Provost’s Graduate Internship Award
The 2021 PGIA competition is now open. Check back as we add potential hosts.
Increasingly, graduate students are seeking positions outside the traditional tenure-track professoriate. To this end, the Graduate College has greatly enhanced its career and professional development offerings to help graduate students consider new career options and to build translatable skills. The Provost’s Graduate Internship Award (PGIA) is part of this effort. It incentivizes graduate students to independently identify short (3-month) internship opportunities that might lead to employment following graduation. This internship program is limited to full-time students, in good academic standing, who are in a PhD or terminal master’s program.
On the importance of internships for doctoral students, see Leonard Cassuto, “Doctoral Training Should Include an Internship,” Chronicle of Higher Education (August 28, 2020).
This mechanism will not fund students in programs that have mandatory internships as part of their curriculum; instead, it will fund students, with the consent of their advisor, who seek novel opportunities outside of traditional academe, e.g., in a museum, cultural center, nonprofit organization, or in university administration or academic publishing. The Graduate College will award $5,000 over three months with the assumption of a 20-hour weekly obligation. The student and the host organization may negotiate additional expectations and compensation.
Prior to applying, international students are responsible for verifying that their visas will allow them to participate.
- The prospective recipient must be a full-time student, in good academic standing, who is in a PhD or terminal master’s program that does not require an internship or similar experience. (See the FAQs for a list of terminal master’s programs.)
- Students graduating in May or August 2021 are not eligible.
- Winners of the award under its current or former name, the Chancellor’s Graduate Internship Award, or of the Public Service Graduate Internship Award, are not eligible.
- Students who are more advanced in their program of study will be preferentially considered.
- The faculty advisor/mentor must support the proposed internship as demonstrated by a letter of recommendation.
While the Graduate College can offer limited advice based on extant partnerships internally at UIC and externally in the greater Chicago area, students are encouraged to make their own arrangements.
- the University of Illinois Press actively seeks a UIC graduate student internship. The link below has been updated;
- the Office of the Dean of Students is offering a Bias Response and Prevention internship;
- the Honors College seeks a doctoral student with information management skills to assist in a pivot to a digital information management system (link below);
- the Office of Global Engagement a graduate student who might have an interest in an international education career (link below; added 1/29/21);
Reviewers will consist of faculty and staff members appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College. The reviewers will evaluate the applications using the eligibility and selection criteria (below). The reviewers will make recommendations to the Graduate College Dean, who will determine the final recipients.
- A clear articulation of the goals of the internship.
- Demonstrated investment of the internship provider in the graduate student’s experience.
- The extent to which the identified internship aligns with the applicant’s career goals.
- An excellent record of academic performance, as attested to by the student’s CV and letters of recommendation.
Non-renewable, the award amount will be $5,000 paid out over three months: June 16-August 16. There is no tuition and fee waiver attached. Each student’s taxation situation is unique and the Graduate College is not qualified to provide tax advice.
The student is responsible for arranging for the electronic delivery of all documentation to their program. The Director of Graduate Studies (or proxy) will review the application and submit it to the Graduate College by the submission deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. *NOTE: As the student’s department/program must review all student applications prior to submitting them to the Graduate College, programs are strongly encouraged to establish an internal deadline. There is currently no limit to the number of nominations from a program; however, we anticipate funding approximately ten awards.
The student collects and compiles the required documents and submits them to their academic degree program for review. The Director of Graduate Studies of that program submits the documents to the Graduate College.
Applications must include all of the following, in order:
1. DGS Transmittal Form – The Director of Graduate Studies needs to complete this brief form.
2. Applicant Transmittal Form – The student completes this form.
3. Internship Description – Written by the student. (Limit: 3 pages of content including any references; single spaced; 10-12 Arial font; one-inch margins) — A concise, substantive description of the proposed plan for the internship and general interaction between the student intern and the proposed host/partner organization, including a justification for the duration of the proposed internship, timeline, and expected mutual benefits and outcomes of the experience. Written for the educated lay person, the jargon-free Internship Description must describe how the student intern will:
- integrate the proposed internship activities into the student’s graduate degree program and future career goals;
- benefit from mentoring and specialized expertise, experiences, equipment, facilities, and/or other resources at the host organization.
4. Résumé or CV (Limit of 4 pages) – Include previous and current research experience, professional accomplishments (i.e., awards, honors, publications, presentations), and pertinent work experience.
5. Statement of Commitment – Signed by an authorized representative of the host/partner organization, the statement of commitment should include duties, duration, weekly time commitment, additional compensation/benefits (if applicable), and potential for future employment with the internship provider. The internship provider should indicate how the host/parent organization commits to providing the graduate student intern with the best possible experience.
6. Two letters of recommendation – Of the two, one letter must be from the applicant’s faculty advisor/mentor. Written on UIC letterhead, the letter should describe the anticipated benefits of the internship for the student’s graduate studies and/or the anticipated impact on the student’s career. The letter must also indicate that the student is making satisfactory progress in their graduate degree program. The second letter may be from a faculty member (UIC or external) or from a staff/executive member of the host organization.
The graduate student submits or arranges electronic submission of the required documents to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) of their degree program. The DGS reviews the documents, completes the DGS Transmittal Form, and creates a single PDF file of the documents listed below in the order listed. The department or program emails the PDF to the Graduate College’s Box folder employing the following naming convention using the example of Charlie Baudelaire, a PhD student in the history department: PGIA_2021_Hist_BaudelaireC.pdf
- Director of Graduate Studies transmittal form (completed by the DGS)
- Applicant transmittal form (completed by the student)
- Internship description (limit of 3 pages; completed by the student)
- Résumé or cv (limit of 4 pages; completed by the student)
- Statement of commitment (from the host organization)
- Two (2) letters of recommendation (one of which is from the student’s faculty advisor/mentor)
For this competition, UIC’s terminal master’s programs are: Architecture (MArch; MS); Architecture in Health Design (MS); Biomedical Visualization (MS); City Design (MCD); Civic Analytics (MS); Design Criticism (MA); Graphic and Industrial Design (MDes); Environmental & Urban Geography (MA); Forensic Science (MS); Forensic Toxicology (MS); French and Francophone Studies (MA); Health Professions Education (MPHE); History (MAT); Latin American & Latino Studies (MA); Moving Image, New Media Arts, Photography, Studio Arts (MFAs); Museum and Exhibition Studies (MA); Occupational Therapy (MS); Spanish (MAT). This list is expected to be updated in the spring 2022 competition.
Questions? Please contact Benn Williams, Fellowships & Awards Coordinator, via email: bwilli7uic.edu.
DEADLINE: 4 p.m., March 19, 2021