The MIT Open Documentary Lab’s Fellows Program hosts a limited number of distinguished artists, creative technologists, and scholars in residence or virtually who want to engage deeply with new documentary storytelling techniques and technologies in a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.

We are looking for people pushing the boundaries of digital documentary storytelling and its social impact in their work or producing original scholarship in this area.

Visiting Fellowship positions are non-compensated appointments established to provide the opportunity for artists, technologists, and scholars to participate in a rich exchange with members of the Open Documentary Lab, the wider MIT community, and other visiting fellows and artists.

Accepted applicants will have access to seminars, colloquia, and conferences, as well as the MIT library and other facilities. Unfortunately, OpenDocLab cannot provide personal office space or housing.


Selected artists and scholars are expected to secure financial support from a foundation, home university, other agency, or personal finances.

Students currently enrolled in a degree program are not eligible to become Visiting Fellows.

Generally, fellows are expected to have a Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience. Occasionally, we admit fellows earlier in their careers if they submit an excellent trailer, demo, or short snippet of the project they’d like to work on at the Lab. This submission must convince the selection committee that the fellow has the knowledge and skills to complete their project despite having less experience.


Visiting Fellows at OpenDocLab are expected to:

  1. Participate in OpenDocLab research meetings and events
  2. Present their work to the OpenDocLab community and on occasion to the wider MIT community
  3. Publish or exhibit their work produced while in residence at the OpenDocLab

How to Apply

We are not accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year due to lab restructuring. We hope to reopen the fellows program in 2025.

We review applications on a rolling basis, so you are welcome and encouraged to submit an application well before that deadline.

The fellowship is designed to be a single academic year (September – May) with the option to extend for a second year. We usually cannot accommodate spring arrivals, but you are welcome to ask in your application if a fall start doesn’t seem logistically possible for you.

Please submit the following information:

  1. A letter describing your intended project and your reason for wanting to join us at MIT OpenDocLab. Please include particular MIT faculty members whose research interests align with your own.  Applicants must demonstrate their ability to execute the projects they propose.
  2. A resumé or curriculum vitae.
  3. Two letters of recommendation.
  4. At least one publication, writing sample, or portfolio of project work. Please include URLs.
  5. Contact information including name, address, phone, email, and website.

All application materials should be e-mailed to opendoclab-contact[at]mit[dot]edu. We only accept electronic applications.

Requirements for In-residence International Scholars

The OpenDocLab will act as a liaison with the MIT International Scholars Office (ISchO) to process visa applications. To apply for a visa, international visiting artists or scholars will need to provide proof of the following:

  1. Minimum funding required per year (Current as of July 2023):

    Primary visitor: $35,000

    Plus 1 dependent: $40,000

    Plus 2 dependents: $45,00

    Plus 3 dependents: $50,000

  2. Health Insurance


If your application is accepted, the department will contact you with further details and paperwork about your visit. If you need an acceptance from us before you can start fundraising, please let us know in your application. In that case, we will work to get an answer to you as soon as possible ( approx. one month).

Further Information

MIT International Scholars Office

Off-Campus Housing

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

The OpenDocLab supports MIT’s UROP, is open to MIT and Wellesley students. The OpenDocLab periodically offers UROP positions supporting the lab’s current projects and research initiatives. For more information about specific openings, please visit the UROP job listings, or reach out to the OpenDocLab team.

Interested MIT and Wellesley students should email us with a Resume/CV, including references, and short cover letter. Interest in interactive documentaries and familiarity with the field is a plus.


We’re periodically seeking Boston-based interns to join our team. If you are interested, please email us with a Resume/CV and a short cover letter. Interest in interactive documentaries and familiarity with the field is a plus.