Summer Internship Program

Summer Internships Title

Summer Internships

Each year, the Growth Lab offers students exciting opportunities to work as part of our team through internships in our 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. Experiences of interns in past years are shared in our blog. Summer interns have an opportunity to contribute and learn from our engagements, make an impact, and work directly with policymakers around the world.

Note that the Growth Lab Summer Internship is separate from CID’s Global Internship Program. Growth Lab Summer Internships offer an opportunity to collaborate directly with ongoing research taking place at the Growth Lab.

Growth Lab researchers standing before a woman and a table full of goods.

General Guidelines  

Applicants should have a developed skillset for economic analysis and a strong interest in public policy in developing countries and struggling economies. Growth Lab internships tend to require the ability to manage multiple tasks, significant interpersonal skills to work within government teams, and creativity to work through the challenges that arise in complex bureaucracies. Additionally, interns must be enterprising individuals who can identify problems and propose avenues to address them. All interns will be partially supervised by Growth Lab researchers and Professor Ricardo Hausmann. The degree of oversight and collaboration with the Growth Lab team will vary based on the needs of the assignment.

  • Duration: Internships will have a minimum duration of eight weeks. Priority will be given to applicants who can work for 10 weeks or more.
  • Start/end dates: Dates will be determined based on the timelines of applicants and internship providers/Growth Lab teams.


Timeline of 2023 summer internship selection process:

  • February 3, 2023: Application deadline
  • February 6 – February 17: Interviews
  • February 20: First round offers
  • February 27: Deadline to accept (first round)


Applicants are strongly advised to apply for HKS funding, through HIDIF and other sources. In some cases, the internship provider may offer modest stipends, but this is not guaranteed.


Application materials and deadline: Application deadline is Friday, February 3, 2023, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. Prospective candidates are requested to submit the following materials:

  • CV
  • Cover letter: In your cover letter, please indicate your top choice of projects, detailing in which you have the greatest interest and why. Note that you will still be considered for all positions that the Growth Lab deems appropriate.
  • Writing sample – no longer than two pages OR Coding sample – no longer than 100 lines.
  • First semester transcripts.

Please send your application to with the subject line: Growth Lab Summer 2023 Internship: [First and Last Name] Timeline of 2023 summer internship selection process.

Summer 2023 Internship Opportunities

Given the nature of the Growth Lab’s projects, specific activities for each internship offered may vary from the descriptions herein. In case internships need to be modified, we would make any necessary adjustments before the application deadline.


The Growth Lab's ongoing project with the United Arab Emirates is an ambitious multi-year initiative aimed at developing rigorous research to inform the UAE’s Ministry of Economy’s policies towards achieving sustained long-term economic growth and structural transformation, devising a dynamic and growth-oriented trade policy, and generally contributing to inclusive economic and social development in the country and its seven Emirates.

In the past decades, the UAE has achieved dramatic economic growth and undergone far-reaching social transformation. Going forward, major economic strategy questions are however on the table regarding the country’s growth model. Are there limits to the historic growth model of the country? Are there internal and external factors that now require an adaptation of the country’s development strategy? The Growth Lab is contributing to this reflection taking an approach based on growth diagnostics, the economic complexity paradigm, trade policy analysis and other data-driven policy zooms.

The project is undertaken under the guidance of Professors Ricardo Hausmann and Robert Lawrence.

Internship Opportunities:
The summer internship role(s) will center on one or several selected macro- or microeconomic topics that are central to the project’s success in 2023. The selected candidates can expect to collaborate closely with the Office of the Minister of Economy in the UAE, as well as the Growth Lab team throughout the summer. Depending on the most pressing needs as well as the intern’s profile, possible areas of focus for the internship(s) include:

  • Trade, especially trade in services and/or trade questions emerging from the global drive towards decarbonization;
  • The research and innovation ecosystem, international collaborations, possibly leveraging network analysis techniques;
  • Macroeconomic forecasting and structural modelling;
  • Structural transformation, economic complexity and industrial policy at the national and local levels;
  • Productivity, labor policies, immigration policy and attractiveness to global talent;
  • Decarbonization, greening and green growth opportunities.

