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.
SIG fellowships and stipends follow the same eligibility guidelines and program policies as all other Cardinal Quarter programs sponsored by the Haas Center. The eligibility policy can be found under “Student Eligibility” on the Haas website here.
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.
What is the time commitment?
All fellows and stipend recipients are required to work with their host offices at least 35 hours/week for nine consecutive weeks. Students selected to participate in fellowships and stipends program are expected to begin service after the conclusion of spring quarter classes and final exams.
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 will be released on December 16th.
Who can apply?
Students from ALL years, majors, and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Graduating seniors may be eligible, based on the organization. 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.
Students must be enrolled at Stanford in the quarter when they apply for a fellowship or stipend opportunity, and will need to be enrolled in undergraduate study in the quarter when grant funding is disbursed. Fellowship and Stipends participants must certify that they are in good academic standing and may not participate in the program or receive or retain fellowship funds if they are on suspension.
I am off-campus this quarter; can I still apply?
Yes! Students who are participating in off-campus Stanford programs can still apply. If selected as a finalist, abroad applicants will Zoom into their interviews, and depending on the time zone difference, may have to be flexible with timing.
I will be off-campus spring quarter; can I still apply?
Yes! However, students who will be off-campus in the spring will be required to complete assignments to make up for the on-campus pre-field preparatory sessions they will miss.
I will be graduating at the end of this year; can I still apply?
Typically, SIG only accepts applications from students who will be enrolled as undergraduates for the following academic year, so graduating seniors cannot apply. However, for some organizations, graduating seniors may be eligible. In addition, seniors who will be working toward a co-term degree for all of the 2023-24 year are allowed to apply. Co-terminal students who are paying graduate tuition are not eligible.
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 frosh eligible to apply?
Yes, frosh are encouraged to apply for both SIG Fellowships and SIG Stipends! Each year, many frosh are selected for finalist interviews, and typically a few are chosen as fellows.
How much funding does each fellowship or stipend provide?
Generally, funding begins at $6,500. Additional financial aid is available to students who qualify, and aid eligibility is determined by the Financial Aid Office.
Students who will be working in domestic high cost-of-living areas will receive additional cost-of-living supplements. Fellows serving in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Los Angeles-area, New York City, Boulder, Seattle, Honolulu, Boston, and Washington, D.C. will receive an additional $500 cost-of-living supplement.* (*Cost-of-living supplements are not available for students who will be working fully virtually.) Supplements for safety/security, vaccinations, and airfare may be available for fellows who are traveling internationally, but are not guaranteed.
How do I apply for fellowships?
The Stanford in Government Fellowship application consists of basic personal and demographic information, a resume and transcript, two general essay questions, and fellowship-specific specific essays for each of the fellowships one applies to. Students can apply for up to 5 fellowships. 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, 2023. 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 up to 5 SIG Fellowships. However, you may not accept more than one.
I am a frosh, which fellowships are suitable for first-year students?
While we accept applications from all eligible students for all of our fellowships, some of our fellowships are designated as “frosh-friendly.” Among them are:
- San José Department of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services – Strategic Partnerships Unit
- San José City Auditor’s Office
- Santa Clara County Office of Reentry Services
- Library of Congress – Prints and Photographs Division
- National Center for Learning Disabilities
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, San José, and elsewhere in California).
As of October 2022, all undergraduate international travelers who have not been fully vaccinated or boosted and have a university-approved exemption should work with their sending program/unit and must comply with any mitigation strategies recommended by the university. With limited exceptions, travel for undergraduate students is not permitted to countries, regions, or cities where the International SOS travel or medical risk rating is “High” or “Extreme.” To determine a location’s International SOS medical and travel risk ratings, please visit this page.
If in-person experiences are permitted, undergraduates are required to utilize Stanford Travel, a centralized booking program, when booking air fare, hotels, or rental cars for their experiences.
How do I find housing during my summer opportunity?
Check out this helpful guide from the Haas Center for Public Service!
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:
- Federal Communications Commission (Office of Economics and Analytics)
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)
- Office of Under Secretary of Defense, International Armaments Cooperation
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?
Internships must be hosted by a public policy organization to be eligible for a SIG 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 inherent advantage to applying to one over the other, although the winter deadline tends to have fewer applicants and may be less competitive. If you are rejected during the first application cycle, you may apply again 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, if U.S. citizenship is not a requirement for your host office. This application is open to all returning Stanford undergraduates.
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. Co-terminal students who are paying graduate tuition are not eligible.
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.
How do I find housing during my summer opportunity?
Check out this helpful guide from the Haas Center for Public Service!
Can I work virtually with my host office?
The Stipends Program is designed as an experiential learning opportunity, and as such, we expect students to work on-site at their host organizations during their summer experiences (health and safety conditions permitting). Some hybrid or fully virtual experiences may be allowed on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the needs and capacities of the host organizations. If a student is engaging in a virtual experience, we expect the student to be situated in a similar time zone as the host organization supervisor and team members in order to facilitate synchronous project collaborations. A student who is approved for a fully virtual experience will not receive a cost-of-living adjustment to the base stipend.
How can I support the SIG Fellowships and 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 Brandon Ma, SIG’s Vice Chair of Fellowships and Stipends, using the form below or at email@example.com.