Director's Internship Application Instructions

Don't Forget!

  • Enter your recommender in CARAT before starting other application materials. Ask your recommender in advance, and complete the Reference part of CARAT as soon as possible so that your recommender has all of the instructions for submitting the letter. The letter is due at the same time as the Director's Internship application on Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 11:59pm (Round 1) or Monday, February 24, 2020 at 11:59 PM (Round 2). 
  • If you are applying to more than one internship, you may use the same letter for multiple applications, but please send a reference request for each internship because the letter will need to be uploaded for each of your applications.
  • Please be aware that by submitting an application, you are consenting to having your application materials, which include your Harvard University ID number, shared with the organization hosting the internship which you have applied.

How to Apply

  1. Visit the Centralized Application for Research and Travel (CARAT) site and find the correct application:

  • If you are applying for an IOP Director’s Internship, you can find the application under: Institute of Politics Director’s Internship
  • If you are applying to an internship that is co-sponsored with another Harvard organization, there are separate applications in CARAT for some co-sponsored applications. You can find more information on the individual organization pages, and on the co-sponsoring websites for Harvard Global Health Institute, Center for Public Interest Careers and David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. If you are unsure, more information is available in the position description.
  1. Complete all of the required fields in CARAT.

  2. Provide one reference:

  • In CARAT, you will be asked to indicate one recommender. It is best to ask someone who knows you well and can comment about your performance in a context similar to the internship you’re applying for.
  1. Upload the following two documents in PDF Format

  • Statement of Interest (one page): Your Statement of Interest should be a document describing your interest in the organization for which you are applying and the qualities you possess that make you a well suited candidate for the internship. It is between a college application essay and a cover letter. Some organizations ask that you address specific topics in your personal statement, so please make sure to check the position description for any specific application instructions. If you are applying to two Director's Internships, your Statement of Interest should be unique for each organization.
  • Resume (one page)
  1. Submit!

Selection Process and Timeline

  1. Generally, each application is reviewed by the Director’s Internship Selection Committee, and a select group of finalists are shared with host organizations.
  2. We aim to notify all applicants of their finalist status by March 1st. If finalist decisions have not been made by early March, applicants will receive a note with an updated timeline.   
  3. Once finalists are selected, host organizations will review applications and decide who they want to contact for in-person on phone-based interviews. 
    • Note on interviews: Each organization has their own internal selection process, which means you may not be called for an interview, even if you are a finalist. It also means that some organizations will contact you faster than others, so don’t worry if you don’t hear from organizations at the same time as other applicants.
  4. Students who do not receive offers will be notified on a rolling basis as decisions are made. All applicants should hear results by mid April at the latest. 
    • Note on Offers: If you are a finalist for multiple internships, once you accept a position, you will be automatically withdrawn from consideration for other internships. If you accept another opportunity outside of the Director's Internship, you are responsible for letting the IOP know and withdrawing from consideration for the program. 

If you have questions, please see the FAQs; you can also contact