What Prior Recipients Have Said about the Fund:
“I would just like to sincerely thank [the donors] for the opportunity they’ve afforded me to grow as a person, an academic, and a professional. The experience has been amazing so far, and I would not have been able to do it without the kindness of donors.” - Serena B. ‘18
“Living alone, in a big city, out of the country, traveling on my own, and working from 9-5 are all new experiences for me. I have grown in so many subtle ways that I never would have considered had I not been pushed to challenge myself. I look forward to returning to Rice with an invigorated sense of self-sufficiency and perspective.” - Katie L. ‘19
“Oftentimes, students have to make the tough decision between pursuing their interests or earning money. Because of donor contributions, I have been fortunate enough to pursue a fascinating research project for the summer.” - Michael F. ‘18
What is the Summer Experience Fund?
Are you searching for an unpaid or low paid summer experience? Thanks to generous donations from alumni, parents and friends, the Summer Experience Fund may allow you to pursue your ideal summer opportunity!
- Applications for Summer 2021 funding will open by 1/31/21 in Handshake.
- There will be two application deadlines:
- 3/29/21 at 11:59 p.m.
- 4/26/21 at 11:59 p.m.
NOTE: We cannot move up the deadline or the decision making process. Late or incomplete applications will NOT be accepted.
Who is eligible?
1. Students who have an internship or research experience secured and meet the requirements stated below. Students must have an offer in hand OR be in the interview stage of a hiring process at the time of the application deadline.
2. Students receiving less than $5,000 in compensation during their summer experience. Learn more about eligibility details in Handshake.
3. Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors who are enrolled in both the 2021 spring and fall semesters.
4. Duration of summer experience must equate to 240 hours minimum (or, 6 weeks, full time).
5. Prior recipients, who have received less than $5,000. Total awards, per recipient, will not exceed $5,000 (cumulative) during their time at Rice.
Additional Notes on Eligibility:
- Students pursuing summer experiences that require a program (or placement) deposit and/or are part of school tuition (including Rice abroad), are not eligible to apply for this fund.
- Priority will go to rising Juniors and Seniors who haven’t had prior work/research experience.
- Students pursuing opportunities off campus will be given priority.
2. If available, include an offer letter or letter of interest from the hosting organization that includes information about your compensation.
3. Budget Worksheet (If you have extenuating circumstances not included in your proposed budget, add a note in the essay): Instructions will be provided in Handshake by January 2021.
4. Reflective essay (one page): Explain why you want to participate in this internship. Describe how the experience could help shape your career exploration and job search process. Include if you can pursue this opportunity during the academic year.
5. Attach the internship description to the reflective essay.
To learn more and apply, search "2021 Summer Experience Fund" in Handshake. Or, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What types of opportunities has this fund been distributed towards in the past?
Sample list of funded opportunities:
Baylor College of Medicine
Center on Budget & Policy Priorities
Commercial Spaceflight Federation
Department of Homeland Security
Institute of Spirituality & Health
Legacy Community Health
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Public Defender Services
Save the Children
Texas Children's Hospital
Texas State Legislature
Texas Wildlife Rehabilition Center
U.S. Airforce Academy
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Patent Office
UT Health Center
World Affairs Council Education
How many times can students receive funding?
Per eligibility above, prior recipients, who have received less than $5,000. Total awards, per recipient, will not exceed $5,000 (cumulative). For example, if a student receives $2,000 from this fund Sophomore year, they could receive $3,000 Junior year (if selected).
What if a student receives funding here AND hears back from another Rice related fund?
Students can receive up to $5,000 if selected. If a student receives $2500 from another department at Rice, the student can receive up to $2,500 from this fund (if selected).
What other resources exist to help students with unpaid internships?
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but one to help students get started. Schedule an appointment with a CCD team member to you determine whether an unpaid internship is the best option for you.
If a student receives funding, what is required of them?
When students receive funding, they commit to attending a mandatory workshop on internship preparation, an evaluation by supervisor, submit a reflection or poster and participate in stewardship post summer experience. A signed letter of agreement, managed by the CCD, is required. Students must also be in good judicial standing.
Will fund recipients be taxed on this money?
Yes. Students will complete a W-9 form. If selected to receive funding, students should save some in anticipation of taxes.
Why should students apply to the Summer Experience Fund?
This is a competitive process, to be clear. We do, however, want students to have access to experiential opportunities during their time at Rice. If students meet the eligibility criteria, we encourage them to apply and continue talking to us and mentors about how to pursue alternative funding resources and/or other paid opportunities.