Get Involved




CoLab offers many opportunities for students to engage with real world problems through practice and study – from informal gatherings and speaking engagements to skill-based workshops, research, reading groups, courses, and paid and unpaid internships. CoLab Radio also welcomes contributions from students around the world who want to share their stories of innovative projects and urban planning research with an international audience dedicated to improving cities.

Internships - spring 2019

Graduate-Level Anti-Displacement Internship The selected intern can expect to work 10 hours/week at $19.50/hr. The intern will work closely with staff from MIT CoLab and project partners, and must be based in the Greater Boston region.

See full job description for application details.



Internships - summer 2018


Graduate-Level Student Policy Internship
Commitment: Full-time, hourly paid position for 8-10 weeks during summer 2018
Compensation: $19.50/hour.

See full job description for application details.


Graduate-Level Student Development without Displacement Internship
Commitment: Full-time, hourly paid position for 8-12 weeks during summer 2018
Compensation: $19.50/hour.

See full job description for application details.


Community-Based Research and Evaluation Intern
Commitment: 10-20 hours/week
Compensation: $20/hr

See full description for application details.


Research Opportunities

CoLab offers research opportunities both internally and with outside partners. 

For more information, please get in touch!


Partner-based research opportunities

[No current opportunities]

CoLab Research Opportunities

[No current opportunities]



Every year, CoLab supports one or more courses offered in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. CoLab staff support the course development and execution and connect enrolled students to community partners. CoLab is working to support at least one Practicum course each academic year, guiding students in reflective practice in the field and providing students with opportunities to support social innovation in marginalized communities. 


Current & upcoming CoLab Courses: 

Fall 2018 11.237 Participatory Action Research (PAR) 1

Introduces students to participatory action research (PAR), an approach to research and inquiry that enables communities to examine and address consequential societal problems. Explores theoretical and practical questions at the heart of partnerships between applied social scientists and community partners. Focus includes the history of PAR and action research; debates regarding PAR as a form of applied social science; and practical, political, and ethical questions in the practice of PAR. Guides students through an iterative process for developing their own personal theories of practice.

6 week module, begins the 1st week of classes

PAR 1 and PAR 2 may be taken in any order.

Instructors: Dayna Cunningham, Executive Director, and Katrin Kaeufer, Director, Just Money
Dates: September-October (T/TH 5-6:30pm)






Current Opportunities

CoLab's network of collaborating organizations work on a variety of projects and initiatives. Innovators in their fields, these organizations are creating new approaches to solving complex problems of equity, inclusion, wealth creation, democratic engagement and more. Our partnerships are built around shared values and interest in exploring how to drive greater sustainability in communities and at larger scales of regions, nations and among nations. 

CoLab’s efforts are guided significantly by partner-defined problems. We engage students and faculty to provide technical support to partners’ work and to give students immersive experiences in real-world problem solving, particularly around issues of equity, inclusion, wealth creation and democratic engagement.

CoLab has limited resources for developing new partnerships. However, beyond specific projects and initiatives with organizations, we support innovative practitioners in several ways. Some examples:

  • Each year the Mel King Community Fellows program invites 10-14 practitioners to participate in a one-year fellowship organized around themes of economic democracy and self-determination. The Fellows spend a year exploring the theme and its relevance both to theory and to their own practice, collaboratively developing innovative prototypes to advance their work, connecting to faculty and students at MIT, and sharing their experiences. Please click here for more information on the Mel King Community Fellows Program.

  • CoLab Radio, a storytelling platform that focuses on first-person narratives, welcomes contributions from innovative practitioners around the world seeking to share their efforts to improve cities with a global audience of their peers.

If you are interested in being a community partner or connecting with one of our current partners, please be in touch.



Our work around democratic engagement, shared wealth generation, and urban sustainability is dependent on the generosity of our donors. Without their support, CoLab could not carry on the important work of providing students, faculty, and community practitioners the resources that they need to implement real change. 

To donate to CoLab, please use this link and give to the Community Innovators Lab fund on MIT's donation hub. 

if you would like information on supporting specific CoLab programs and initiatives, please contact Mercedes Soto at sotom [at]



  • Ford Foundation

  • Kendeda Fund

  • MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

  • MIT Office of the Dean for Graduate Education

  • The Nathan Cummings Foundation

  • The Rockefeller Foundation

  • Kresge Foundation

  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

  • Open Society Foundations