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Student-Identified Internships

Rackham is able to support many student-identified internships that align with doctoral candidates’ career interests. The exact level of Rackham funding will depend on what support the internship site is able to offer, but in general, students will receive the equivalent of a one-term fellowship package, including candidacy tuition and fees, GradCare, full stipend at the current Rackham fellowship rates, and relocation expenses up to $1,000 (when applicable).


Goals of the Internship

The primary goals of the internship is to help doctoral students:

  • translate their academic experience and skills to help meet the needs and goals of diverse organizations,
  • acquire experience working in collaborative teams with individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds,
  • participate in the challenges of managing time-sensitive projects on which innovation depends,
  • develop skills in effective communication within the organization and through outreach to external stakeholders and audiences, and
  • learn about the role of management, leadership, and policy in building and sustaining successful organizations.

Eligibility Criteria

Doctoral students who wish to receive Rackham funding for their self-identified internship must meet the general eligibility criteria for the Rackham Doctoral Internship Program. Intern fellowship is not meant to financially support a traditional research assistantship. Internship experiences should include additional professional and career development components. In addition, the proposed internship must adhere to the following guidelines.

A student-identified internship:

  • must provide clear evidence that it will:
    • include substantive opportunities to broaden and extend beyond the student’s academic experience and research,
    • offer significant opportunities for developing career readiness and professional preparation that include experience with specific competency areas such as advanced skill development, research collaboration, communication, leadership, management, and policy, and
    • enable the student to develop new networks of professionals and knowledge of allied businesses, organizations, agencies and institutions that can support further career development, and
    • involve ongoing mentoring to enrich, inform, and advance the internship experience and career preparation of the doctoral student.
  • must not be a position that would otherwise be supported as a research or teaching appointment.
  • student identified internships should not be undertaken at an organization where the Ph.D. advisor has a financial interest and/or a formal research collaboration relationship
  • cannot be at an entirely volunteer-run organization.
  • If a student’s self-identified internship is selected for Rackham support, the internship organization must review, sign, and return Rackham’s internship packet (distributed by Rackham staff).
  • During the Fall and Winter Terms, only students who have achieved doctoral candidacy are eligible. For internships during Spring/Summer terms pre-candidates are also eligible to apply.
  • Students may only receive one Fall or Winter Doctoral Intern Fellowship award of any kind (including Rackham host sites) during their time as a Rackham student. Students may receive a Spring/Summer Doctoral Intern Fellowship award in addition to a Fall or Winter Doctoral Intern Fellowship award, but preference in the application process for each term is given to students who have not previously received a Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship. Students may not apply to complete a Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship with the same organization more than once.

Application Instructions

Please read the application instructions carefully.

Applicants can apply for three levels of internship support awards:

Full Fellowship Support

Students who have secured an unpaid internship are eligible to apply for the full fellowship support. This includes an award of the current Rackham stipend rate, tuition waiver, and GradCare.

Partial Fellowship Support

Students who have secured an internship that is offering a stipend below the current Rackham stipend rate are eligible for the partial fellowship. This includes a partial fellowship award up to the current Rackham stipend rate, tuition waiver, and GradCare.

Tuition and GradCare Support

Students who have secured an internship that is offering a stipend above the current Rackham stipend rate are eligible for the Tuition and GradCare Support option. This does not include an additional award from Rackham.

Relocation Support

Students participating in an internship that requires relocating can apply for up to $1,000 in relocation support.

Required Application Materials

Please submit the following materials via the application link:

  • A detailed description of the internship project, including its scope and anticipated deliverables. 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, as well as the specific ways in which the internship will enhance the student’s career goals and develop transferable skills. Please discuss any previous participation in other career exploration programs.
  • A detailed resume, including any experience relevant for the internship.
  • Contact information for the staff member who will serve as your supervisor at the internship site.
  • A letter from the internship site, confirming the availability of the position, the purpose and scope of the position, duration of the position and any stipend, salary, or hourly wage that would come with the position (if compensation is offered below Rackham’s current fellowship rate, Rackham will provide support up to the current fellowship stipend rate). 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 (for example, 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 and complete an internship. Students can request the authorization form be sent to the appropriate signer on the Rackham Doctoral Intern Fellowship Program Application Portal. Applications without departmental authorization will not be considered.

Review of Proposals

All funding is limited and competitive. Applications will be reviewed, evaluated, and awarded to successful proposals on a rolling basis until available funds are expended. Students are encouraged to request funds as early as possible. Please allow two weeks for processing. The cut off deadline is three weeks from the start of the term for which you are requesting support.

Apply Today

Application deadlines are as follows:

Winter 2023 Internships: December 5, 2022
Spring/Summer 2023 Internships: April 3, 2023
Fall 2023 Internships: August 7, 2023
Winter 2024 Internships: November 26, 2023

Contact Professional Development and Engagement

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


Professional and Academic Development is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 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.