BrownConnect LINK Award Program– Linking Internships and Knowledge

Need funding for your unpaid or low-paying summer internship? The BrownConnect LINK program can help!

APPLICATION DEADLINES

LINK/SEW Awards 

2020 1st Round Deadline: Friday, March 6, 2020  by 12 pm (noon) EST
*Students with internships outside of the United States should apply in the first round. This deadline is also open to domestic internships.
Student Notification: Monday, March 30th

2020 2nd Round Deadline: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 by 12 pm (noon) EST
*Open to domestic and international internships. Applications for an international internship will be considered for the minimum $4000 sitpend. Please contact BrownConnect with any questions.
Student Notification: Friday, May 1st

LINK is not your only summer funding option through BrownConnect - find information about our BrownConnect funded Signature Programs.

Questions about applying to LINK? Check out the LINK Tip Sheet  and FAQ  as well as attend a LINK Information Session to ask questions about how to apply, application components, and internship/student eligibility.

The following info sessions will be held throughout the academic year. Check Handshake for updated dates and times:

  • How to Find and Fund an Internship (featuring information on the BrownConnect LINK/SEW Awards)
  • BrownConnect LINK/SEW Information Sessions
  • Maximizing Your Internship Information Sessions

LINK Open Hours: If you are unable to make the information sessions, a limited number of Walk-In Hours will be available prior to the application due date.  Open hours are on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-3:30pm, starting February 19, 2020.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Each year, Brown awards financial assistance to students pursuing unpaid or low-paying summer internships. These awards allow students to explore career options and engage in experiential learning activities outside of the classroom. Students must apply for or secure an internship that is unpaid or that pays $1,500 or less before applying for funds.  

The Brown LINK Award Program is funded by Brown alums and parents, the Office of Financial Aid, as well as other Brown departments, and is administered by BrownConnect in the Center for Careers and Life After Brown.

The stipend for a domestic internship is $4000 minimum, and is $5000 for an internship abroad.

Students on financial aid with a summer earnings expectation are eligible to receive one Summer Earnings Waiver (SEW award), referred to as a LINK/SEW bundle, during their time as an undergraduate at Brown. Students with internship opportunities eligible for a LINK award are automatically considered for the Summer Earnings Waiver (SEW), and do not need to do anything to apply for a SEW. If selected for a LINK award, the SEW will be automatically posted on a student’s financial aid package at the beginning of the fall and spring terms immediately following their summer internship. SEWs apply to a student's financial aid package in the fall and spring semesters following their internship; therefore, students need to be eligible for Financial Aid from Brown in the fall and spring to receive the SEW. SEWs are not transferrable to any academic year, and are only for the one immediately following their LINK funded internship. If students take a leave of absence in the academic year following their LINK funded internship, their SEW will likely be impacted.

Students can only receive a SEW once during their time at Brown, either with their LINK or UTRA award (if a student receives both a LINK and UTRA during their time at Brown, the SEW will accompany the award the student receives first).

ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES

Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors, who are returning to Brown in September 2020, are eligible to apply. Students studying abroad Spring 2020 are eligible to apply, but must maintain an active, registered status at Brown. Graduating seniors (May '20) 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.

Students are not eligible to receive more than one BrownConnect 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 DC, 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.

You can apply if you meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • You are an active Brown undergraduate rising sophomore, junior, or senior
  • Priority will be given to students on Brown University Financial Aid
  • You have applied for or secured an unpaid summer internship or one that pays $1,500 or less.
  • You are not currently on leave from Brown, and have an active, registered status.
  • You are returning to study at Brown in the fall term following the proposed internships (Students studying abroad Fall 2020 are eligible to apply, but must maintain an active, registered status at Brown).
  • You have not already received a LINK award or participated in a BrownConnect funded Signature Program. 
  • You have not received other funding for the proposed internship (except payment of $1500 or less). 
  • You may not receive more than one source of funding from a Brown University department or entity for the proposed internship or for more than one full-time endeavor for the summer.
  • Please note that BrownConnect may conduct an inquiry into the student conduct status of students who apply for an award to determine university standing status.

ELIGIBLE INTERNSHIPS and RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

Definition According to NACE: Defined by NACE, “an internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.”

