SPRINT Frequently Asked Questions
What do you define as an internship?
According to the National Associate of Colleges and Employers (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.”
I received summer LINK, UTRA or Signature Program funding in a previous summer. Am I eligible for a SPRINT award?
Summer Awards are competitive and funding is limited. Supporting students on Brown University financial aid -- particularly students with the highest demonstrated financial need -- is the primary priority of the College and the summer funding. Students who have received summer funding from BrownConnect (LINK, UTRA, Signature Programs) in a previous summer will not receive priority consideration in the awards process. Receiving a previous semester UTRA will not impact your eligibility for a summer SPRINT.
I received SPRINT funding in summer 2020; am I eligible for a SPRINT award?
Yes. Summer 2020 SPRINT awards were short-term experiences during an exceptional year, and receiving a SPRINT for summer 2020 will not impact your eligibility for an additional summer of funding in summer 2021.
How selective is awards funding?
We expect to receive more applications than we will be able to fund, so an award is not guaranteed. Because the total amount of funding is limited, we will prioritize funding for students with demonstrated financial need -- particularly students with the highest demonstrated financial need.
In addition to the general criteria, each program has its own eligibility criteria listed under eligibility on the SPRINT overview page.
What are the BrownConnect Signature Programs for summer 2021?
The following 10 funded summer internships are offered by CareerLAB and the Swearer Center and are exclusive to Brown students:
• Signature iProv Program
• Swearer Center Brown in Washington Summer Fellowship
• Swearer Center Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellowship
• BrownConnect Careers in the Common Good in New York
• BrownConnect Israel Entrepreneurship Program
• BrownConnect Sweden Entrepreneurship Program
• BrownConnect Germany Entrepreneurship Program
• BrownConnect Media in LA
• BrownConnect Echoing Green Social Entrepreneurship Program
• BrownConnect Hong Kong Internship Program
What is the selection process for the SPRINT?
All applications are reviewed by SPRINT committees. Priority will be given to students on Brown University Financial Aid.
How do I find a research opportunity?
Start by reviewing the list of opportunities posted by faculty. You can also learn about Brown faculty research interests by searching the University’s Research Directory. This website provides useful guidance for connecting with faculty.
What if I reached out to a Brown faculty member and they have already agreed to partner with me on a project?
Just as students may apply for funding with internship opportunities they found independently, students may apply for funding to support Unlisted Faculty Collaborations. In the Ufunds application for Faculty Collaborations, download the Unlisted Faculty Form and ask your faculty partner to complete their portion confirming their willingness to partner with you on this project. Faculty will not need to submit a separate application.
Is there a grade or GPA requirement or will my grades or academic standing be considered?
The SPRINT review committee does not review transcripts or grades and SPRINTs are open to students regardless of academic standing. We encourage all eligible students to apply regardless of what your academic record looks like. Brown does not calculate GPA, and academic records, such as grades, do not necessarily correlate or predict a student’s ability to successfully engage in meaningful learning and professional development. Research has shown that all students - regardless of background, self-identification, or GPA - benefit from well-structured opportunities to develop mentoring relationships, apply what they have learned beyond the classroom, and learn new ways of thinking, problem-solving, collaborating, and working. These are all skills that students develop in activities supported by SPRINT awards. Finally, research has shown that experiential learning opportunities, like those supported by SPRINT, can actually improve learning, grades, sense of belonging, and outcomes in the classroom.
Can I apply for more than one SPRINT Award?
Students are encouraged to apply for their preferred award to have their most competitive application. However, students will be asked for their second choice opportunity on the application, which will be considered if needed.
Do I need to prove that I have been offered or selected for an opportunity before applying?
We understand that your internship plans may not be set at time of application. However, you should apply with a position in mind to best demonstrate your areas of growth and interest. For LINK internship awards, students must provide an organization and position description. For an Unlisted Faculty UTRA Collaboration award, students will need to upload a form from their faculty sponsor verifying their oversight of the project. If students are selected to receive an award, the SPRINT team will need verification from your sponsor, mentor, or faculty member before releasing award funding.
What if I miss the deadline for the awards?
There is only one deadline for summer awards this year and if you miss the February 24th, 12 noon deadline you will not be considered for funding.
Will there be open hours for questions?
Yes. BrownConnect will be hosting open hours via Zoom every Thursday and Friday, starting February 4th. Please check the CareerLAB Events Calendar for further details.
Who can I contact with other questions about SPRINT Awards?
Any questions can be sent to the BrownConnect team at [email protected]. Students with questions specifically about Swearer Center Signature awards can contact [email protected]
I really need help finding an internship opportunity this summer. Can I talk to someone?
CareerLAB counselors are available to meet via Zoom or phone. You can reserve time directly with a career counselor in Handshake. If you visit Handshake and can’t find a time that works for you, please email [email protected] and we will work to schedule a meeting with you.
What programs exist if I am not eligible or selected for awards?
Brown’s off-campus federal work study program operates during the summer, placing eligible students into work study opportunities with community partners. More information about the Swearer Center’s Summer Community Corps can be found here.
I read the information on the SPRINT overview page about the additional Gap Award for aided students. Where can I find out information about my Parental Contribution/Responsibility?
