Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship

The Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship is a paid opportunity for undergraduate students to spend a summer in Washington, D.C., where they intern with a public agency or think tank. Students selected as fellows spend 10 weeks in Washington and take part in co-curricular programming that will provide them with rich learning experiences, valuable peer-to-peer support and deep professional connections. 

For Summer 2021, the cohort will have up to 20 undergraduate students.

meet the Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship Cohorts

Selected fellows will work with Swearer Center to be matched with an internship opportunity in Washington, D.C. During the Spring 2021 semester, students will participate in preparatory workshops which will orient them to the program and to the work environment of Washington, D.C.

In the summer, students will complete the residential fellowship with the support, guidance, and instruction of Swearer Center staff. This will include a minimum requirement of 240 hours at policy-oriented internship (24 hours per week). They will also participate in a required co-curriculum (approximately 10 hours per week) which will include facilitated discussions, written reflection assignments, site visits to community organizations / museums / government agencies, and professional development workshops.

Internship placements will be focused on one or more of the following types of public policy work:

  • Policy research and development;
  • Policy making (legislative, judicial and executive); or
  • Policy analysis and evaluation.

Fellowship placements may not involve advocacy work. For this reason, placements are primarily:

  • Government: Federal Agencies, Senate and House Committees, Legislative Offices, D.C. City Agencies and Government Offices
  • Think-tanks, policy institutes or research centers
  • In particular cases, placement may be made in another type of organization, so long as the work is policy-oriented and not advocacy-related.

For Summer 2021, student engagement may be conducted remotely.

The Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship program may satisfy the practicum requirement for students participating in the Engaged Scholarship Program.

Students will receive a $4,000 stipend for their participation in the Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship. In addition, eligible students may qualify for a Summer Earnings Waiver. Students are required to live together as a cohort in suite-style living located in WISH Woodley Park. Students will be responsible for housing costs.


Upon selection into the Brown in Washington Fellowship program, students will have the opportunity to rank their interest in working with organizations. A list of possible partner organizations for the Summer 2021 term is available here

Preference will be given to students whose interests, experiences, and skills align with one or more of our partner organizations. Preference will also be given to students who apply with an approved internship already confirmed (if you are hoping to work at an organization that is not listed as a placement partner). 

Summaries of practicum work from Summer 2018, 2019, and 2020 fellows can be viewed here.​

On a case-by-case basis, it may be possible to intern at an organization that is not one of our partners. The organization and internship opportunity must meet the criteria of our program (240 hour minimum requirement over the course of 10 weeks, unpaid, policy-oriented organization), you must apply on your own, and you must confirm that you've been accepted as an intern prior to applying to the Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship program.



Second semester sophomores, juniors and mid-year seniors who are returning for the fall semester are eligible to apply. The program is open to students from any concentration. Students must be in good academic standing and available during the entire duration of the program. Graduating seniors (May '21) are not eligible. International students are eligible to apply, but may be subjected to tax withdrawals if their nation of citizenship does not have treaty benefits with the US—please see the Brown payroll office with questions about this.

The Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship is one of the BrownConnect funded LINK Signature Programs. Students are not eligible to receive more than one LINK award during their time at Brown -- this includes participation in LINK funded Signature Programs (iProv, CCG in NYC or DC, LA Media, BEO Hong Kong, Entrepreneurship in Israel or Sweden, Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship, Brown in Tulsa). Students on financial aid with a summer earnings expectation are eligible to receive one BrownConnect LINK award and one SEW award, referred to as a LINK/SEW bundle, during their time as an undergraduate at Brown. United States citizenship is not a determinant of eligibility to apply for funding from BrownConnect.

**Please note that if you are selected for an internship and you choose to accept it, you will be ineligible to receive a LINK award and ineligible for participation in any BrownConnect-funded LINK Signature program in subsequent summers.**

The dates of the program are (tentatively): May 27, 2021 to August 6, 2021.


Applications for the Brown in Washington 2020 Summer Fellowship are now closed. Please check back for updates on the 2021 application cycle.

Please note that you are required to provide ONE letter of recommendation in order to be considered for the Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship. Recommenders can be current or former supervisors, Brown faculty or staff. We encourage you to select a recommender who knows you well and can speak to your suitability for the Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship. 


Joaquin Romero, Program Manager, Academic Engagement: [email protected].