Guidance for Summer Applicants

Introduction

Dwight Hall Summer Fellows was created in the summer of 1968 with a singular challenge: establish the environment for students to create social change through full-time, paid engagement in coordination with community partners. In its current form, Dwight Hall has expanded the number of opportunities to receive summer funding.


Find an overview of Summer Opportunities, including financial compensation and program details, use this link:

Overview of Summer Opportunities


Dwight Hall at Yale staff is available to work with each student that has questions throughout the entire process. Please reach out to mark.fopeano@yale.edu.

*New to 2024 – Full Funding vs. Partial Funding

We are enthusiastic about creating pathways to careers in the social sector for as many students as possible. As we’ve refined our programming and worked with students, we have learned that some students are left out of the funding process, while other students with financial needs are often left with incomplete funding sources.

In 2024, we’ve expanded our thinking to include more students.

Full funding applications will be due on February 29th, and will have a preference for projects in New Haven or students proposing projects in their hometown. Additional preference will be shown for students with financial need, especially graduating seniors.

Partial funding applications will be due on May 15th, intentionally AFTER all other funding deadlines. We anticipate this funding to be more popular for students that are working in comparably expensive cities like New York City, Washington, DC, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston. Additionally, we also anticipate this funding to be a popular option for students that are working only part-time on a summer project in addition to other work they have committed to. The maximum amount of funding will be $1,500 for this student.

Acceptable Forms of Summer Activity

Summer Fellows may request funding to support a project, internship, or research proposal. Typically, summer activities will be accomplished within eight weeks, and must be fully supported by a supervisor/mentor. Further definition and examples:

Project – Carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim, projects build the capacity of an organization to fulfill its mission statement. Projects have a clear, demonstrative end. Example: developing and testing the social media strategy of partner organization.
Internship – Covering a specific period of time, internships are professional experiences written and guided by the host organization. Example: “2022 Summer Intern” with partner organization.
Research Proposal – Research proposals describe what will be investigated, why it is important to do now, and exactly how you will do the research. Research may prove the efficacy of a program model, investigate social sector questions, or be more academic by nature. Example: developing and analyzing carbon emissions data in New Haven with xyz partner researcher.

Deadlines

This year, we will have two fellowship deadlines to meet the needs of students and community partners.

Full Funding Application Deadline: February 29th

Partial Funding Application Deadline: May 15th


All summer funding opportunities use the same application, and students will be considered for all possible funding streams.

Find the application at this link:

https://yalesurvey.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eM6SU1ArPxdx4bP


The application is comprised of several short answer (150-200 word) and some long answer (500 word) questions. Applicants will be asked to share information about themselves, the summer activity they hope to take on, and the nature of their relationship with their guiding community partner.

Before completing the form, students should consider their answers to these questions:

  • Please briefly describe why you picked your major. (150-200 words).
  • What are your (tentative) career goals? (150-200 words).
  • Please provide a brief description of your summer activity. (150-200 words)
  • What is your overall budget? This can also be posted as an attached document.
  • Contact Information about your sponsoring agency and mentor, including a date that you expect a support letter to be provided.
  • Briefly describe your relationship with your sponsoring agency and how you will work with you supervisor/mentor. (100-150 words)
  • Describe your motivations for pursuing this summer activity and its anticipated impact on the community. (500 word limit)
  • Please provide us with significant milestones, deliverables, and/or achievements for this summer activity. How will you be able to measure whether your summer was successful? (500 word limit). 
  • Please provide an anticipated weekly breakdown of your activities that justifies the number of weeks you are requesting funding (500 word limit). 
  • Please describe how this summer activity will impact your academic and/or professional career. (150-200 words)

Upon submission, a copy of your responses will be sent to your email address and to staff at Dwight Hall at Yale. Your supervisor/mentor will also be notified that an application has been submitted.

Letter of Support

The Summer Fellows application may be submitted without a Letter of Support, but a funding decision cannot be made until a Letter of Support has been submitted. The Letter of Support should be written by an individual with close knowledge of your summer activity and who is committed to supporting your work. Ideally, this person will be able to serve as a supervisor and mentor for the duration of your summer experience.

In some cases, Dwight Hall and/or YANA are able to facilitate conversations with potential supervisors/mentors. If this is the case, please plan to submit your application early. It is the responsibility of the applicant to seek guidance for your summer. Under no circumstances will a student be funded without a Letter of Support.

Please see this link for a preferred Letter of Support format.

Selection

Each applicant is screened to ensure that the student and summer activity meet basic eligibility requirement. Then the application is blindly reviewed by a committee of Dwight Hall professional staff, students, and other stakeholders with these evaluative questions:

  • Does this student show a commitment to social change?
  • Is the proposed summer activity feasible?
  • Does this summer activity value the knowledge and guidance of community experts? Does the applicant have an adequate support letter?
  • Does this summer activity have a meaningful impact on the student’s academic and professional aspirations?

Scores are compiled centrally and the highest scoring applicants will be called for interviews.



Additional Summer Funding Resources

President’s Public Service Fellowship

Domestic Summer Award

Yale Fellowships and Funding

Office of Career Strategy – Common Good & Creative Careers

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