Participatory Research Internships in France

2018: “Social Engagement for Social Inclusion”

The François-Xavier Bagnoud Center’s Field Education Internship Program, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights are offering research internships to Harvard undergraduates and master's and doctoral degree candidates who are seeking field experience in community development and health and human rights working with the largely impoverished Roma population in France. The affected population consists of between 15,000 and 20,000 people spread over 400 settlements, almost half of which are located on the outskirts of Paris. Roma have moved from their home countries in Eastern Europe to flee poverty and prejudice in search of better conditions for their families.

We invite proposals from rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as well as master’s and doctoral degree candidates, who are interested in deepening their knowledge of topics related to social inclusion and developing their research skills, while working in an NGO or government agency and engaging with the Roma community. Applicants must have strong French language skills and an interest in human rights and NGO work. 

Format and Structure of the Research Internship:

  • The internship is an ongoing participatory research project that focuses on the realization for Roma of their full range of human rights (health, education, housing, and employment, a healthy environment, safety, and respect) and to be protected against stigmatization and discrimination.
  • The research project builds on previous work of study teams and is part of a collaborative effort among Roma members, researchers, organizations, and public agencies.
  • Interns will learn about the mission and role of the host organization in which they are placed while supporting the work of the organization.
  • Selected undergraduates will receive funding to cover their airfare, room and board, and internal transportation.
  • Master's and doctoral degree candidates will receive partial funding but must apply for additional funds.
  • Students will be paired with local NGOs or government agencies in cities in France (Paris, Marseille, and Strasbourg) from June 1 to July 31, 2018.
  • In addition to learning about their host organization, interns will conduct interviews with Roma members, local and European “stakeholders,” including government officials, service providers, advocacy network members, and scholars in order to assess the ways in which the organization works with the Roma to help them access their rights.
  • All participants are required to take part in a mandatory training program during the spring semester before commencing their work in France, consisting of six to eight two-hour meetings taking place mid-March to mid-May.
  • Students will collaborate with scholars at Sciences Po, a top research university in Paris, for the duration of their internship.
  • Students will share their findings onsite in France and through a ten-page written report after the internship ends and before returning to Harvard, and may also have an opportunity to share findings at Harvard.

Applicants must submit their proposals and all supporting materials by February 15, 2018, via the online application platform, CARAT.


Undergraduates seeking more information should contact Clare Putnam, the Weatherhead Center’s coordinator of Student Programs at (617) 495-9899 or Graduate students should contact Myriam Zuber, FXB Center field practice senior program manager at