For Students

As a Georgia Tech student, Diplomacy Lab (DL) offers you a rare and unprecedented opportunity to make a real difference in the world. By participating in a DL project, you will interact with members of the American foreign policy establishment who need your help to address some of the most pressing issues confronting the United States and communities around the world. This is your chance to connect what you learn in the classroom with real policy problems, and in the process make a real difference in the many lives touched by US foreign policy.

If you are interested in international affairs, Diplomacy Lab is obviously perfect for you. But many students might be thinking: “I am an engineer/biologist/chemist/physicist/etc. I don’t know anything about diplomacy.” That’s ok! The scope of projects the State Department puts forward is vast, and many of them are a perfect fit for your brilliant minds. For example, from a recent project menu containing more than 120 projects:

  • Sprout Diplomacy:  Growing Sprouts, Feeding People and Changing Lives in the Lake Chad Basin
  • Saving Endangered Species in the Upper Gulf of California
  • Terrorists & Trucks:  Methods to Degrade Mobility of Terrorist Groups in the Maghreb-Sahel
  • Artificial Intelligence and International Relations
  • Mapping political patronage networks in Bosnia & Herzegovina using d3.js force layouts
  • Leveraging Bitcoin Technology for Domestic Resource Mobilization
  • DIPLOMACY + ARCHITECTURE: Designing and Planning the Consular Landscape and Building Entry Sequence for U.S. Embassies and Consulates in Diverse Contexts to Promote Global Diplomacy

As you can see, the projects are interdisciplinary, giving you the chance to link your expertise up with that of students from very different majors. This is very much like what you will have to do once you graduate, so DL gives you a bit of job training as well!

We are excited about this opportunity, and hope you are too. Participation can be a little bit tricky, however. Because DL is run through classes, only faculty can apply to take on a DL project. But that does not mean you should passively wait for one of your professors to win a DL project. Be proactive! Here are some steps you can take:

  1. If you see a project that interests you (see item 2), talk to your friends to see if there is a group of students who would be interested in working on it. Then, pitch the project to your professor.
  2. Sign up for the Diplomacy Lab listserv. And you can also send a mail to the group via Every semester we will put out the upcoming project menu as well as announcements of Diplomacy Lab events.
  3. Spread the word to student groups.

If you have any questions, please contact the Institute Coordinator: Prof. Jonathan Colton