What is SIGP?
The Summer Internship Grant Program was established to support current Northwestern undergraduate students participating in unpaid internships that demonstrate financial need. This is a funding source for undergraduates who have accepted (or planning on securing) an unpaid internship or summer experience in an industry that traditionally does not pay their interns. However, it is also a career development program to enrich important 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 2020, 415 Northwestern students received grants of $3000 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 that include: LinkedIn professionalism and SIGP virtual community participation, informational interviews, networking, 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, you will have to explain your financial need in Essay 3 of the application.
- Pursuing an unpaid internship in a traditionally unpaid field or role
- Pursuing an internship that meets the required 250 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.
- Not receiving any money from the employer or other non-academic grants/awards from Northwestern
Although you can apply to SIGP if awarded, it CANNOT be combined with any other summer grants on campus. Students would have to choose SIGP or another grant. Including but not limited to the following most commonly asked about:
- Summer Undergraduate Research Grant (SURG)
- Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP)
- WCAS Grant
- SoC Internship Award Grant
- Medill Fellowship Program Grant
- Political Science Grant
- Program in Biological Sciences Grant (PBS Grant)
Questions? Please contact email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a SIGP application entail?
As part of the SIGP application students will submit two essays and complete an application questionnaire. Questions about your summer experience interests and well as a summer budget are among the questions that will be included. 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?
Yes. You can view the virtual information session anytime.
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 7, 2021.
Can I apply to SIGP with more than one opportunity?
Yes. If recipients cannot meet the 250 hour requirement with a single summer experience, they can supplement with a second unpaid career-related experience in order to fulfill the 250 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. Students should be sure to note what other financial needs SIGP would be able to assist them with in the summer budget portion of the application.
How can I strengthen my SIGP application?
A few ways to enhance your application include drawing connections between your experiences (academic coursework, leadership, and volunteerism) and your career field of interest, telling a cohesive story, and demonstrating consideration for your personal learning outcomes for your intended summer experience and how that applies to your career development. Find more tips on the SIGP website.