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Rackham Spring/Summer Doctoral Internships

Rackham’s Spring/Summer Doctoral Internship 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.
  • Spring/Summer Internship Grants: 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 Grants: 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 internship grant.

Students complete part-time or full-time internships 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 applying for a doctoral internship are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment with Rackham’s Graduate Career Counselor and attend two workshops to help you prepare:

  • Graduate Student Career Pathways: Cover Letters and Resumes for Internships and Positions Beyond the Professoriate. Winter 2022 date TBD.
  • Graduate Student Career Pathways: Interviewing for Jobs Beyond the Professoriate. Winter 2022 Date TBD.

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.
  • 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 Internship Grant and an Internship with Rackham Partner Organizations.
  • Rackham Internship Grants must be relevant to the student’s program of study and career goals. Internship Grants 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.

Internships with Rackham Partner Organizations

Please read the application instructions below carefully. You may apply for up to two 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 Internship Grant 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:

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.


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

Internship sites will be posted in December.

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.

Spring/Summer Internship Grants

  • Spring/Summer internship grants 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 Spring/Summer Internship Grant will receive a stipend equivalent to full summer support (working 40 hours per week) or half of summer support for a part-time internship. Exact grant amounts will be announced in Fall 2021. 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 grant 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 internship grant 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 grants 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 Internship Grant is April 4, 2022. Please allow two weeks of processing time.

Visit the Rackham Internship Grant 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).
  • Letter from the thesis advisor agreeing to the student’s participation in the internship experience.
  • Email from the student’s program acknowledging the student’s participation and confirming that the student is in good academic standing.

Review Criteria for Spring/Summer Internship Grants

  • 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 Grants

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 an Internship Relocation Grant as part of an Internship Grant application, please check the appropriate box on your internship application.

Deadline: April 4, 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


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.