  • Unpaid or low-paying internship ($1,500 or less including stipend and/or housing, transportation, etc) 
  • Research opportunities at another university with a non-Brown professor
  • Domestic or abroad; if abroad, we will adhere to Brown’s High-Risk and Restricted Travel Policies. Brown’s approval and support of the funded opportunity will not be not granted unless the student has registered their travel plans in TravelSafe. Any undergraduate proposing travel to a High-Risk Travel destination must first complete a Safety Plan (via TravelSafe) and obtain approval from the International Travel Risk Assessment Committee (ITRAC) before making travel arrangements. No undergraduate will be permitted to travel to a Restricted Travel destination.
  • Minimum of 240 hours of supervised work (equivalent of 6 weeks/40 hours/week)Offered during the summer and completed by September 6th, 2020
  • Supervised by a professional in the organization who agrees to guidelines. 
  • The opportunity is required to have a supervisor who will provide regular supervision and mentorship throughout the summer. The supervisor must have a permanent connection to the organization, such as a permanent employee of the organization or a board member. The supervisor cannot be another student. 
  • While some remote and/or online work is allowed, at least 200 of your hours must be spent on-site at your host organization.  Independent and unsupervised internships will not be considered.
  • A member of the applicant’s family cannot run or have a substantial management interest in the host organization nor serve as the applicant’s supervisor directly or indirectly.
  • If you’ve previously worked at the same site for which you are currently applying for funding, you must clearly explain how the responsibilities of this new internship position are significantly different from your previous position. Funding will not be granted for an internship that you have already done.

INELIGIBLE INTERNSHIPS

Definition According to NACE: Defined by NACE, “an internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.”

  • General summer camp counselors are not considered internship opportunities and will not be eligible for LINK funding. However, if the position demonstrates that it fits the criteria as defined by NACE and provides a robust experiential learning experience that bridges your academic goals with your professional goals, it will be considered.
  • Experiences or opportunities that qualify as service based opportunities and/or qualify for work study funding during the academic year
  • Experiences that are project based in nature due to their affiliation with a Brown student club, organization, or class and/or experiences that are a continuation of work done with a Brown club or organization during the academic year
  • Projects with an organization involved with the use, production, testing, or distribution of recreational or medical marijuana are not eligible (As the use of marijuana is illegal at the federal level and Brown University receives federal funds, we must comply with federal law.)
  • LINK funding may not be used to support opportunities with political campaigns. Because Brown University is a charitable entity subject to federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding political and campaign activities.  By law, “Organizations that are exempt from income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as organizations described in section 501(c)(3) may not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”  (Rev. Rul. 2007-41, 2007-25 I.R.B. June 18, 2007) 
  • Projects that fulfill the criteria of the Brown University UTRA (Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards) Program. LINK funding may not be used for research conducted on campus with a Brown professor, faculty, or staff member - please see UTRA Awards for this type of experience
  • Internship at a Brown University department or office, or where a Brown faculty or staff member is the supervisor
  • A Brown University sponsored, funded, or affiliated research opportunity or internship, or an opportunity in a program that is supported by Brown University
  • Pre-thesis research at Brown or elsewhere without significant experiential learning component
  • Programs with fees to participate (funding cannot cover fees to study abroad or domestically, to participate in volunteer/service oriented projects, or for cultural exchange or other similar programs)
  • Pay-to-participate international or domestic internship programs coordinated through third-party vendors will not be eligible for funding (programs in which you pay a fee to complete an internship).
  • Tuition-based summer programs including those with an internship component
  • Internships provided to students through placement organizations
  • Organizations and programs with fundraising expectations or recommendations for their interns and employees
  • Internship or project receiving Brown course credit (e.g. teaching requirement for teacher certification/education concentration; summer school course)
  • Non-credit course or training program that does not contain any professional, experiential learning component; this includes programs where the main components include observing, shadowing, and attending lectures 
  • Students may not accept a BrownConnect LINK award if they have received funding from Swearer Center, Watson Institute, UTRA, or another department on campus, etc. for the same internship experience, or for another full-time summer experience
  • LINK funding cannot be used to complete an internship in a location on the High-Risk Travel list without prior approval from the International Travel Risk Assessment Committee (ITRAC). No LINK funding can be used for any destination on the Restricted Travel list. Students should keep in mind that this list is constantly updated and the University may revoke funding at any time if a location presents heightened travel risks. If awarded LINK funding, students should expect to document their travel plans and complete a travel acknowledgement as part of the online registration process in TravelSafe.

