Experiential Learning

There are many ways to prepare for a future career. Your doctoral training is part of that preparation and is especially important in developing skills for a career in academia or research. PDPA supports this work through Workshops and Events focused on building a variety of skills identified in our Core Capacities.

We also acknowledge that BU doctoral students may be interested in exploring career paths in a variety of other fields. There are several internship and experiential learning opportunities available to Boston University doctoral students that can contribute to career exploration and preparation.

Boston University PhD Internships

The Office of the Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS), and the BU Center for the Humanities offer summer stipend support for six humanities PhD students and five social science PhD students annually. Interns undertake substantive research and writing in Boston-area cultural, governmental, and other organizations, with the aim of exposing PhD students to possible career opportunities outside of higher education.

Additional internship or experiential learning opportunities are available through the BU URBAN Program (Urban Biogeoscience & Environmental Health), which is open to students in Biology, Earth & Environment, Environmental Health, and Statistics. The Activist Lab at the School of Public Health and the BU Initiative on Cities both offer experiential learning fellowships that are similar to other internship programs.

VitaminPhD Podcast

Vitamin PhD – a supplement to your doctoral education – is a podcast produced at Boston University for anyone who is pursuing a doctorate, has a doctorate, or supporting others on their doctoral journey. The podcast delivers career narratives and skills know-how through “capsule seasons” focused on a variety of topics. Each season is hosted by a pair of current BU doctoral students, who collaborate with the podcast production team to select episode topics and guests, typically producing six episodes per capsule season. We envision the podcast as a platform to showcase the voices of PhD students and address career and professional development topics of interest to doctoral students at BU and beyond.

We are actively looking for current BU PhD students to work with us on hosting future seasons of Vitamin PhD. The training and learning associated with producing a season of VitaminPhD will provide participants with the opportunity to develop skills in project management, communications, and teamwork. This is a paid opportunity. Reach out to gradpd@bu.edu if you are interested in learning more.

Additional Experiential Learning Opportunities


Zintellect provides listings of internships, experiential learning opportunities, academic fellowships and scholarships funded by government and private sector organizations.


IMPACT provides career development for post-doctoral and advanced pre-doctoral trainees through a six-month mentorship program to focus their work for heightened real-world value. 

Flagship Pioneering Fellowship Program

A 12-week paid summer program where exceptional innovator-entrepreneurs help create the next disruptive life science startups. They recruit outstanding scientists, engineers, inventors and budding entrepreneurs to work hand-in-hand with our seasoned professionals through our uniquely entrepreneurial scientific exploration process, with the potential to ultimately produce pioneering new ventures. This program is exclusively for Ph.D., M.D., M.S., and science-minded M.B.A. students who are within one year of graduating or have just done so.