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College of Arts and Sciences

Summer grants can support student research, expenses

By: Kathy Hovis,  A&S Communications
March 24, 2020

Applications opened March 18 for Summer Experience Grants, funding for Arts & Sciences students who need assistance to pay for travel, research and study this summer. 

More than $500,000 will be made available to students, thanks to alumni donations, as well as funds from the Student Assembly. Students can use the funding to help with costs associated with unpaid or low-paid internships, including housing, travel and transportation. Last summer, the funds aided 99 students, who spent the summer at organizations such as the Supreme Court, the National Aquarium and numerous other businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies. Although many students' summer experiences are being curtailed or limited because of the COVID-19 pandemic, if students still have positions, funding is available for any domestic positions. Funds cannot be used for international travel this year.

Dalton Price ’20 spent last summer working with the World Health Organization (WHO) at its Eastern Mediterranean regional office in Cairo. Price spent the spring semester before his trip learning Arabic and spent his summer studying the problem of antibiotic resistance in the region.

“In a lot of the countries in this region, you can just buy antibiotics over the counter without a prescription,” he said. “You would probably have a bottle of antibiotics in your medicine cabinet next to the Band-Aids.”

So, using his anthropology background, Price studied the culture around antibiotics in various countries and worked on strategies for public health campaigns to improve knowledge about antibiotic resistance and change the behavior surrounding overuse of the drugs.

“I was also able to gain understanding about how these institutions work and how current events actively shape them,” he said. “Organizations like the WHO and the United Nations are so unique because they’re intergovernmental and if we’re going to try to change health as we know it, nations have to be at the table.”

Price, an anthropology major and the first in his family to go to college, said the A&S funding made the Cairo opportunity attainable. “I know how lucky I am to go to an institution that supports me,” he said.

Many internships with governmental groups like the WHO, media companies and nonprofits often offer only unpaid or low-paid internships, while other students are seeking out volunteer opportunities that require travel and living expenses.

“Each year, many students are able to find paid internships, but in some industries, internships are always unpaid no matter what’s happening in the economy,” said Jennifer Maclaughlin, assistant dean and director of Arts & Sciences Career Development. “We aim to be able to fund as many students as possible who want a meaningful summer experience.”

Students interested in applying for a Summer Experience Grant can find out more on the Career Development website. Students are eligible to apply for funding this year even if they received funding in prior years. Alumni or others interested in supporting summer experience grants can visit this site.