Additional Information:

  • Interns will report to the Growth Lab team as well as an advisor to the Minister of Economy.
  • The internship is expected to be located in Dubai, UAE.


The Growth Lab is collaborating with the State of Wyoming in a project to better understand and address the state’s economic challenges. In late 2022, the team drafted an initial report summarizing the state’s economic and population history and framing a defining growth problem — the composition of Wyoming’s economic activities cannot sustain a high quality of life across all parts of the state. Wyoming is a largely rural state with small population centers with disconnected economies. The state’s tradeable income, jobs, and tax revenues have historically been tied to mining and energy resources, many of which are facing diminishing demand due to global decarbonization. There are key differences across the state economy, with some local economies narrowly diversifying and seeing growth momentum while other local economies are facing persistent population decline.

The project is working to inform growth strategies and build new capabilities across the state. This includes workstreams that focus on identifying local constraints to growth and economic complexity opportunities. Current focus areas include housing as a constraint to population growth and workforce expansion, capitalizing on a variety of emerging green growth opportunities, and aligning the state’s fiscal system with its evolving economic drivers and needs.

Internship Opportunities:
Summer interns will take place in and across Wyoming, with interns working closely with the Wyoming Business Council (WBC) and other state agencies and local officials. The following opportunities are expected.

  • Supporting Local Economic Resilience: One or more interns to help strengthen WBC’s approaches to local economic analysis and community reviews and mapping to support services, business recruitment, grants, and other tools for place-based economic development. Interns will be expected to work alongside local counterparts, involving travel across the state, to strengthen data collection and analysis, help design robust systems for matching support services, and identify gaps between community needs and existing services. Efforts may entail designing new systems for leveraging federal programs that have been expanded in recent years.
  • Housing Constraints: One or more interns to support joint efforts by the Growth Lab, WBC, and local government representatives to diagnose housing issues across the state and develop policy tools and other initiatives to enable housing expansion that facilitates labor market expansion. Experience and/or coursework on housing markets recommended.
  • Energy Opportunities: One or more interns to support joint efforts by the Growth Lab, WBC, Wyoming Energy Authority, and other stakeholders to understand and enable emerging growth opportunities resulting from global decarbonization across Wyoming. Experience and/or coursework on energy systems is recommended.
  • Workforce Development and Migration: One or more interns to support joint efforts by the Growth Lab, WBC, the Wyoming Innovation Partnership, and other stakeholders to strengthen statewide efforts on workforce development, including leveraging migration as a source of knowhow and skills for Wyoming’s local economies.


In addition to the projects listed above, the Growth Lab is currently engaged with ongoing research collaborations in Namibia and South Africa and is likely to begin new projects in several places in Africa and Asia. The Growth Lab also recruits summer interns to lead research on topical areas of interest or targeted research agendas such as Green Growth, African Trade Integration, and more. This year, the Growth Lab will recruit summer interns for the projects described above and may also interview candidates for additional opportunities in the pipeline that are not yet disclosed. Examples of prior summer internships can be found in our blog.

Internship Description:
Due to the nascent nature of other projects, interns can expect a range of project and team structures. Some internships may be based at HKS with the Growth Lab team to provide crucial contributions to research agendas across projects and themes, while other internships may demand on-the-ground field presence with policymakers and project counterparts in host countries. During interviews with potential candidates, the Growth Lab will describe new opportunities as they become available.

Additional Information:

  • Candidates must describe in their cover letter the experiences and background that motivate them to apply to the Growth Lab summer internship; it is not necessary to identify internships attached to the two projects above in order to be invited for an interview. All candidates selected for an interview will be assessed on their ability to contribute to a wide range of research initiatives.
  • Interns will report to both a member of the Growth Lab team and (likely) to one or more representatives from government agencies and offices.
  • The location of this internship is yet to be confirmed.
Questions? Please feel free to email Alicia Galinsky, Senior Program Coordinator.