Duke Career Center Internship Funding Program

The Duke Career Center’s Internship Funding Program aims to reduce the financial challenges associated with participating in a wide range of low-paying or unpaid summer internships, thereby facilitating student participation in experiential career exploration as well as expanding the diversity of internship opportunities in which Duke students participate.

Through the generosity of corporate, individual and class donors, we are able to offer students who accept unpaid or low-paying internships with grants of $3,000 to support living expenses while completing their summer experiences.

The Duke Career Center Internship Funding Program is a comprehensive experiential learning program that includes the integration of career development and thoughtful reflection into the student’s internship experience. The Internship Funding Program components include:

  • Application of academic principles: Participants will be applying the concepts taught in the Duke curriculum in real world practice through an internship or research project secured by their own means.
  • Professional skill development: Participants will gain the professional competencies and soft skills required to enter today’s job market, including successful completion of career relevant projects, development of technical skills, enhancement of communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work autonomously while solving real-world problems, and demonstrating the ability to contribute effectively within a team.
  • Awareness of strengths: Participants will complete a strength assessment as part of the Career Center’s Career Catalyst curriculum.
  • Impact-oriented networking: Participants will receive the opportunity to expand their professional networks by connecting with organizational mentors, industry professionals, similarly-minded peers, and leaders within their career fields of interest.
  • Insightful reflection: Participants will reflect upon their experiences through group reflection sessions, personal performance assessments, and final reflection essays. Participants will also verbally share insights from their summer experiences with university faculty, staff, and peers.


Summer 2022 Application Information


2022 Award Timeline
  • January 24:  Virtual Information session available for viewing
  • January 24: Application period opens (Go to Application)
  • February 28: Application deadline (Final deadline with no late submissions accepted)
  • March 30: Award notifications sent by email
  • Mid-Late May: Awards distributed
Eligible Students
  • Are currently enrolled undergraduates in good standing at Duke University (good standing applies to academics, conduct and student accounts)
  • Will be enrolled in the fall following their internship/research experience
  • Have viewed the virtual information session
  • Agree to the terms of the Internship Funding Program including required participation in activities (see below)
  • Complete application in entirety
  • Application submitted to an internship(s) or research experience is a prerequisite for applying (extension or acceptance of an offer is not required to apply)
Eligible Experiences
  • 240 hours or more of supervised experience, completed during the summer
  • Supervision and regular feedback from a designated professional within the organization
  • Less than $1,500 (gross pay, international currency equivalent) compensation (exceptions may apply for areas with high cost of living expenses)
  • If the experience takes place abroad, students must comply with the University’s Global Travel Policy, including the Restricted Regions List (waiver of restriction is sometimes possible and must be granted by university leadership)
  • In-person and remote opportunities are both eligible for funding (please note that travel and on-site restrictions may be implemented at the discretion of the university in response to public health conditions)
  • Applicants may apply for consideration of up to three qualifying internships or research experiences. Funding may only be applied to the experience(s) indicated in the application.
  • Students may not complete other summer programs concurrently with their internships/research experience (exceptions may apply)
  • Both internships and supervised research opportunities are eligible
Ineligible Experiences
  • Fee-based volunteer programs
  • Tuition-based experiences
  • Courses or training programs without an experiential learning component equivalent to that described above
  • Experiences that do not adhere to university policies or requirements
  • Experiences that do not adhere to the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Experiences that begin and/or end outside of the summer term

How To Apply

  • Watch the virtual information session Internship Funding Program Application Landing Page
  • Go to the Internship Funding Program’s Online Application (Go to Application)
  • Review the information on the application’s landing page
  • Complete the 4 steps of the application process
    1. Career Center Internship Funding Program Acknowledgements
    2. Career Center Internship Funding Program Personal Statement (guidelines for statement)
    3. Career Center Internship Funding Program Questionnaire
    4. Duke Experiences Application (includes uploading resume and unofficial transcripts)
  • All components of the application must be completed by the application deadline. Late submissions will not be accepted.


