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All Stanford undergraduate students in any course of study who have independently arranged a summer policy internship are eligible to apply for a SIG Stipend. We welcome students from all years, majors, and backgrounds. Past recipients have come from all class years, 20+ different majors, and varying degrees of financial need.

For the 2020-2021 year, students are only eligible to receive stipends funding during their flex quarter.

Successful applicants will have demonstrated strong interest in public policy and politics, and show an understanding of the tasks required of them at their placement office. To this end, students are especially encouraged to contact past Stipends Recipients to discuss internship preparation. Students are also required to seek out a faculty mentor to sponsor their Stipends application.

In 2021, we will offer two rounds of Stipends applications to accommodate students looking for funding for Spring or Summer quarters. Round 1 applications are due February 3rd, and Round 2 applications are due April 4th. Spring stipends applications must be submitted by the Round 1 deadline; Summer stipends applications can be submitted to either Round 1 or Round 2. Summer stipends applicants able to complete an application in time for Round 1 are highly encouraged to do so.

Application Guidelines

The 2021 SIG Stipend application includes:

  1. Academic Information
  2. Documents: Upload a resume and an unofficial transcript. Never created a resume before? No worries! Start by taking a look at this handy article and set of templates from BEAM on Handshake.
  3. Faculty or Professional Recommendation: Have someone who is familiar with your professional or academic work submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. For underclassmen, a high school mentor can be an appropriate choice! It is most important that the person know you well and be able to speak to your unique qualities and work accomplishments. This recommendation is entitled SIG Faculty or Supervisor Recommendation on SOLO.
  4. Organization Questionnaire: to be filled out by your internship supervisor. This recommendation is entitled SIG Stipend Organization Questionnaire on SOLO.
  5. Personal statement:
    • Please describe your internship as you understand it, making sure to outline how you will be engaging with policy research, development, and/or implementation. (150 words) *
    • Why are you interested in policy and public service? Why are you passionate about the work the organization does? (250 words) *
    • Please explain your short-term and long-term goals. How will this internship help you achieve these and how will you continue to engage with public service following the conclusion of the internship? (200 words) *


In order to be eligible for SIG fellowships, an applicant must be an enrolled Stanford student for the 2021-2022 academic year and cannot have conferred his/her undergraduate degree before the completion of the fellowship. In other words, graduating seniors are ineligible for SIG fellowships. Seniors who will be returning for all of next year to finish a co-term degree are eligible to apply.

Furthermore, SIG stipends recipients must fulfill all Cardinal Quarter eligibility policies, found in the “Student Eligibility” section of the Haas website here.

Applicant Restrictions

  1. No preference will be given to SIG committee members or directors.
  2. Students who have not received a SIG Stipend or SIG Fellowship in the past will be prioritized.
  3. If the applicant fails to disclose any information that would have disqualified him/her from the selection process, his/her stipend may be rescinded. The stipend cannot be used to pay any kind of program fees (fees the intern has to cover to secure his/her position as an intern).
  4. Students will be held responsible for finding their own housing and covering all living expenses with their stipend award. Housing needs early attention as Stanford gets out for summer break after other schools.

Internship Guidelines

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.

In order to be eligible for funding, internships must be:

  • Directly involved in the development or implementation of policy
  • Provide students with day-to-day experiences related to the policymaking process
  • An independent 9-week policy experience not tied to any other program
  • Unpaid and secured prior to the application
  • Full time (e.g. at least 35 hours a week)
  • With a public policy organization that is not a political campaign, partisan organization, or direct social services

In order for an internship to be considered at a “public policy organization,” the office should be directly involved in the development and implementation of policy. The Stipends Program seeks to fund internships that provide students with rich day-to-day experiences directly observing part of the policymaking process, and internships are assessed on the basis of the extent to which the student’s work for the organization will give the student exposure to policymaking.

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 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., US State Department)
  • Think tanks, media or 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 Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund)

This does not include direct service, research that does not affect policy, or non-profit work that does not directly relate to policy. 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.

Safety Guidelines

The safety of travel to any international destination is reviewed up until time of departure. The fellowship program must adhere to the Provost’s International Travel Policy, which states: Stanford-sponsored or Stanford-organized trips are prohibited to countries or regions and locations within a country where the U.S. Department of State has issued an official Travel Advisory of Level 4 (“Do Not Travel”) or Level 3 (“Reconsider Travel”) for either the country destination, or for the particular region or location of intended travel within the country destination, or where there is other reliable information of significant health or safety risks. No university funds or resources may be used, or university sponsorship provided, in support of travel to these locations.

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Applying for the first time? Check out our sample personal statements and resumes HERE!

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