PACON Grant Award for Unpaid or Underpaid Internships

Public Affairs Conversation participants who are pursuing unpaid or underpaid internships relating to public affairs are encouraged to apply for the PACON Internship Grant Award.

Eligibility Guidelines
  • The internship must be a public affairs internship. This includes work in government, business, or the non-profit sector that relates to broad public policy issues. Possible internship sites include government at any level; political parties and campaigns; and non-governmental organizations including think tanks, foundations, educational organizations, and service providers. As part of the online application students must submit a brief rationale for the way in which their work relates to broad public issues. If you have a question about whether or not your internship meets the criteria for a “public affairs” internship, please email Professor Fuerstein fuerstei> and Nate Jacobi <jacobi>, Associate Director in the Piper Center.
  • Students must be enrolled in a Public Affairs Conversation. Enrolled students may apply to fund an internship that takes place during the fall, Interim or spring semesters, or the summer following participation in PACON. Each PACON student is only eligible to receive one PACON Grant Award.
  • *Given the current situation with COVID-19 and the goal of the College to protect the health and safety of all students, students will not be eligible for funding for international internships unless the experience takes place in the student’s home country.
  • Students are generally not allowed to complete internships in countries with State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 or 4. Please email <jacobi> at least two weeks before the deadline if you would like to apply for special approval to complete an internship in a country with a travel warning.
  • Students completing internships or research on-campus or where the employer would be St. Olaf are not eligible for funding.
Award Levels for 2020-21
Term Minimum Weeks and Hours Award Minimum Award
Fall or Spring 4 weeks and 55 hours Eligible expenses (commuting) up to $500 $500
Interim 4 weeks and 140 hours (some hours can take place during the breaks before or after Interim) Eligible expenses up to $2,000 (up to $3,000 for international internships or high cost of living locations) $600
Summer 8 weeks and 300 hours Eligible expenses up to $2,000 (up to $3,000 for international internships or high cost of living locations) + $1,500 stipend $1000

*Compensation received from the employer will be subtracted from the award amount
**If the PACON Award level is not sufficient to meet your financial needs, please be in touch with both Professor Fuerstein fuerstei> and Nate Jacobi <jacobi>, Associate Director in the Piper Center.

****Funding to students could be subject to income tax withholding per IRS and Minnesota state guidelines.

Fall and Interim Internships: November 9th and December 8th
Spring and Summer Internships: April 8th and May 5th

Students must secure internship by the deadline. Late applications will typically not be accepted.

Academic Internship Requirement
  • Students who receive the PACON Award are required to register for academic internship credit and follow the guidelines and deadlines for Domestic Academic Internships or International Academic Internships.
  • When possible, students are asked to work with one of their PACON instructors as their faculty supervisor (this might not be possible for international students, see below).
  • International students:
    • You are required to earn academic internship credit for any internship you complete.
    • The internship must relate directly to one of your majors.
    • Your faculty supervisor must be from the department that corresponds to your major (that relates to the internship)
    • Please contact Nate Jacobi <jacobi> and Mike Fuerstein <> if you are an international student who needs to find a faculty supervisor for a PACON funded internship 

Budget Worksheet

*This form will be submitted as part of the application process (link to be added)

Application Process
Follow the process outlined here

Terms of Agreement
All grant award recipients are expected to do the following:

  • Students who are selected to receive a grant award are required to watch the Internship Orientation video
  • Complete the minimum hours requirement for each term (listed above). Recipients who do not complete the internship as described in their application will be required to pay back the full award amount
  • Complete a post-internship survey
Funding is made possible through the Institute for Freedom and Community.