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Rackham Spring/Summer Doctoral Intern Fellowships

Rackham’s Spring/Summer Doctoral Intern Fellowship Program offers doctoral students in any Rackham program three options for completing and funding internships between May and August:

  • Internships with Rackham Partner Organizations: Apply directly to a specific project identified by one of Rackham’s existing partner organizations.
  • Student-Identified Internships: If you have secured an internship by applying directly to an employer or worked to propose your own with an organization, you can apply for funding to complete the internship.
  • Relocation Support: If you will be relocating from your current residence for your internship, you can apply for an award to defray costs of relocating to the region where you will complete your internship. You can apply for these separately or as part of a request for an intern fellowship

Students complete part-time (approximately 20 hours per week) or full-time internships (approximately 40 hours per week) for 12 weeks at their internship site between May and August. To facilitate support, learning, and reflection on your internship experience, students selected for Rackham internship support are required to:

  • Complete a student agreement outlining expectations for the funding award.
  • Attend an orientation.
  • Complete a work plan with their site supervisor using a template provided by Rackham.
  • Respond to brief Rackham program evaluation surveys to assess the contribution of the internship to the student’s graduate education and career readiness.

Students seeking support with their cover letters and resumes for doctoral internships with partner organizations are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment with Rackham's Graduate Career Counselor.

Students with questions about the guidelines or requirements for student-identified intern fellowships should reach out to Program Manager Joseph Cialdella.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Students must be enrolled during the winter term and continuing their studies in the fall term to be eligible.
  • Students must be doctoral students who have completed at least two academic terms and are in good academic standing.
  • Only students enrolled in Rackham programs of study are eligible to receive funding. Please check your eligibility before applying.
  • International students may participate in the program, but will need appropriate work authorization to do so for internship sites off campus. No additional work authorization is required for on-campus internship sites. International students should consult with the International Center to discuss what work authorization may be needed in order to participate in an internship well in advance of applying and to discuss Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
  • Students cannot apply to a site where they have held an internship previously. To provide opportunities to as many students as possible, sites are also asked to give priority to students who have not previously received funding for a Rackham Summer Internship.
  • Students may not apply in the same year for both an Intern Fellowship and an Internship with Rackham Partner Organizations.
  • Rackham Intern Fellowships must be relevant to the student’s program of study and career goals. Intern Fellowships may not be used to bridge a funding gap. Students on academic probation or on a leave of absence are ineligible.
  • The request must be for an upcoming internship, and not for reimbursement for a previous internship.

Please note: other funding will not affect your chances of receiving Rackham internship funding, but a student’s total summer support from Rackham and other U-M sources cannot exceed $10,000.

For example:

  • A student receiving $10,000 in departmental spring/summer support may not add it to Rackham internship funding.
  • A student with a Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship Award during the spring/summer term may not add Predoctoral Fellowship summer support with Rackham internship funding.
  • A student with $5,000 in departmental spring/summer support may combine that award with $5,000 in Rackham internship funding. A student with $2,000 in departmental spring/summer support could receive up to $8,000 in Rackham spring/summer internship funding.
  • Students who wish to complete an internship, but who already have $10,000 or more in spring/summer funding, should consult with their department (or other source of the funding) to discuss the possibility of deferring that funding if they are awarded Rackham Spring/Summer Internship funding.

Internships with Rackham Partner Organizations

Please read the application instructions below carefully. You may apply for up to three opportunities, but need to submit a separate, customized cover letter and resume for each position.

Requirements for internships with Rackham Partner Organizations:

  • Complete a student agreement outlining expectations for the funding award.
  • Attend an orientation and monthly cohort meetings.
  • Complete a work plan with their site supervisor using a template provided by Rackham.
  • Respond to brief Rackham program evaluation surveys to assess the contribution of the internship to the student’s graduate education and career readiness.
  • Students awarded a Rackham Spring/Summer Intern Fellowship will receive a stipend equivalent to full summer support (a 40 hour per week internship) or half of summer support for a part-time internship. Sites determine whether to host a full time or part-time internship.

Applicants must submit the following materials through Rackham’s application form by March 25:

Cover Letter

Your cover letter (including your full name and contact information) should be addressed to the internship supervisor (listed with each organization). It should be no more than two pages and address your specific interest in the role, project, and organization, including:

  • What are the skills and experience you will contribute to the project?
  • What do you hope to learn from the internship experience?
  • How will you connect your scholarly interests to the project and the organization broadly considered?

