FAQs about Summer Opportunities

Thanks for your interest in Stanford in Government's summer opportunities! We offer two types of funding for summer internships in public policy: SIG Fellowships and SIG Stipends.

Applications for Summer 2019 will open in December!


How do I find housing during my summer opportunity?

Check out this helpful guide from the Haas Center for Public Service!

What is the difference between SIG Fellowships and SIG Stipends?

SIG Fellowships are fully-funded public policy internships with SIG’s partner organizations, where SIG has already secured internship placements. For more information about the fellowships program, click here.  SIG Stipends fund students who have found and secured unpaid public policy internships on their own. Candidates apply for funding after their internship placements have been confirmed. For more information about the stipends program, click here. You may apply for both fellowships and stipends, but the applications are separate.

Can I apply for both programs?

Yes, you may apply for both SIG Fellowships and a SIG Stipend. However, you may not accept both awards.

I've already had a fellowship or stipend. Can I apply for one again?

Yes, you may apply for a second SIG opportunity, but priority is given to first-time students (if you applied before and did not receive the opportunity, that will not count against you). 

Where can I find the application?

The application for summer opportunities will be available starting in December!

Who can apply?

Students from ALL years, majors, and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Our ideal candidate is simply one that is passionate about the issue they are hoping to explore this summer. In the case of SIG Stipends, qualifying internships must be full-time, unpaid, and at least nine weeks long.

If a stipends-eligible policy internship requires the student to undergo a security clearance process, please make this clear in your application and provide as much detail as possible about your progress through the clearance process.

I am abroad this quarter; can I still apply?

Yes! Students who are abroad can still apply. If selected as a finalist, abroad applicants will Skype into their interviews, and depending on the time zone difference, may have to be flexible with timing.

I will be abroad spring quarter; can I still apply?

Yes! However, students who will be abroad in the spring will be required to complete assignments to make up for the on-campus orientation sessions they will miss.

I will be graduating at the end of this year; can I still apply?

Unfortunately, SIG only accepts applications from students who will be enrolled as undergraduates for the following academic year, so graduating seniors cannot apply. The one exception to this rule is that seniors who will be working toward a co-term degree for all of the 2018-2019 year, who are allowed to apply.

Do I have to declare a major to apply?

No. Undergraduates from all majors (including those who have not declared a major) are encouraged to apply, as the fellowships and stipends support public service opportunities across a variety of disciplines.

Are freshmen eligible to apply?

Yes, freshmen are encouraged to apply for both SIG Fellowships and SIG Stipends! Each year, many freshmen are selected for finalist interviews, and typically a few freshman may be chosen as fellows. In the case of fellowships, having a Stanford faculty recommender and experience in your application is preferable; however, if after having spent only one quarter at Stanford, freshman think a high school supervisor or teacher would be able to speak much better on their behalf, or some experience from high school is very relevant to the fellowship, then please include them. The following SIG Fellowships are especially welcoming to underclassmen (but underclassmen CAN apply for and receive other positions as well):

  1. City of Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs’ Office
  2. Precourt Institute: California Air Resources Board
  3. Oakland City Planner’s Office
  4. Precourt Institute: California Independent System Operator (ISO)
  5. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
  6. National Museum of African American History and Culture
  7. AccessNow – New York

Fellowships

How do I apply for fellowships?

The Stanford in Government Fellowship application consists of a common application, a supplemental application, and tiered preferences. Applicants will all compose a common application and may select up to three SIG Fellowships for which to write supplement essays, and may then further select up to two ranked preferences for which to be considered. For more information, please visit our application information page.

What is the timeframe for application review, interviews, offers and decisions?

For fellowships, applications will be reviewed and email notices of whether or not you are a finalist in the week following the submission deadline of February 7. Interviews will be held from mid-February through early March, with final offers and decisions by mid-March at the latest.

Can I apply for more than one fellowship?

Yes, you may apply for more than one SIG Fellowship. However, you may not accept more than one.

What is the difference between SIG Fellowships and SIG Stipends?

SIG Stipends funds students who secure an unpaid public policy internship on their own. SIG Fellowships are pre-arranged fully-funded public policy internships with organizations who have agreed to partner with SIG. For more information about the stipends program, click here. You may apply for both stipends and fellowships, but the applications are separate.

Where are fellowships located?

Fellowships are located all over the world. We host international fellowships, national fellowships (many, but not all, of which are located in Washington, D.C.), and state and local fellowships (located in Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and elsewhere in California).

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply for and receive a fellowship?