A student’s level of financial need is determined annually by the Office of Financial Aid (OFA).The Parent Responsibility can be found in the Financial Aid Eligibility statement in Banner Self-Service (for the aid year prior to the summer experience). For additional information on the calculation that is used to determine Parent, Student, and overall Family Responsibility, please consult the Office of Financial Aid website which outlines these aid components in detail. It is important to note that the OFA is not able to alter the Parent Responsibility in order for a student to receive the higher additional Gap award. All financial aid appeals for a lower Parent Contribution are evaluated independently from the SPRINT award process.
Will I also receive a Summer Earnings Waiver (SEW) if I receive a SPRINT Award?
Brown University financial aid recipients who are eligible for University Scholarship will automatically be considered for both BrownConnect SPRINT and SEW awards, based on eligibility and previous award history. Students receiving financial aid from Brown do not need to submit an additional application to be considered for a SEW.
What is a Summer Earnings Waiver (SEW)?
Students on Financial Aid have a Summer Earnings Expectations included in their financial aid award; the Summer Earnings Expectation is a part of the total Expected Family Responsibility and is a standard contribution toward educational costs for all aided students at Brown. The expectation is that a student will earn funds during the summer to contribute toward the following year's academic expenses. If a student is selected to receive a SPRINT Award, they will automatically also receive what is called a Summer Earnings Waiver (SEW) if they remain eligible and have not received a SEW (affiliated with a LINK, UTRA or Signature program) in a prior summer. This will waive their Summer Earnings Expectation and provide additional scholarship aid in its place with funding provided to Financial Aid by BrownConnect or the Swearer Center. The additional aid is referred to as a SEW and will be provided as part of the student’s financial aid award in the academic year following their summer experience.
Summer Earnings Waivers (SEW) help to make it possible for students who are required to contribute towards their educational costs to gain valuable experience. SEW awards are open to financial recipients who are eligible for University Scholarship. The additional aid waives the annual summer earnings requirement up to the standard summer earnings contribution for the academic year - for 2021 this was $2900. Receipt of a SEW is contingent upon the student's continued eligibility for University Scholarship in the aid year directly following their summer experience.
SEWs are not transferable to other academic years, and are only for the one immediately following the SPRINT funded internship or research opportunity. If a student takes a leave of absence in the academic year following their SPRINT funded experience, their SEW will likely be adjusted to match the remaining level of their summer earnings expectation. As such, if a student finds it necessary to take a full year leave of absence, the need for a SEW no longer exists as their educational expenses and aid offer for the year are both canceled. .
How do I receive the stipend payment?
Students will receive their stipends through Brown University Payroll via direct deposit, once enrolled. In order to receive stipends via direct deposit, you will need to complete your I-9 process first. Once that is completed, you can then elect direct deposit by signing into Workday and select "Pay" then "Payment Elections." Be sure to add accounts prior to changing payment elections.
I’m an international student. What do I need to know about receiving payments for an award at Brown?
IMPORTANT: International Students and Scholars are asked to complete the Foreign National Information System (FNIS) data entry at least once annually. Completion of FNIS data entry allows the Controller/Payroll office to determine your tax residency status (Non-Resident Alien [or] Resident Alien) and to determine eligibility for tax treaty exemptions (if applicable), for each calendar year. It is important you log into FNIS and either register for the first time (if you haven't ever) or check to confirm that all of your personal information is correct and make any necessary changes to: your Visa status if it has changed AND/OR, your documents if they are expired AND/OR, your income if the type of income you are receiving has changed from the last time you were in FNIS, AND/OR your exit or entry dates if they have changed.
• International students located abroad: Students will be paid through the supplier invoice method if they are not a U.S citizen and will not be located in the U.S when they receive payment. Please register as a supplier in order to be paid through ACH.
• International students in the US: If you are not a U.S citizen, but will be located in the U.S when you receive payment, you will be paid through Brown University Payroll via direct deposit, once enrolled. In order to receive payment via direct deposit, you will need to complete your I-9 process first. Once that is completed, you can then elect direct deposit by signing into Workday and select "Pay" then "Payment Elections." Be sure to add accounts prior to changing payment elections. In addition, It is important that your FNIS is updated to confirm if you are located in the U.S or outside of the U.S. It is important to note that Direct Deposit can only be set up after a SSN has been obtained and provided to the HR Service Center and included in your FNIS record.
Is summer housing provided?
Housing is NOT provided to summer SPRINT recipients. Students generally sublet apartments in the area for the summer, or live in summer housing offered by local colleges and universities.
Can I apply for funding for an international internship opportunity?
Yes, as long as your internship does not require international travel. Remote international internships are eligible for funding. However, please note that if you are an international student planning to undertake a remote internship based in the United States, you should contact the Brown Office of International Students and Scholars (OISSS) about obtaining Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization. International students may also apply for SPRINT funding for internships in their home countries.
Do Summer 2021 SPRINT opportunities have to be remote? What if I don’t need to travel outside of my hometown to intern in-person?
Based on the Campus Activity Level as of January 25, 2021, we are only able to fund remote SPRINT opportunities. If the Campus Activity Level changes to allow for in-person engagement, the BrownConnect team will notify students of their award status in late March. If you are seeking funding for an opportunity that will be in-person for the summer, you should plan to submit your SPRINT Application by the deadline. We will still consider your application for in-person opportunities. If you receive a SPRINT award for your planned in-person opportunity, but we are not able to fund in-person opportunities, we can provide you with support and advice toward converting your opportunity to be remote. If your opportunity cannot be converted to a remote opportunity, and we are only able to fund remote opportunities, you will not be able to receive a SPRINT award.