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Behavioral Science In The Field

A 4-week training course in Kenya hosted by MIT and Busara

January 6th -30th, 2020


This 4-week short course trains MIT graduate students and East African academics in cutting-edge behavioral science research. The course will provide students with practical experience in implementing a lab-in-the-field experiment. Students participating in the course will gain hands-on experience in designing and implementing behavioral games in the lab, and come away with a novel behavioral game and data for an academic publication. 

Data collection will take place after the course, for 1,500-1,700 individuals from February to March 2020.


The course is also made possible thank to the generous support from MIT’s J-WEL Grant in Higher Education Innovation. Learn more about our partnership here.

The course is a collaboration with MIT GOV/LAB, an MIT group which collaborates with civil society, funders, and governments on research that builds and tests theories about how innovative programs and interventions affect political behavior and make governments more accountable to citizens.


Course structure

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What is a “lab in the field”?

In recent years, behavioral science has developed novel methods and data to measure individual and group behavior. Lab in the field experiments bring behavioral science tools to a context that more closely resembles the realities of everyday decision-making. The course will provide students with practical experience in implementing a lab in the field experiment, with an overview of the most current methods in economic, political, and social behavior.


Key dates

August 30th – Deadline for application submission

September 27th – Publication of accepted applicants

December 6th – Info session

January 6th - Course begins

January 31st - Course ends


Who should apply?

Applicants should be East African Scholars with research interests in behavioral economics (economics, incentives, risk, discounting, etc), political (politics, voting, taxation, policy making, etc) or social behavior (social norms cooperation, social sanctions, etc).


For more information, please reach out to