Watson Institute at Brown University
Public Policy

Brown University Opportunities

Curricular Opportunities

Academic Internship (AI)

Academic internships (AIs) allow students to combine an independent study with outside unpaid work experience and receive course credit for it. A strong, rigorous academic component must complement the work experience, and the work itself must be unpaid. Participating students bear the major responsibility for both the planning and conduct of the academic internship.

Global Independent Study Project (GLISP)

Brown students studying abroad may also initiate an independent study with a Brown faculty member. Students are expected to develop a project proposal that connects both to their curriculum abroad and to their concentration at home. Students who complete a GLISP earn an additional Brown credit along with their credits abroad. Email Anita Nester for more information.

Group Independent Study Project (GISP)/Independent Study Project (ISP)

Students and Brown faculty develop credit-bearing courses that are not a regular part of the Brown curriculum. Participating students bear major responsibility for researching the course topic, constructing a syllabus, and planning and conducting the academic coursework. Individual students can also develop courses with faculty mentors. In Public Policy, email Anita Nester for more information. Past GISP titles include “Current Issues in Mindfulness and Education,” “Voting Rights,” “Impact Investing,” and “Immigrant Detention: Law, Process, and Practice.”


The Wintersession features innovative course offerings from a range of academic disciplines. Courses are available in a variety of formats: on-campus, destination, and online. Each course is valued at one Brown credit just like a semester-length course, but in a condensed timeframe. A Wintersession course can count toward one of the thirty credits required to graduate.

Undergraduate Funding

Arthur Liman Public Interest Summer Fellowship [Brown undergraduates only]

The Liman Public Interest Fellowship at Brown University offers undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in public interest law projects for a summer. Broadly defined, public interest law includes helping those often lacking resources to retain attorneys, engaging in a variety of advocacy work, and participating in shaping public policy. The fellowship provides a $4,000 stipend.

All Brown undergraduates are welcome to apply. In early December, the application will open on UFUNDS. Applicants must upload their current resume, a 3-4 page statement of objectives, an official transcript, and contact information for two recommenders. The application is due in early January for the summer term.

Boren Scholarship [nationwide]

The Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduates to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad.

The application is due in February. Applicants must submit an official transcript, two letters of recommendation, a study abroad program description, and a language self-assessment. All materials should be delivered to Ned Quigley (ned_quigley@brown.edu) at the Office of International Programs.

BrownConnect LINK Award Funding [Brown undergraduates only]

Each year, Brown awards financial assistance to students pursuing unpaid or low-paying summer internships. The Brown LINK Award Program is funded by Brown alums and parents, the Office of Financial Aid, as well as other Brown departments, and is administered by BrownConnect in the Center for Careers and Life After Brown. The stipend for a domestic internship is $4000, and is $5000 for an internship abroad. Some students on financial aid may be eligible for a Summer Earnings Expectation waiver as part of their financial aid package.

LINK awards have two rounds for funding, with one deadline in March and one in April. The application on UFUNDS requires a resume, personal statement, signed supervisor statement, and organization/position description. Students not accepted in the first round can apply for funding with a different opportunity in the second round.

Careers in the Common Good Summer in New York City and Washington, D.C. [Brown undergraduates only]

The goals of the BrownConnect Careers in the Common Good Summer in New York City (CGG in NYC) and Washington, D.C. (CCG in D.C.) programs are to connect Brown students with non-profits, start-ups, and public service agencies (many of whom employ or are run by Brown alumni), to help Brown student build skills and build a pathway into the nonprofit and public service fields. We are especially interested in students from culturally diverse backgrounds who are underrepresented in these fields. Students receive a $4000 stipend and may be eligible for a summer earnings waiver.

The application opens in January, and all Brown undergraduates are welcome to apply. Students must submit a resume, cover letter, and unofficial transcript.

Governor Frank Licht Internship [policy concentrators only]

Each year one or two public policy concentrators are named Governor Frank Licht interns and work in the office of the governor of Rhode Island for a full year. Licht interns may receive academic credit for the spring semester (when the time commitment will be greatest) and a stipend of $2,500 through an endowment by the family of the late Governor Frank Licht ’38.

Applications for Spring 2020 are due on Dec 9, 2019 at 5 PM. Contact Samantha Griffin (samantha_griffin@brown.edu) for any questions. Apply via UFunds.

Happy and John Hazen White, Sr. Internship [policy concentrators only]

Up to eight White award recipients receive $4,000 for an eight-week summer internship. Stipends are awarded based on academic performance and on the proposed integration of the internship with future academic work. Preference will be given to students who have not already received a White award. You may apply for a White internship without having secured a definite position with an organization (you may list several options on the application), however, you must have a position with an approved organization no later than mid-May to receive funding. Applications for summer internships will be due in April 14.

The application deadline is in April. Contact Samantha Griffin (samantha_griffin@brown.edu) for more information.

Helen Terry MacLeod Research Grant [Brown undergraduates only]

The MacLeod grant supports undergraduate honors research on issues having to do with women or gender, or research that brings a feminist analysis to bear on a problem or set of questions. Students currently working on honors theses in any field are eligible to apply. The $1000 grant is to be used to further research.

