Messing Family Public Service Fellowship

Deadline 12/15/2015
Contact Sarah Brown


The Messing Family Public Service Fellowship provides funding for students to pursue internships in public education that advance students' understanding of public education in the U.S. and their own interest and career possibilities in education.  The Fellowship is a collaboration between the Swearer Center for Public Service, the Center for Careers and Life After Brown, and the Education Department, and was established through the generosity of Brett S. Messing '86 and Marla B. Messing. 


Anticipating strong demand for this award, students will be eligible to receive this award once (1 one-semester award or 2 sequential semester awards for a full academic year internship) during their four years at Brown. In addition to the semester awards, students will also be able to receive a summer Messing award once during their four years at Brown. Students cannot receive any academic credit for the same opportunity. 

Internship Eligibility:

  • Internship must focus on public education in a way that advances student's understanding of public education in the U.S. and their own interest and career possibilities in education; can involve direct work with students (though not student teaching), teachers, and administrators; and/or research, policy, or advocacy work related to public education.
  • Unpaid semester internship; unpaid or low-paying ($1,000 or less) summer internship.
  • Internship terms, structure, and requirements consistent with LINK/SEW award program.
  • Formal classroom teaching (such as student teaching) is not eligible, as the fellowship program does not have the staffing necessary for the level of preparation, supervision, and intervention necessary for successful teaching placements.

 Student Eligibility:

  • The semester fellowship is open to all Brown undergraduates, with preference given to students on financial aid.
  • The summer Messing award is open only to rising seniors and juniors (with preference given to students on financial aid).  This policy is consistent with the LINK/SEW award process.

  Selection Criteria:

  • Extent to which project advances core mission of host school/nonprofit organization, and potential impact of student's work.
  • Extent of host organization engagement, supervision, and support of student (and confirmation of internship offer).
  • Extent to which internship integrates with and advances student's personal, intellectual, and professional development in public education; student's engagement in ongoing reflection and learning opportunities preferred (to be described in student's proposal; see note on learning opportunities below).
  • Student's preparedness for success in the internship (relevant past experience, training, courses, skills; commitment).

Recipients will be required to submit a brief essay at the end of the internship, outlining their work, impact, and learning.

Wherever possible, students will be expected to participate in existing relevant learning structures alongside their internship -- e.g., Swearer Center Learning Communities for students working in the public schools, education department summer methods classes and school year seminars for MAT students (on a non-credit basis), and other education courses. 


The Fellowship will be launched with awards for academic year and summer internships. Up to four will be awarded in the 2015-2016 school year and two will be awarded for Summer 2016. One student can get 2 semester awards in one school year, to support a full-year internship.  In addition, a student can also receive a summer Messing award, once during their four years at Brown.


Complete your application at https://apps.college.brown.edu/ufunds/. Students applying for a semester award should apply directly to the Messing Fellowship award program.  Students applying for a summer award should apply to the LINK/SEW award program.