INTERNATIONAL INTERNSHIPS

Each year, LINK funding is awarded to students pursuing internships outside of the US.  Students with international internship opportunities must apply in the first round of funding.  The first deadline is Friday, March 6, 2020. International internships may be considered for funding in the second round, but only for the domestic stipend amount; please contact the BrownConnect office if you have secured an international internship after the first deadline and have questions. 

LINK funding cannot be used to complete an internship in a location on the High-Risk Travel list without prior approval from the International Travel Risk Assessment Committee (ITRAC). No LINK funding can be used for any destination on the Restricted Travel list. Students should keep in mind that this list is constantly updated and the University may revoke funding at any time if a location presents heightened travel risks. If awarded LINK funding, students should expect to document their travel plans and complete a travel acknowledgement as part of the online registration process in TravelSafe.

As with domestic internships, students interning abroad who receive LINK funding are solely responsible to arrange their own housing, travel, insurance, and any other paperwork that their employer may require.  Working abroad, including internships, may require a special type of visa, or a residency permit or work permit. Because these laws and processes vary from country to country, we recommend that students do their research and begin the process early to ensure they are prepared for an international internship experience.

PROGRAM CRITERIA

The internship must address specific learning goals that relate to enhancing academic skills developed at Brown and furthering career exploration such as:

  • Exploring career options and understanding possible career pathways
  • Developing knowledge specific to a career or work setting
  • Expanding work specific skills relating to communication, teamwork, time management, interpersonal skills, goal setting, etc.
  • Understanding cross-cultural, social awareness and the ability to work in diverse environments
  • Applying academic skills and growing intellectually

The organization must provide a description outlining the following:

  • How the internship will advance the core mission of the organization
  • The potential impact of the intern’s work
  • Extent of the organization’s engagement, supervision and support of the intern

AWARD TYPES

The program includes two types of awards—open to all rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

1. Brown LINK Awards provides funding for career exploration in a wide variety of fields.  Students are eligible to apply regardless of financial status.  LINK awards are made possible from generous donations by Brown alums, parents and anonymous donors including:

The Barrett Hazeltine Award and Fisher Family Endowed Award provide funding for internships in any career field.

Peter G. and Paul G. Hanoian Memorial Award Assists students in labor relations, social justice and work in organizations that strive to impact the lives of working people.

Careers in the Common Good Award Funding provided anonymously to support students in socially responsible internships that connect personal values and professional problem solving in the non-profit, private and government sectors.

Robert Krauskopf Award Assists students in journalism focusing on community affairs and social issues.

Richard Lee Internship Fund Assists students interested in career fields relating to film, video or the entertainment industry.

Timory Hyde Class of 1997 Memorabubble Award Assists students on financial aid in the career fields of creative arts and music.

The Phoebe W. Haas Endowed Internship Fund Assists students with non-profit internships in the Philadelphia area. 

Brown-Marine Biological Laboratory Partnership Award Funding provided by Charles and Phyllis Rosenthal to support internships in the laboratories of faculty members at the Marine Biological Laboratory or Brown University who conduct research within the Brown-MBL Partnership. These laboratories cut across a wide range of fields, including cell biology, microbiology and ecology and pathobiology and involve collaborations between MBL and Brown faculty. Students should contact potential MBL or Brown faculty members who are active in the Brown-MBL program to discuss potential internship opportunities. Please contact Jean Enright ([email protected]) for more information and a list of MBL faculty and collaborating Brown departments. For more information on MBL go to http://www.mbl.edu/

International Award Funding to support students participating in internships abroad in any career field.

Beller-Moses Award  Assists students on financial aid by providing funding for internships in any career field.

The Kidderbrook Public Service Awards support internships to assist students interested in careers in government or community service to do social science research in non-governmental organizations or government agencies.

