VCU Internship Funding Program
Want to participate in an internship that is unpaid or doesn't pay enough to cover your expenses for the summer? Don't let your funding needs cause you to miss out on opportunities for personal and professional development. Apply for funding through the brand new VCU Internship Funding Program!
Funding will be awarded as a direct deposit and can be used to supplement costs for travel to your internship, housing, childcare, professional attire, supplies and more!
The summer 2022 application closed on March 15, 2022.
Complete and eligible student applications will go through a competitive selection process that includes multiple rounds of review by a committee of approximately 30 faculty and staff from both campuses. Funding is not guaranteed to all applicants, but we are hoping to support as many students as possible in this pilot year. Awardees will be notified by mid-April and payments will be dispersed in early May.
Questions? Watch this video, contact VCU Career Services at email@example.com or make an appointment with a Career Advisor via Handshake.
Eligible students must:
- Be a current VCU undergraduate student.
- Plan to enroll for at least one semester (fall 2022) after your funded internship in a VCU undergraduate program, or be a continuing student in an accelerated (5-year) Master's program at VCU.
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress during spring 2022.
Eligible internship experiences must:
- Entail working with and for an organization external to VCU (internships within VCU offices/departments will not qualify for IFP funding this year, though we encourage VCU offices interested in internship support to dedicate their own departmental funds to hiring VCU students).
- Be supervised by a professional staff member within the employer organization (IFP support cannot be used for entrepreneurial startup funding or unstructured learning experiences).
- Be unpaid or underpaid based on applicable expenses (see budget worksheet in application).
- Not require tuition or fees to participate. While students may decide to seek academic credit for eligible summer internship experiences, IFP funding cannot be used to pay tuition or fees to VCU, another institution, or to an employer or external organization for a "pay-to-work" internship program that charges students to participate.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Yes! As a part of the application in the RAMS Scholarship Hub, you will be asked to upload a verification that you have applied to an internship. This can be a screenshot of your successful application, a confirmation email from an application system, or an email from a Human Resources or general staff member of that organization.
- If you are selected to receive funding, we will follow up with you to ensure that you have been accepted to the internship. Confirmation of the internship offer will be due on or around April 22, 2022 ahead of funding distribution.
- Yes! Even if an internship is paid it may not pay enough, or you may need funding before the experience starts to finance travel to the internship or a deposit on housing near your internship site. We ask that you let us know in the application and budget template how much you will be paid, so the selection committee can see what additional expenses you have that may not be covered by your earnings.
- For this pilot year, only undergraduate students are eligible to apply. Continuing students who are part of an accelerated (5-year) Master's program at VCU are eligible to apply.
- We are hoping to award funding to as many students as possible while also addressing each students' specific needs. If you are chosen to receive funding, the selection committee may choose to fund your entire proposal or part of it, up to $5,000. The more descriptive you are in the budget template and essay questions, the easier it will be for the selection committee to get an idea of your areas of need and where we can help you close gaps.
- Summer 2022 is the pilot semester for the VCU Internship Funding Program (IFP). At this time, there is not funding through this particular program available for fall or spring semester experiences; however, we hope to expand the IFP in the future to be able to offer support during the academic year as well.
- Yes! You do not need to be in a specific major to be eligible to apply.
- If you are concurrently applying for, and are awarded funding through, any other VCU-sponsored internship funding program (such as the Baldacci Student Experiential Learning Endowed Fund through the College of Humanities and Sciences), this may impact the amount of funding you are eligible to receive through the general VCU Internship Funding Program.
- Provide as much detail as possible in your written answers, and be clear about how much funding. you are asking for and why. Outline your motivations for participating in the internship and how it relates to your career goals. Let the selection committee know how this experience will impact your academic and career development.
- No, there are other select funding pools for specific majors or experiences, including:
- Our goal is to notify all awardees of their status by mid-April. If we have an alternate list and find that we have more funding to distribute, there may be a second round of notifications before the end of April.
- VCU Procurement plans to distribute all internship funds via direct deposit to students' bank accounts by Friday, May 6, 2022.
- Selected students will be required to complete the following in a timely manner before they are approved to receive funding:
- Handshake pre-experience survey that includes uploading a copy of the specific internship offer letter/email and supplying internship supervisor/employer contact information
- VCU direct deposit paperwork
- No. IFP applications will be reviewed and recommended for funding based on specific internship experiences, and the verification process to receive funding once selected requires proof of offer from the intended internship. The application essays and budget worksheet would also be difficult to complete accurately without a specific internship in mind, so students should apply to the IFP with a focus on one internship only. This may well mean students waiting until later in their internship search and interview process to apply for funding. There is no weight added to applications based on date of submission, so students should take the time they need to find an internship of primary interest and make sure their application information is complete, specific and detailed before the March 15 deadline.
- Internships are supervised, structured work experiences that are time-limited and ideally project-based with a tangible outcome. Internships should facilitate individual students' career exploration, professional networking, transferable skill-building, and personal reflection. Though not always tied directly to one's major or course of study, internships often complement or supplement academic pursuits, leadership experiences, or other interests. In the pilot year of this program, we are defining internships broadly and would encourage students who are engaging in career-related, work-based learning during summer 2022 to consider applying.
- No. This program is designed for students to apply directly for funding for an internship they have secured, and funding is not guaranteed to all applicants. We encourage all employers who recruit at VCU to pay student interns as an equity-based best practice, and in many cases the law. As an employer offering an unpaid or underpaid internship experience, you are welcome to encourage VCU student applicants to apply for the IFP ahead of the March 15 deadline, but your ability to hire them should not be contingent upon their receiving funding from VCU. If you would like to partner with VCU Career Services to recruit VCU student interns, design an effective internship, or engage in other career development opportunities and events, please contact our Employer and Experiential Development Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- There are lots of great ways to find and cultivate internship opportunities, and we provide a number of tips and resources on the VCU Career Services Internships website.
- A great place to start searching for active internships is through VCU's Handshake system, which is managed in partnership between VCU Career Services, Business Career Services and Engineering Career Services. There were over 10,000 internships posted to Handshake during the 2020-21 academic year alone!