The majority of our fellowships do not require U.S. citizenship. However, due to the high-security nature of some of our fellowships, some partner organizations do require U.S. citizenship to apply for or receive that fellowship. These are listed below. Due to security clearance constraints, applicants to these fellowships must be United States citizens:


Stipends

How do I apply for a stipend?

The SIG Stipends Program requires all applicants to submit (1) a standard written application, and (2) an internship questionnaire from the office supervisor. Because the Stipends Program uniquely requires students to organize their own unpaid policy internships, this documentation confirms that the student has received this internship placement and that the internship fits within SIG's guidelines for eligible policy related work. For more information, please visit our application information page.

What is an example of an internship that would be eligible for a stipend?

Students who have received a stipend in the past have interned at federal departments, embassies, U.S. Senate offices, and more. For the summer internship to qualify for funding, the proposed internship must be full-time, unpaid, and at least nine weeks long. Generally speaking, internships that are eligible for a Stipend should be at a “public policy organization,” which are defined as follows:

  • Governmental agencies at the federal, state, or local level (e.g., federal departments, the White House) in the U.S. or abroad
  • Federal, state, or local legislative bodies in the U.S. or abroad
  • International policymaking organizations (e.g., the U.N., embassies)
  • Think tanks, media, or non-governmental organizations that directly play a role in the policymaking process (e.g., testify or present reports for Congress)
  • Civil society and advocacy organizations (e.g. the ACLU, World Wildlife Fund)

If the internship requires the student to conduct research, the SIG Stipends Program requires that the project directly involve the application of research into public policy. For additional examples, please see the list of past stipends recipients.

What is the difference between the first and second stipends deadlines?

SIG has two stipends deadlines to accommodate different schedules in which students receive internship offers. You only need to apply to one deadline, and there is no advantage to applying to one over the other. If you are rejected during the first application cycle, you may apply during the second one.

How do I find an unpaid policy internship?

Please visit this page for further suggestions on finding a policy internship.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply for and receive a stipend?

No, you do not have to be a U.S. citizen to apply for or receive a stipend. This application is open to all Stanford undergraduates in any major, of any nationality.

Are graduating seniors or co-term students eligible to apply for a stipend?

Graduating seniors who are planning to co-term can apply for and receive a stipend for the summer after their senior year and before their co-terminal program. Graduating seniors or co-terminal master’s students who are not returning to Stanford after the summer are not eligible for a stipend.

How much funding will I receive if I am awarded a stipend?

Stipend recipients receive, on average, $5,000. The exact amount depends on your place of work, associated living/transportation costs, and financial aid status. The final award is determined by the Haas Center for Public Service. Stipends will not exceed $7,500. Cost should not be a barrier to any student’s participation.

What does it mean for an internship to be involved in “direct social service?”

An internship that involves direct literacy training, tutoring, counseling, transportation, public safety, crime prevention, or recreational services that are not related to government, politics, policy development, or implementation will be considered “direct service” and will not be eligible for a SIG Stipend.

What does it mean for an internship to be at a “public policy organization?”

Stanford in Government defines “public policy organization” as:

  • Governmental agencies at the federal or local level (e.g. federal departments, the White House) in the U.S. or abroad
  • Federal or local legislatures in the U.S. or abroad
  • International policymaking organizations (e.g. the U.N., embassies)
  • Think tanks, media and non-governmental organizations that directly play a role in the policymaking process (i.e. testify or present reports for Congress).
  • Civil society and advocacy organizations (e.g. the ACLU, World Wildlife Fund)

Internships must be hosted by a public policy organization to be eligible for a SIG Stipend.

What does it mean for an internship to be an “independent nine-week experience?”

If an internship is a distinct nine-week experience, it means that it cannot be tied to any other program. For example, if you were abroad and hope to work for the same organization over the summer through a SIG Stipend, we can only fund the internship if you secure the internship with a new contract for those nine weeks. In other words, it cannot formally be a continuation of the contract you had through the study abroad program. This allows us to keep funding separate and maintain accountability to our donors.

How do I find a policy internship?

Visit Stanford in Government's page on Finding an Internship! Stanford in Government also hosts a campus-wide mentorship program that encourages students looking for a policy internship to sit down with past Stipends Recipients for a cup of coffee.

How can I support the SIG Stipends Program?

If you are interested in supporting Stanford students working in policy, please consider donating to our program! Every contribution helps create an unforgettable summer experience for students interested in public service and government.


Still have questions?

Please contact Grace Romer, SIG's Vice Chair of Fellowships and Stipends, using the form below.