Summer Internship 2019

The Harvard Laboratory for Developmental Studies hosts an annual summer internship, supervised by Dr. Susan Carey and Dr. Jesse Snedeker. Interns gain in-depth research experience. You can learn about Dr. Carey and Dr. Snedeker’s current research by reading our website and focusing on publications from our lab members.

The Intern Experience

Interns work closely with a graduate-level researcher, based on the intern’s interests. Interns gain an in-depth experience in all stages of research. Specifically, interns will do background reading, schedule participants, collect data from children and/or adults, transcribe/code data, conduct literature searches, and plan follow-up experiments, etc. They also present a preliminary talk at week 2 and a poster at week 10. Interns’ intellectual development is further supported through frequent meetings with their mentors, a weekly meeting with the faculty, participation in weekly reading groups, and participation in weekly lab meetings.

Professional development is supported through meetings with the faculty and mentors on relevant issues (e.g., future options, the path to reaching goals, work/life balance). Plus, social events are scheduled for each week.

Though the two labs have different focuses and function independently, cross-talk and collaboration is always encouraged. Additionally, the members of both labs do many things together, such as the reading group, lab meetings, professional development, and social events.

Typical Interns

Interns must be undergraduates or students who graduated after April 2018. They typically have interest in research on language and/or cognitive development, experience with research methods (especially in psychology or linguistics), confidence in interacting with families (especially in a professional setting), and excellent problem-solving and teamwork skills. Interns are from schools all around the U.S.

Please note that this internship is highly competitive. While there are no strict GPA requirements, successful candidates typically have a 3.5 or above on a 4.0 GPA scale. For the 2018 summer internship, we accepted 4% of the applicants.

Dates and Time

The internship is from 6/10/2019 to 8/16/2019. Interns must be able to be present for the entire duration. Interns are at the lab from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

Financial Support

$1500 funding is available for all interns. Housing is NOT included. We recommend subletting, staying in a co-op, or staying with a relative. Applicants are expected to look for funding from their home universities. If any intern does not find funding, we still provide $1500 (paid $150/week). If an intern finds funding less than $1500, we will provide a stipend of the difference (e.g., if your home University gives you $500, we provide $1000). We do not provide a stipend that raises the total amount to more than $1500.

Finding Additional Funding

Talk to your academic advisor(s), student employment office, financial aid office, and/or your other student organizations (e.g. Psi Chi, sorority/fraternity, etc). Harvard Students should apply via the Harvard College Research Program. Read the information here ( and submit your research proposal to Dr. Carey or Dr. Snedeker by 2/1 to ask for a recommendation.

Application Process

The application deadline is 12:00 noon (EST) March 1, 2019. After the deadline, we will contact you as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience!

Unfortunately, we cannot accept international applicants at this time. We encourage international students to look for opportunities through their home universities, as many offer international placements.

Applications should be submitted here. If you have trouble loading, please refresh the page and/or try copying and pasting the URL to a different browser.

You will need to upload:

  • a cover letter (in PDF format)
  • a resume/CV (in PDF format)
  • transcripts (unofficial, in PDF format)
  • responses to 5 mandatory questions and 1 optional question (in PDF format)

Additionally, we require 2 letters of recommendation, emailed directly from your referees to Feel free to ask anyone who can speak best about your potential as an intern in a cognitive/language development research laboratory.


Please direct any questions about the internship to:

Briony Waite
Snedeker Lab Manager
1080 William James Hall
33 Kirkland St
Cambridge, MA 02138

Nancy Soja
Carey Lab Manager
1154 William James Hall
33 Kirkland St
Cambridge, MA 02138