PKG Fellowships

As a PKG Fellow, you have the opportunity to develop and implement a service project of your own design.

You also have the option of interning with a service-focused organization to learn about how they operate, the work they do, and the services they provide while using your own skills and expertise to help them meet their mission.

Special Opportunity! Spring PKG Fellowships for undergraduates

Thanks to the program guaranteeing each undergraduate a funded Experiential Learning Opportunity (ELO) this academic year, we are offering up to 6 spring semester PKG Fellowships for eligible undergraduates. If you have not yet received an ELO that is funded through central guarantee funding, then you are eligible to apply. Note that the Fellowships are competitive.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you’ve already used your ELO guarantee, that’s okay! Just email Alison at hynd@mit.edu and she will check your eligibility.

Projects will fit the usual PKG Fellowship criteria, with the following special conditions for spring:

  • Projects can address a wide range of social and environmental impact issues, but we particularly encourage applications focused on these key themes:
    • Climate Change
    • Health
    • Tech for Social Good
    • COVID Response
    • Racial Justice
  • All projects must be conducted remotely
  • The spring PKG Fellowship period ends on the last day of spring final exams. Projects may extend beyond that date, but we cannot fund work that takes place after finals. 
  • The maximum stipend is $1,900. To qualify for funding, you must commit 70-140 hours to the work over the spring semester, with a preference for projects that meet the 140-hour maximum.

Want feedback on your ideas? Have questions about writing your proposal? Sign-up for our Zoom drop-in hours:

  • Tuesday, December 22, 2-3pm
  • Tuesday, January 5, 2-3pm
  • Thursday, January 7, 2-3pm
  • Tuesday, January 12, 2-3pm
  • Thursday, January 14, 11am-12pm
  • Friday, January 15, 2-3pm

Can’t make these times?  Contact Alison hynd@mit.edu to schedule an appointment.

Priority Deadline: January 20th at noon If we do not award all 6 Fellowships from this priority deadline, we’ll then accept applications on a rolling basis until the end of February. Questions: email Alison and Marie at fellowships-staff@mit.edu

Collaborate with a partner in the community

If you have a service idea you want to implement in collaboration with a community partner—or if a service organization wants your input as a consultant—apply for a Public Service Fellowship to support your endeavor. 

Pilot a social enterprise

If you are developing your own nonprofit or social enterprise, a Public Service Fellowship could help you pilot your idea. 

Explore a public service career

Public Service Fellows can also intern with service agencies. This option enables you to explore service careers or build your experience by working for service agency staff. You might help to expand an agency’s services, for instance, or assess operations. 

Undergraduates seeking service internships in the US should first explore our Social Impact Internships & Employment opportunities. PKG Fellowships can explore project-based internships for graduate students and undergraduates whose work would not fit in the Social Impact Internship framework.

Note: All registered full-time MIT students are eligible to apply and graduating students can receive funding for up to three months after graduation.

Funding

The deadline to apply for the special spring PKG Fellowships for undergraduates (through the ELO program) is January 20th at noon. If we do not award all 6 Fellowships from this priority deadline, we’ll then accept applications on a rolling basis until the end of February.

The deadline to apply for summer ’21 fellowships is March 30, 2021 at noon (ET). All summer PKG Fellowships must be planned for remote work.

PKG Fellowships fund both summer and IAP public service work. Projects can be done independently or as part of a small team (typically two or three students); however, if you are working in a group, each member must apply independently and we, unfortunately, cannot guarantee funding to all students. 

Fellowship funding is provided upfront as a direct deposit or check, and the sum is intended primarily for living and travel expenses. Check back soon for the link to apply.

General Funding Breakdown:

  • IAP Fellows will be awarded $2,500
  • Summer Fellows who commit 6-8 weeks of service work will be awarded $5,000
  • Summer Fellows who commit a significantly longer time period will receive $6,000

Selection criteria

Successful fellowship proposals will show:

  • Potential for sustainable benefit to an underserved community
  • Evidence of strong motivation to carry out the project
  • Potential for effective community partner/student relationship
  • An overall sense of project feasibility indicating that the project scope matches the student qualifications, time frame, and community partner expertise/input
  • Appropriate understanding of safety issues and a thorough safety plan

Program requirements

If we award you a fellowship, before beginning your project you will be required to:

  • Sign a contract, liability waiver, and MIT travel forms. Minors will also need the signature of a parent or guardian.
  • Submit a spreadsheet of personal and contact information.
  • Arrange for all necessary health, safety, and legal needs: e.g. passport and visa if needed, health insurance, vaccinations, etc.
  • Arrange all travel and accommodation.

While in the field, you have to:

  • Check in at least once a week with fellowship staff, describing work accomplished so far, plans for the following week, and general reflections.
  • Ensure that your community partner is supporting the project appropriately and remaining in contact with the Center staff as requested.

After fellowship work, we require you to:

  • Submit a brief report describing your experiences in the field. Alternatively, you can write a project blog during the course of the project.
  • Complete an online evaluation of your fellowship experience.
  • Submit photographs with captions.

We may also ask you to give presentations based on your fieldwork experience to members of the MIT community.

Help

Whether you are looking to workshop a project idea, need assistance with your application and proposal, or want clarification on funding and guidelines, the PKG Center is always open for consultation.

All fellowship candidates are strongly encouraged to open up a conversation with the PKG Center prior to applying. Ask questions; tell us about your project and your passions; tell us about the community you are passionate about working with.

Want feedback on your ideas? Have questions about writing your proposal?

Contact Alison hynd@mit.edu to schedule an appointment.