Program Terms & Conditions

  • Awards are not transferable to internships outside of the scope of the application
  • Awards cannot be combined with funding from the Duke Career Center Professional Development Fund, Duke Social Impact Fellowship or any other Duke-sponsored program which prohibits compiled funding
  • Recipients cannot concurrently participate in any other university-sponsored program while completing program
  • Recipients must write a thank you letter to the donor upon the conclusion of the experience (to be forwarded to the donor)
  • Recipients will submit a reflective essay at the conclusion of the internship (to be forwarded to the donor)
  • Recipients will submit two photos that document their internship experience (to be forwarded to the donor and shared through the Career Center’s social media)
  • Recipients are required to participate in a mid-summer reflection activities/meetings and post-internship reflection reception
  • Recipients are required to submit learning objectives, progression updates, performance reviews, and any additional documentation requested by their site supervisor and Career Center administration
  • Terms for international and domestic travel may differ based upon destination and university policies
  • Additional terms and conditions are outlined in the Internship Funding Program’s handbook
  • Recipient must complete the number of hours indicated on their funding application. Failure to do so will result in the repayment of award.
  • All criteria are required and are conditions of the funding. Failure to comply with conditions will result in the repayment of award and will jeopardize future funding
  • Recipients are required to immediately notify the Career Center of any changes in summer experience plans


Career Center Resources Available for Application Assistance

To assist with guiding you through the application process, the Duke Career Center offers the following resources to students:

  • 15-minute virtual appointments with IFP program coordinator (for questions about the program and application process; please review Career Hub and information session prior to attending). Email to arrange appointment times.
  • Individual appointments with the Career Center’s advising team (for assistance and review of personal statement and resume)
  • Drop-ins with Career Center’s advising team (for review of personal statement and resume; 5-10 minute concerns only)
  • Handshake recruiting system that includes internship postings and recruiting event information
  • Internship search resources
  • IFP Coordinator email for questions or concerns not address through above resources (due to volume of email messages received, please allow an average of 24-48 hours for response)


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I apply for funding if I have not accepted an internship yet?
    YES! You can still apply for funding even if you have not yet accepted an internship. However, you must be in the application process for the internship in order to be considered for funding.
  • Can I list more than one internship/research project on my application?
    You may list up to three internships/research projects for which you would like to be considered for funding. Unfortunately, funding cannot be applied to experiences that are not listed on your application.
  • Can I get funding for an internship or research project that begins before summer/internships during the academic year?
    The Career Center’s Internship Funding Program is only applicable to experiences that begin and end during summer.
  • Am I guaranteed funding if I apply?
    Unfortunately, we cannot fund all applicants due to limited resources. The Internship Funding Program is competitive and applicants should take time to create the strongest application possible.
  • I missed the application deadline. Can I still apply?
    The application deadline is a hard deadline and will not be extended therefore late submissions will not be considered for funding.
  • Can I get more than $3000?
    Due to limited funds, awards cannot exceed $3,000. However, students may be able to obtain additional funding from other Duke sources. Please note that not all Duke summer funding programs permit recipients to receive funds beyond their program award.
  • My internship pays more than $1500 but is located in a high cost-of-living area. Can I still apply?
    Yes, you may still apply. The selection committee will take into consideration factors such as cost of living as part of their evaluation process.
  • I am a graduating senior. Can I still apply?
    Unfortunately, the Internship Funding Program cannot fund graduating seniors or graduate students. Recipients must have an undergraduate class standing of first-year, sophomore, junior, or first-semester senior.
  • Do I have to return the funding if I complete an internship or research project that is not listed on my application?
    Yes, funding can only be applied to the internships or research projects that are listed on your application. If you decide to accept a position outside of those on the application, your award will be rescinded and reallocated to another student.
  • What happens if I don’t complete my internship or research project?
    Students who do not complete at least 240 hours of their agreed upon internship or research must return their funding award in its entirety.
  • What is required of me if I accept funding?
    In addition to completing the agreed upon internship or research project, you will be asked to participate in activities such as a departure workshop, check-in sessions, reflection activities as well as write a thank you letter to your donor, submit at least 2 photos taken during your internship, and complete a reflection essay which will shared with your award donor.
  • Where else can I find Duke-sponsored funding?
    Additional funding programs can be found on Career Hub in addition to Undergraduate Education’s Office of Experiential Education. Students are also encouraged to inquire about funding within their academic departments.