2. Summer Earnings Waivers (SEW) make it possible for students who are required to contribute towards their educational costs to gain valuable work experience.  The awards are open to financial aid recipients who are eligible for University Scholarship in the academic year following their summer internship.  The award waives the annual summer earnings requirement --  for summer 2019, this amount was $2,900. Students will be awarded up to the required summer earnings contribution for the academic year.  The award is contingent upon the student's continued eligibility for University Scholarship in the 2020-21 award year. SEWs apply to a student's financial aid package in the fall and spring semesters following their internship; therefore, students need to be eligible for Financial Aid from Brown in the fall and spring to receive the SEW. Please note that students are eligible for a SEW only one time during their four years at Brown; for example, if you secure a LINK/SEW your first summer at Brown, and an UTRA your second summer, you will only receive a SEW with the first award, the LINK/SEW, and not again with the UTRA.

HOW TO PREPARE

  • Attend a LINK Information Session or LINK Walk-In Hours.
  • Read through our LINK Tip SheetFAQs.
  • Stop by our PCA Open Hours (Monday, Friday, Sunday 1:30-3:30; Tuesday-Thursday 7-9pm) to have your resume and personal statement reviewed before submitting in UFUNDS.
  • Attend other CareerLAB programming related to internships for tips on finding an internship, crafting your resume, and preparing for an interview.

HOW TO APPLY

  • Read the FAQs.
  • Download the Supervisor Statement Form. (It is best to download and then fill out the form to ensure all the fields are working and saved properly.)
  • Have your resume, signed supervisor statement and organization/position description (written by the organization) ready.
  • Be prepared to answer the following short answer questions within the application: 
    • Supervision Plan - Please note who will be supervising you, their role at the organization, and how they will support you in your role at the organization. Please share as much detail as possible, and if you do not have details yet please explain next steps for securing opportunity and supervision plan.
    • How will this opportunity allow you to explore a new or interesting professional pathway? If you are interning at an organization or an industry you have worked before please explain how this summer’s experience would be substantially different.
    • Student learning goals - Please articulate at least three goals you hope to achieve over the summer as a result of this professional experience. You may use the following resources to assist you in developing and articulating these goals. 1) SMART Goals video from our Maximizing Your Internship training: http://ow.ly/WUKa50wM55M 2) SMART Goals worksheet: http://brown.edu/go/smartgoals 3) Sheridan Center resources: http://brown.edu/go/learninggoals
    • Why were you interested in this position and why is the opportunity important for you this summer? Write about the skills and knowledge that you will develop in this position, and how this opportunity will help you reach your professional, personal or academic goals.
  • Complete the UFUNDS Application. 
    Students are permitted to submit one application for one internship opportunity.  Multiple applications will not be considered. Students not awarded funding in the first round may apply for funding in the second round with a different internship opportunity.
  • ALL documents must be uploaded with your application in UFUNDS.  CareerLAB will not accept application materials directly.
  • Selection committees will only review requested materials (resume, organization/position description and supervisor statement).  Additional materials, such as letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc. will not be considered.

2020 1st Round Deadline: Friday, March 6, 2020  by 12 pm (noon) EST
*Students with internships outside of the United States should apply in the first round. This deadline is also open to domestic internships.
Student Notification: Monday, March 30th

2020 2nd Round Deadline: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 by 12 pm (noon) EST
*Open to domestic and international internships. Applications for an international internship will be considered for the $4000 sitpend. Please contact BrownConnect with any questions.
Student Notification: Friday, May 1st

  • NO extensions or exceptions.
  • Applications are NOT considered on a rolling basis.
  • Only completed applications (including uploaded resume, signed supervisor statement, and organization/position description) submitted by the deadline will be accepted and reviewed by the selection committees.  If you are having trouble with any aspect of the application process, please contact [email protected] at least three (3) business days prior to the deadline.

SELECTION PROCESS

Review committees - comprised of a wide array of Brown staff and faculty members - are established for LINK/SEW awards at the beginning of spring semester.  Committees review applications in mid-March and late April to finalize funding recommendations.

All awards are made based on the extent to which the experience is likely to integrate professional and academic development, the likelihood that the experience will promote achievement of the student's ultimate career goals, and associated cost burdens, i.e., travel, food and housing.

ADDITIONAL FUNDING SOURCES

Brown has a number of competitive scholarship programs that offer full or partial funding for unpaid or low-pay internships. The money always runs out, though, especially for summer internships. So start your process early. Check out the programs below to get a sense of the best time to apply for funding.

For all inquiries, contact:

BrownConnect
[email protected] or (401) 863-3326