IIC Project Associates bring passion and energy to the tough but rewarding work of implementing cutting-edge, high-impact solutions to important development challenges.


Over the course of a year, Project Associates apply their creative thinking and diverse skills to make the world a better place. They collaborate constantly, knowing they are each other’s best resource. They problem-solve tirelessly and persevere when facing daunting challenges. Through access to mentorship from top leaders in government, industry, and non-profits, Project Associates become global leaders-in-training.

IIC Training (Jamie Manley)-1.jpg


Project Associates are placed on a team of up to five, typically three from top US universities and two from the host country. Project Associates collaborate with the government, other high-level stakeholders and the IIC throughout the process.


Project Associates complete an intensive, 5-week training before the start of their projects. They learn about project management, design thinking, marketing, and more from experts from UChicago, industry and government. As a central component of training, Project Associates complete an intensive, on-the-ground project with a local organization in Chicago to build the skills they will need in the field. Training also includes an introduction to host countries politics, economy, and history, to develop broad knowledge of the project context.


To be embedded within a mission-driven project and oversee its close implementation at the state level is an unparalleled opportunity
— Ankit Tulsyan, IIC Project Associate 2015-2016

An interview with 2014-15 IIC Project Fellow Mrinalini Penumaka on why she chose the IIC and how it has shaped her professional development.


Project Associates spend a year tackling challenging projects that address government priorities in areas ranging from urban development to education. Each project is unique and offers Project Associates the opportunity to gain real-world experience in overcoming challenging obstacles to create social impact.

WhatsApp Image 2016-11-25 at 11.26.00 AM.jpeg


The IIC provides Project Associates with support throughout the fellowship, including in-country management to help Project Associates navigate project and team challenges. Project Associates have access to world-class mentors, top leaders in government and the private sector, and exclusive networking opportunities. The IIC also provides post-fellowship job placement support to outgoing Project Associates.