The Collegian
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

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Students can use Richmond Guarantee for in-person internships

<p>The statue of University benefactor E. Claiborne Robins stands in the academic quad.</p>

The statue of University benefactor E. Claiborne Robins stands in the academic quad.

University of Richmond undergraduate students will be allowed to use Richmond Guarantee funding to finance in-person internships and research opportunities this summer. There will also be opportunities for in-person, on-campus research opportunities, according to a Feb. 12 email from UR administrators.

Brendan Halligan, associate director of experiential learning and assessment, confirmed that in-person experiences will be funded, although he noted that students are encouraged to find virtual positions.

“While we encourage [students] to seek out remote opportunities, they are able to do in-person experiences where they are familiar with the public health guidelines in the location where they are going to be," he said, "[and if they] are able to follow those guidelines, quarantine as needed, and the organization they are working with is following those guidelines."

In the Feb. 12 email, Jeffrey Legro, executive vice president and provost, and Steve Bisese, vice president for student involvement, also informed students with new information about summer opportunities. There will be opportunities for in-person, faculty-mentored research on campus this summer, the email stated.

Remote research opportunities may also be available for students located abroad, Legro and Bisese wrote. However, research applications will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, they wrote.

The minimum hour requirement for internships and research to qualify for funding had decreased from last year's 240 to 160 hours to provide students more flexibility to find various opportunities, Halligan said. Halligan is the contact for the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business Summer Fellowships and Spider Internship Funds. Both programs fall under the greater Richmond Guarantee funding umbrella.

Additionally, this year there are two deadlines for Richmond Guarantee funding, the first being at 5 p.m. on April 9 and the second at 5 p.m. on June 4, Halligan said. Halligan said notifications about whether students receive their grants for the second deadline will be sent on a rolling basis.

Students do not need to have secured an internship to apply for funding, Halligan said. He suggested that students apply based on a first-choice internship, even if the internship is not guaranteed.

“If they don’t get [the internship], or choose not to do the one they applied for, they can petition to have that funding for something else that they secured," Halligan said. "But they need to make sure they get the application in before the deadline for that to be a possibility."

Kerstin Soderlund, associate dean for student and external affairs of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, is the contact for the Jepson Summer Research Grants and Robert L. Burrus Jr. Fellowship. She also encourages students to apply for funding even if their plans are not in place. 

“I think it is very advantageous when a student can say to an employer, even when they are interviewing, ‘We have this great program at my school,’ [that will fund my position]," she said. "Because for companies that feel some remorse about asking people to come work and not get compensated, that could make you a stand-out candidate.

“It is certainly not something that every institution can do.” 

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Senior Lindsay Pett was awarded a Burrus fellowship last summer for her remote internship looking at long-term mammography screening in the Copenhagen region, she said. The internship solidified her knowledge of what type of research field she wants to go into, she said. 

Pett thinks she would not have had as favorable of an experience without the funding, she said. 

“I think a lot of low-income kids at least at other universities that do not have this program have to weigh, ‘Should I do this thing that would really help me, that would look great on my resume, and that I would really enjoy, or something that is going to give me money?’” she said. “That is a tough decision and money kind of ultimately has to outweigh the others.”

Contact news writer Ryan Hudgins at ryan.hudgins@richmond.edu.

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