Nonimmigrants can maintain their OPT with a nonprofit research organization provided the arrangement complies with DHS memo dated Apiril 2006.
Unpaid employment. A student may work as a volunteer or unpaid intern, where this practice does not violate any labor laws. The work must be at least 20 hours per week for a student on post-completion OPT. A student must be able to provide evidence acquired from the student’s employer to verify that the student worked at least 20 hours per week during the period of employment.2010.pdf