With the largest Planning faculty in the United States, MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning has unparalled breadth and depth of expertise. In particular, IDG faculty conduct research or work on projects in virtually every area of the world, including Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Oceania, and Central and South America. They explore issues as diverse as our geographic scope: Development, Globalization, Governance, Health and the Environment, Human Rights, Industrialization, Policy and Law, Regional Economies, Technology, Transportation, Urban Issues, and Water and Sanitation.

IDG Students have a number of opportunities to engage in original research, including work opportunities with IDG faculty, international internships and practica, and summer fieldwork. They examine the roles of planners and engage with questions at various levels, ranging from work in international institutions to the national, regional, city and neighborhood scales. Students often apply these opportunities to the development of their Master's theses. 


Recent Master's Theses

China Urban Pollution Intensity Disclosure Study (CUPIDS): Socioeconomic Implications of Dirty Industry and a Guide to National Cleandustrialization
Yang Chu

How the Institutional Organization of Santiago Affects Its Capacity to Design and Apply Urban Energy Initiatives
Raimundo Cruzat Correa

Tactical Urbanism, Public Policy Reform, and Innovation Spotting
Mariko Davidson

Bridging the Gap: Boundary-less Bureaucrats and Gang Reintegration in Panama City
Paul DeManche

Dynamic Alliances: Political Economy of Labor Organization in Post-Revolution Egypt
Sofia Lopez

International Diffusion Practice: Lessons from South Korea's New Village Movement
Junghwa Kim

Tejiendo Una Red de Resiliencia/Weaving a Web of Resilience: Internal Displacement, Social Networks and Urban Integration in Cartagena, Colombia
Jody Pollock

The Political Economy of Urban Land Management in India: Case of the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act in Mumbai
Faizan Jawed Siddiqi

Accommodate Street Vendors during the Urban Development Process: With Two Empirical Cases of Zhu Lian (ZL) and Guan Dong (GD) Public Markets in Hsinchu City, Taiwan
Chia Yang Weng

Development for Whom? An Analysis of a Rural Intervention and its Interaction with Agricultural Policies
Paula Winicki



Recent PhD Dissertations

Neighborhood Design and the Energy Efficiency of Urban Lifestyle in China: Treating Residence and Mobility as a Lifestyle Bundle
Yang Chen

The Killing Consensus: Homicide Detectives, Police that Kill and Organized Crime in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Graham Denyer Willis

Expanding Transportation Planning Capacity in Cities of the Global South: Public-Private Collaboration and Conflict in Chile and Mexico
Onesimo Flores Dewey

Essays in Climate and Development
Roberto Guerrero Compean

Three Papers on Input-Output Energy and Environmental Accounting
Sonya Huang

The Political Economy of Foreign Investment: Constructing Cultural Categories of Capitalist Legitimacy in India
Jason Jackson



Student Research Opportunities

IDG students have access to extensive resources in locating research opportunities and to the wide array of funding mechanisms necessary to support such research.

CIS Fellowship Database
The CIS Fellowships Database is a joint project sponsored by MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the MIT Department of Political Science and MIT's Center for International Studies. To facilitate the search for financial aid, IDG helps to maintain an updated list of external fellowship opportunities for the study of international issues. The Fellowship Database is available at: http://web.mit.edu/cis/dbsearch.html

Lloyd and Nadine Rodwin International Travel Fellowship
This travel award is given to both US and international students registered in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Three or four travel fellowships of up to $1000 each are awarded to assist students "pursuing research or writing theses while at MIT with special preference, where feasibly, for students from poor countries or regions."

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF) program supports full-time graduate students in the humanities and social sciences, regardless of citizenship, who are enrolled in doctoral programs in the United States and conducting dissertation research outside of the Untied States. These fellowships provide support for nine to twelve months of dissertation research. The program is administered by the Social Science Research Council in partnership with the American Council of Learned Societies. http://www.mellon.org

Carroll Wilson Award
The Carroll L. Wilson Award is a grant for up to $5000 awarded to graduated students in any MIT department who wish to pursue exiting and challenging research opportunities abroad. These awards are regularly given to IDG students. The aim of the Wilson awards is to provide opportunities for MIT graduate students to explore a program of research and/or student of an important societal problem with international dimensions.

The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture is a unique international program that focuses on the study of architecture, urbanism, landscape and conservation in the Islamic world. Every year the program supports one PhD student and 3-4 SMArchS students, and offers a travel grant program that funds the research of 4-5 students chosen from the School of Architecture and Planning. http://web.mit.edu/akpia/www

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy regularly issues requests for proposals in a variety of topics and welcomes submissions that meet the guidelines. The RFPs are posted over the course of each year.

Universal Periodic Review
MIT Anthropology and the indigenous rights organization, Cultural Survival, have begun participation in Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a United Nations mechanism for monitoring human rights (www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRMain.aspx). Currently sponsored through the UROP program, the new effort will seek academic credit and funds for travel to Geneva. Cultural Survival's long running program welcomes students for a variety of projects (www.culturalsurvival.org)




DUSP's Career Development Internship Program solicits internship listings each semester from a database of area alumni/ae and other employers. Students may also use their own contacts and networks to secure positions on their own. The resources of the Career Development Internship Program are open to all DUSP students. Through this program, students receive a stipend of $2500 from DUSP for a semester internship. In turn, employers are invoiced for half of that amount. Students, employers and faculty sponsors sign a three-way agreement describing the work assignment.

Many DUSP internships are eligible for funding under the MIT Community Service World Study Program. Through this program MIT subsidizes 75% of an eligible student's stipend. Information on this program is available from the Student Financial Services office.

In addition, DUSP's Career Development Internship program keeps a list of fellowships that provide summer internships to students, or provide financial support for a summer internship of a student's choice.

The following internships have been extensively explored and utilized by IDG students over a consistent period of time:

MISTI Programs
With programs in eight countries around the work, the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) is among the principal international programs at MIT. Each year, MISTI sends over 200 MIT students to rigorous, hands-on, tailored internships abroad. (http://web.mit.edu/misti/index.html)

Summer in India
Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Pvt. Ltd. (http://ictonline.com), a New Delhi cased civil engineering and planning firm offers summer internships for graduate students in planning. ICT works all over India and in several other countries in Asia and Africa. Internships will run for two to three months. DUSP contact for this internship is Mary Jane Daly.

Public Service Center
The MIT Public Service Center exists to motivate, facilitate, and celebrate the ethic and activities of public service at MIT. Their aim is to enrich the education and life experiences of students and other MIT community members. To that end they provide guidance, resources, and support to find or create fulfilling service experiences, locally and around the world. IDG students are regularly awarded Public Service Center Internship and Fellowships funding to pursue professional development and service work abroad. http://web.mit.edu/mitpsc/

Foundation for Sustainable Development
The Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995 to fight global poverty at the community level. Their model incorporates three unique programs that development underserved, international communities in a collaborative and sustainable way. For more detailed information about FCD, visit www.fsdinternational.org