Current Resume with References

  • Current resume (no more than two to three pages, not a C.V.)
  • Professional references: please provide full name and contact information for three references at the end of your resume.

Departmental Approval

Your primary dissertation Advisor or Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) must complete an authorization form indicating your eligibility to participate in the program if selected for an internship. Applications without authorization will not be considered.

Interviews

After Rackham forwards eligible applications to our partner organizations, site supervisors will schedule interviews (in person, by phone, or by video) with students they would like to consider.

Upon completing interviews, supervisors at partner organizations will offer the position directly to their top choice and notify Rackham staff of their selection.

2022 Internship Sites

Funding Acknowledgements

Partial funding for these opportunities is made possible by the Jack and Jeannie Thompson Humanities Internship Fund.

Jack and Jeannie Thompson have personally invested in higher education and believe deeply in its ability to transform lives. Jack Thompson received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan in 1976. Dr. Thompson spent the latter part of his career as a professor and dean at both Northwestern University and Oakton Community College in the Chicago suburbs. Mrs. Thompson had a 40-year career in the fields of healthcare, personal and career counseling, M.B.A. admissions, workforce education, executive development and outplacement, as well as mentoring and mediation. Dr. and Mrs. Thompson decided to create the Jack and Jeannie Thompson Humanities Internship Fund to support humanities students completing internships.

Application deadline: March 25

Student-Identified Internships

  • Student-Identified Internships provide funding to students who have applied directly to an organization and have been hired to complete an internship (in some cases specific projects are proposed by the internship site, and in some cases students have autonomy to propose their own projects).
  • Internships are intended to support students’ professional growth in diverse career settings and cannot be used to support a student's current doctoral research project.
  • Students awarded a Rackham Student-Identified Internships will receive a stipend equivalent to full summer support (working 40 hours per week) or half of summer support for a part-time internship. Intern fellowships can be requested up to $10,000. Funds will be transferred in the form of a stipend directly to the student’s account.
  • Individuals may be paid a salary directly by the internship sponsor. If students participating in an internship receive a salary that is less than full summer support (or its equivalent for shorter internships), the internship fellowsip will pay the shortfall.
  • Students may not receive funding for any time beyond the spring/summer semester, or for any time exceeding 12 weeks.
  • If needed, the intern fellowship will pay additionally up to $1,000 to defray the cost of relocation. Students requesting relocation funds must clearly indicate this in their application.
  • Students may still apply for relocation support if their internship is fully-funded by the internship site. In this case they should complete ONLY the relocation funding application.

Application Instructions

Please read the application instructions below carefully. The deadline for submitting applications for a Rackham Intern Fellowship is April 4, 2022. Please allow two weeks of processing time.

Visit the Rackham Intern Fellowship application site and submit the following materials:

  • A detailed description of the internship. For any internships in higher education contexts (e.g., universities, colleges), internships must be distinct from traditional research assistantships or temporary research appointments.
  • A narrative describing the rationale for the internship, how it relates to the student’s research, scholarship, or fields of interest and the importance of the internship for enhancing the student’s career goals and career readiness. Describe previous participation in any career exploration programs.
  • Letter from a supervisor at the internship site, confirming the availability of the position, the purpose and scope of the position, duration of the position and salary or hourly wage (if in a for-profit setting). A copy of an offer letter from the internship site is sufficient.
    • Note: if you are applying for funding but have not received final details from your internship site, please submit as much information as you are able (e.g., email correspondence from the internship site indicating your acceptance).

Departmental Approval

Your primary dissertation Advisor or Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) must complete an authorization form indicating your eligibility to participate in the program if selected for an internship. Applications without authorization will not be considered.

Review Criteria for Student-Identified Internships

  • Does the organization and project align with the student’s professional and scholarly interests?
  • Is the project mutually beneficial to both the organization and student’s professional development?
  • Will the work be challenging and help the student grow professionally?

Internship Relocation Support

Students are eligible to apply for up to $1,000 to defray the cost of relocation for internships that are not local to your current residence. This funding is available in addition to the internship stipend. For cases when an internship is fully funded by the site, students may still apply for relocation funds.

To apply for Internship Relocation Support as part of an Intern Fellowship application, please check the appropriate box on your internship application.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until available funds are expended for spring/summer 2022.

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.

Contact Professional and Academic Development

1530 Rackham Building
915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070
Phone: 734.647.4013
Fax: 734.936.2848

Hours

Professional and Academic Development is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays and on the following holidays: Thanksgiving (Thursday and the following Friday), Christmas through New Year’s, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day.