard student located in the Cambridge, MA area throughout the duration of the academic year. 
  • A representative of a student organization or a specified cohort of students
  • Pursuing or is interested in pursuing a career in international development. 
  • Willing to commit ~3-5 hours/week to organize, support, and lead CID activities.
  • Able to represent and connect CID with interested student groups, schools, and alumni from across the university.
  • A self-starter and leader who can self-organize Harvard students to advance CID’s mission.
  • Someone with strong interpersonal skills, attention to detail, and follow-through on commitments.
  • Someone who can represent the center confidently and appropriately.
  • Someone who wants to challenge themselves to think critically about international development and their role as future leaders.

CID Student Ambassador Leadership Positions:

In addition to the standard student ambassador role, students can apply for a leadership position if they are interested in taking on a larger responsibility: 

  • Student Ambassador Co-Chair - Lead and organize the Student Ambassador cohort
  • Communications Lead - Work with Student Ambassadors on sharing CID updates, opportunities, and events throughout Harvard and helping to organize student blogs posts, etc.
  • Events Lead - Work with Student Ambassadors to run/participate in CID events including the Speaker Series, Road to GEM, GEM, and Career Chats
  • Podcast Lead - Work with Student Ambassadors to strategically and consistently execute the CID podcast series

What are the benefits of being a CID Student Ambassador?

CID Student Ambassadors benefit from: 

  • Community: being part of an inclusive and engaging CID community of faculty, programs, fellows, staff, and alumni
  • Leadership: cultivating the next generation of development professionals)
  • Professional Development: building critical skills and a network of development professionals across the university

CID Student Ambassador applications for AY24-25 will be available in Spring 2024.

What is the CID Student Research Scholar Program?

The Harvard CID Student Research Scholar Program matches undergraduate and graduate Harvard students with research projects led by CID’s faculty and PhD student affiliates. It is an excellent opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience working on a research project in international development and make connections with faculty across the University. The program is designed to allow students to apply their existing skillset to a real-world project but will not provide training in the required skills.

How does the program work?

Students join the CID student research scholar database by completing an application with their skills and interests. CID will reference this database to match CID faculty and PhD affiliate research project work with students who possess interest in the given area/region and the requisite skills for the project. An initial match usually leads to an interview between the student and the project lead, who makes the final employment decision.

Hired Student Research Scholar positions are paid. Positions require a 5-20 hour/week commitment based on requirements from the project lead.  Matches will not be made immediately and will occur on a rolling basis. Not all students will be matched. 

Useful skills:

  • Survey design 
  • Econometrics (RCTs and/or quasi-experimental methods)
  • Literature review writing 
  • Programming languages such as R, C/C++, or Python
  • Statistical survey software such as Stata or Qualtrics 
  • Technical writing 

Applications are now closed and will reopen for Fall 2024

  1. The Harvard International Development Internship Fund (HIDIF) awards modest grants on a competitive basis to first-year HKS MPA/ID students who undertake summer internships on development projects . Internships must be full-time for at least eight weeks at one organization in order to be eligible for the HIDIF. 
  2. CID Global Internship Program provides meaningful development opportunities worldwide during the summer to expand students’ horizons, gain practical training and experience in a new country context, and explore potential international development career pathways following graduation.  The aim of the program is to build students’ capacity to use economic evidence and to provide students with a toolkit to make meaningful contributions to development projects.  
  3. Growth Lab Summer Internship offers internships embedded in Growth Lab's applied research projects. Our teams work on a unique blend of research and real-world policy engagements that provide an opportunity to test theories and witness the impact when research is applied to complex economic development problems.

As part of our five-year “BCD” strategy to Build, Convene, and Deploy talent to create a thriving world for all, the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University is committed to providing students with a comprehensive understanding of key issues in the field of international development. 

Our non-credit CID Student Seminars meet regularly during the semester to connect students with leading international development practitioners who navigate critical, cross-cutting topics within their fields. CID will offer four seminars in Spring 2024: 

  • Bringing a Gender Lens to Development Policy and Practice
  • Development Diplomacy
  • Development Strategy from Thought to Action
  • Unlocking Africa's Potential through Development 

Each seminar leader will offer office hours this spring to meet with interested students in an individual setting.

The two-year Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) program at the Harvard Kennedy School is designed to prepare the next generation of leaders in international development. It is an economics-centered, multi-disciplinary program, combining rigorous training in analytical and quantitative methods with an emphasis on policy and practice. [More]

CID awards modest travel stipends on a competitive basis to Harvard students who travel over J-Term for research related to a larger capstone in international development. The travel stipends can be used to cover related expenses, including but not limited to: transportation, lodging, food, and travel documents. All applicants’ proposals must follow current university travel policies. All awardees must complete all pre-departure requirements noted on the Harvard Global Support Services website. The Center reserves the right to revoke funding if travel is no longer permitted to your requested country due to health and safety concerns. Because of this, we encourage all awardees to purchase travel insurance or a ticket through an airline with flexible cancellation policies, especially when travelling to countries with elevated risk ratings.

For January 2024, CID will prioritize funding projects related to gender as we build up our programming for GEM24.


Criteria and Eligibility

  • Funding is open to any Harvard student
  • Travel must be related to international development and GEM24, there is a preference for projects related to gender.
  • Stipends will be awarded up to $2,500 each
  • While there is no minimum travel duration requirement, preference is given to applicants who can provide a well-organized itinerary/schedule that demonstrates how their travel is necessary to complete components of their research

Application Deadline

  • Applications are due by November 13, 2023 

Additional Requirements
Funding recipients will be expected to:

  • Submit to CID at least 1 blog entry highlighting the experience. Blogs should not be longer than 750-1,000 words.
  • Submit to CID 5-8 high-quality photos documenting fieldwork
  • Be available to speak to other students about their experience
  • Be willing to attend GEM24 on May 1-2, 2024 to share your experience and research

Applications are now closed 

Please reach out to Eve Margolis if you have any questions.

  • Potential SYPA Topic
    Mundo Sano is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Argentina and in Spain. Its main focus is on addressing the problems caused by neglected topical diseases for vulnerable communities. Mundo Sano takes an integral view of health. Its aim is to develop effective health-related programs that are replicable, scalable and transferable, based on multidisciplinary scientific research in collaboration with affected communities. With strong field-work expertise, Mundo Sano also collaborates with relevant local, regional and international stakeholders, such as World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization and private and public institutions. They can provide a rich, diverse and interdisciplinary environment to support practical and theoretical development of future generations of public health professionals. 

    Contact Marina Gold at for more information. 

You are invited to nominate yourself as a CID PhD Affiliate. All PhD students, 3rd year and above, who are advised by at least one of CID’s faculty affiliates are welcome to nominate themselves. 

PhD Affiliates are invited to attend the weekly development lunch, an opportunity for students to present their research and receive feedback from faculty and peers, and the Harvard/MIT development seminar. PhD Affiliates will have access to CID’s Research Scholar program, through which they can submit a request to be matched with an undergraduate or master’s student RA. You may also have opportunities to be matched with practitioners in CID’s networks who are seeking research collaborations.

To nominate yourself, please complete this brief survey