Writing Cover Letters and Resumes
For suggestions on writing cover letters and resumes, please visit the University Career Center, VersatilePhD, ImaginePhD, or this resource from our colleagues at Harvard’s Office of Career Services.
Spring/Summer 2024: February 16, 2024
Fall 2024: March 8, 2024
Eligibility Requirements and Funding Information
Doctoral students who wish to receive Rackham funding for an internship with one of Rackham’s host organizations must meet the general eligibility criteria for the Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship Program below. Please read carefully, as the eligibility varies by term.
Only doctoral students enrolled in Rackham programs of study are eligible to receive funding. Please check your eligibility before applying.
Student Eligibility for All Terms
- Students must be in good academic standing during the internship. Students currently on academic probation or currently on a leave of absence are ineligible.
- Students must obtain departmental authorization from their advisor or director of graduate studies to apply.
- International students may participate in this experiential learning program, but will need appropriate work authorization to do so. For internships off-campus, international students should consult with the International Center to discuss what work authorization and Curricular Practical Training (CPT) course enrollment may be needed in order to participate in an internship well in advance of applying. Rackham views internships as experiential learning opportunities important to doctoral students’ academic and professional development as scholars, and Doctoral Intern Fellowships must be relevant to the student’s program of study and career goals. No additional work authorization is typically required for on-campus internship sites, but if international students hold other on-campus positions while completing an internship, they may still need CPT.
- A student may only receive one Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship (RDIF) of any kind during their course of study at U-M. This includes RDIFs with host organizations and student-identified intern fellowships.
- Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship awardees are expected to be fully engaged in their internship and making academic progress (e.g., coursework, research). Therefore, a fellow may not accept supplemental employment involving more than 10 hours of work each week while receiving RDIF fellowship support. Students may not hold additional graduate student instructor (GSI), graduate student research assistant (GSRA), or graduate student staff assistant (GSSA) positions greater than a .25 appointment during the same term as an RDIF. Students holding other fellowships during the same term as a Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship must comply with Rackham’s Additional Funding in Excess of Stipend Policy (Section IV).
- Students with other fellowships providing stipend support should consult with their department and Rackham to discuss deferring other support to a future date if they are awarded a RDIF. Students may have other sources of support not intended as fellowship stipends (i.e. travel support, research grants, emergency fund awards).
- Students must be doctoral students who have completed at least two academic terms.
Fall and Winter Terms:
- Only doctoral students who have achieved candidacy are eligible to apply.
- Doctoral pre-candidates and candidates are eligible.
- Tuition support is not provided during spring/summer.
Students Selected for a Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship:
- are expected to contribute 20 hours per week to their internship and receive a one-term fellowship package which includes candidacy tuition and fees, GradCare, and stipend at the currently established Rackham fellowship rate. Please note that students who qualify for need-based financial aid (including the child care subsidy) and receive additional Rackham funding may be subject to a reduction in the original loan amounts or subsidy. Contact the U-M Office of Financial Aid for help evaluating your individual circumstances.
- must sign a student agreement, complete a internship plan using Rackham’s template, attend an orientation session, attend monthly online cohort meetings facilitated by Rackham staff, and complete reflection prompts assigned by Rackham staff.
Students with questions about the criteria and guidelines should contact Rackham’s Professional Development and Engagement team.
Application Process and Materials
Students can view Rackham’s host organization opportunities and must apply through the Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship Application Portal.
Please read the project descriptions and application instructions carefully. Applicants must submit the following materials:
1. Departmental Approval
You must obtain authorization from your DGS indicating your eligibility to participate in the program if selected for an internship. Applications without DGS authorization will not be reviewed or considered by host organizations.
Students should send their DGS the form to complete in advance of the application deadline.
2. Cover Letter
A cover letter which includes the applicant’s full name, email address, and graduate program should be tailored to the specific organization and project. Your cover letter should be no more than two pages and answer these questions:
- What are the skills and experience you bring to the organization?
- What do you hope to learn from the internship experience with this organization?
You must include a current resume (not a CV) outlining your experience and qualifications. It should be no more than two pages. Best practice is to tailor your materials to the specific project and organization(s) to which you are applying.
4. Professional References
Please provide your full name and contact information for three references along with your resume. Upload your cover letter, resume, and references as a single PDF or Word document using Rackham’s application portal.
Host organizations will schedule interviews with applicants. You can leverage the services of Rackham's embedded career counselor to prepare your cover letter, resume, and for your interview—appointments can include cover letter or resume review, tailored interview tips and strategies, as well as mock interviews. Schedule an appointment at the University Career Center's website.