What is SIGP?
The Summer Internship Grant Program was established to support current Northwestern undergraduate students with a demonstrated financial need who are participating in unpaid internships. This is a funding source for undergraduates who have accepted (or who are planning on securing) an unpaid internship or summer experience in an industry that traditionally does not pay their interns. SIGP is also a career development program and provides learning opportunities as students engage in the summer experiences.
Since 2007, the Summer Internship Grant Program has made it possible for undergraduate students to pursue unpaid internships. In 2022, 371 Northwestern students received grants of $3500 to participate in unpaid summer experiences.
Career Development Program
In addition to receiving a grant for living and travel expenses accrued during the summer of an unpaid experience, students will participate in career development activities including: networking, resume & LinkedIn development, informational interviews, and donor appreciation.
Who is Eligible for SIGP?
Current NU full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students who will be:
- Enrolled for at least fall quarter of the following academic year in one of the following schools/colleges: Bienen, McCormick, Medill, NU-Q, School of Communication, SESP or Weinberg. Please note: the program does not support School of Professional Studies students and is not open to graduate students.
- Demonstrate financial need. If you do not receive financial aid from Northwestern, or receive a minimal amount of financial aid, you will be asked to explain your financial need in Essay 3 of the application.
- Pursuing an unpaid or low-paid internship in a traditionally unpaid field or role. Low-paid is defined as less than $1500 for the summer. Priority is given to applicants with financial need pursuing unpaid internships.
- Pursuing an internship that meets the required 280 hours of work between June-September and has a designated supervisor
- Receiving 0.25 or less credit. Please note: SIGP CANNOT be combined with programs within Northwestern that offer credit such as GESI, Chicago Field Studies, Engage Chicago, etc. In addition, SIGP funding cannot be used for academic programs such as study abroad.
- Not receiving any money from the employer or other non-academic summer grants/awards from Northwestern
If awarded, SIGP CANNOT be combined with any other summer grants on campus. Students must choose between SIGP or another grant. Including but not limited to the following:
- Summer Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG)
- Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP)
- Weinberg College Summer Grant
- SoC Internship Award Grant
- Political Science Grant
- Biological Sciences Summer Grants
Questions? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a SIGP application entail?
The application includes questions and essays. Students will respond to questions about their summer experience, interests, and summer budget. In addition, the application includes two essays and an optional third essay. Find the essay questions and steps for how to apply on the SIGP website.
Is there someone I can talk to about my application materials before submitting?
Yes! Students can schedule an appointment to review SIGP application material. Schedule a meeting with your career counselor or adviser via Handshake. Please bring drafts of your materials to your appointment.
Do I need to have a summer internship/experience secured before I apply?
No. At the time of application, students are not required to have a summer internship/experience secured. If selected for an award, recipients who do not have an internship at the time of selection must meet with their NCA career adviser to develop a search strategy. Awardees without a secured internship by June 1 will forfeit their grant.
I missed an information session. Can I view the presentation now?
Upcoming information sessions (Virtual) – Registration will be available at a later date.
- Tuesday, February 21, 2023 from 12:00 – 12:30pm | Register for 2/21 Information Session
- Wednesday, March 1, 2023 from 4:00 – 4:30pm | Register for 3/1 Information Session
- Friday, March 10, 2023 from 12:00-12:30pm | Register for 3/10 Information Session
- Thursday, March 16, 2023 from 5:00 – 5:30pm | Register for 3/16 Information Session
I applied to SIGP last year. Can I reapply?
Yes. Previous SIGP recipients may apply again for this year’s grant, so long as they meet the qualifications.
When will I find out if I've been awarded a SIGP grant?
Students will be notified if they are selected by Friday, May 5, 2023.
The SIGP timeline for NU-Q students differs from the timeline on the Evanston campus. Information to follow shortly.
Can I apply to SIGP with more than one opportunity?
Yes. If recipients cannot meet the 280 hour requirement with a single summer experience, they can supplement with a second unpaid or low-paid career-related experience in order to fulfill the 280 hour requirement for SIGP.
Can I apply to SIGP if I am staying with family/friends during my summer experience?
Yes. Students are still eligible for SIGP even if they will be staying with family or friends during the summer. In the SIGP application, students will be asked to note how the SIGP funding will be used this summer beyond housing.
Can I combine SIGP with other experiences over the summer?
Can I take classes over the summer while completing an unpaid internship or career experience with SIGP?
Can I travel internationally for my summer experience?
My experience is paid. Can I still apply?
How can I strengthen my SIGP application?
Applicants should be sure to clearly describe summer plans (or intended plans), identify specific learning goals for the summer, and draw connections between experiences. Consider academic coursework, leadership experiences, volunteer work, or professional experiences and how those connect to your summer plans and career interests. You want to tell a cohesive story. Find more tips on the SIGP website.