The application on UFunds is due in October. Applicants must provide a three to five page description of their honors thesis, a letter of support from their thesis advisor, and a brief description of how they would use the grant funds, if awarded.

Impact Providence Summer Internship Program [Brown undergraduates only]

Impact Providence Summer Internship Program will provide a $3,500 stipend for undergraduate students to pursue 8-10 week internships with organizations based in the greater Providence area. A joint project of the Swearer Center and CareerLAB, this program has been designed to place qualified students in summer internships that align with already existing or emerging community priorities and community programs of the Swearer Center and Brown University.

To apply, submit a resume and unofficial transcript on Handshake. For more information, contact Lizzie Pollock (lizzie_pollock@brown.edu).

International Scholarship Awards [Brown undergraduates only]

Each year Brown’s International Scholars Program awards ten students up to $5,000 each to engage in an international research project during the summer. Award recipients work with an international mentor to plan an international experience that can include intensive language study, public service engagement, or an internship; archival, lab, or field research; or any other kind of project that the student would like to design during the course of the year as the centerpiece of an international research experience. Students may be eligible for an additional $1000 to help cover expenses for a capstone project in their senior year.

Linda Pei Undergraduate Research Grant [Brown undergraduates only]

First awarded in 2008, the Linda Pei Undergraduate Research Grant supports an undergraduate research project related to issues of women’s empowerment such as gender equality in the workplace, access to reproductive health care, and women's political leadership. Research projects related to women in developing countries, such as micro-finance and access to education will also be considered. The $1000 grant is to be used to further research.

The application is on UFunds, due in October. Applicants must submit a three to five page description of the research project, a letter of support from the applicant’s advisor, and a brief description of how they would use the grant funds, if awarded.

Noah Krieger ’93 Internship [policy concentrators only]

This award provides a $4,500 stipend for an outstanding public policy concentrator who is particularly interested in public service to pursue an eight-week unpaid summer internship.

Applications are due April 14 to Samantha Griffin (samantha_griffin@brown.edu). Krieger recipients are chosen from the pool of White scholarship applicants.

Projects for Peace [undergraduates from selected partner schools]

Projects for Peace is open to all undergraduates at the 90 institutions (including Brown) that are part of the Davis United World College Scholars Program. Students are invited to design grassroots projects that they will implement during the summer. The 100 projects judged to be the most promising and feasible will be funded at $10,000 each.

Applications are due in early January in UFUNDS. Applicants must submit a two page proposal including expected outcomes and prospects for future impact, a one page budget, a cover sheet with the following information: Name, email, concentration, and telephone number, and letter(s) from organization(s) involved in the project. Students should also submit a letter of reference discussing the project's significance and their ability to carry it out. Groups of students can also submit applications.

Royce Fellowships [Brown undergraduates only]

the Royce Fellowship Program supports Brown University undergraduates as they carry out independent projects of their own design in locations across the United States and around the world. Every spring, up to twenty students at Brown are inducted into the Society of Royce Fellows, each receiving an award of up to $4,000 to pursue a research, curricular development, or public service project of his or her own design.

Students must submit a detailed project plan, including a personal narrative, budget, and timeline. More information and a sample application can be found at the link below.

Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award [Brown undergraduates only]

Karen T. Romer Undergraduate Teaching and Research Awards (UTRAs) support Brown students collaborating with Brown faculty on research and teaching projects during the summer or the academic year. The stipend for a research opportunity is $4000. Some students on financial aid may be eligible for a Summer Earnings Expectation waiver as part of their financial aid package.

UTRA awards for fall must be submitted May 1, for spring by November 15, and February 10 for summer. The application on UFUNDS has a student and a faculty component.

Voss Environmental Fellows Program [Brown undergraduates only]

The Voss Environmental Fellows Program is a different kind of independent research experience, introducing undergraduate researchers to the dynamic interface between environmental scholarship, policy, and practice. The Brown Environmental Fellowship includes a $3500 stipend; designated research and travel funds; and the opportunity to participate in a capstone senior course on environmental science and communication, ENVS 1965, the following Spring semester.

The application is due March 10 to Jeanne Loewenstein (jeanne_loewenstein@brown.edu), and requires a research plan. The application instructions can be found here.

Senior Awards/Opportunities

Frederick Lippitt Prize for Public Service [Policy concentrators]

The Frederick Lippitt Prize recognizes one member of each graduating class in honor of the late Mr. Lippitt’s long career in public service. Faculty members select a student who has demonstrated outstanding public service during his or her years at Brown, and who holds promise of pursuing a career in public service. The winner receives the Frederick Lippitt Prize at the year-end annual awards ceremony.

Noah Krieger Prize for Academic Excellence [Policy concentrators]

Established by his family in 1995 to honor the memory of Noah Krieger ’93, the Krieger Prize recognizes a graduating senior for academic achievement in the concentration. Faculty members select a winner who is recognized at the annual awards ceremony and receives an endowed award from the Noah Krieger Memorial Prize Fund.

Public Policy Service Award [Policy concentrators]

This award recognizes one or more students who have contributed outstanding service and leadership to the Public Policy Program, typically by supporting a strong and active Department Undergraduate Group (DUG).

Theories in Action [Brown seniors]

The Exchange is a gathering of graduating Brown seniors to showcase and share their passions (whether through their their research, leadership activities, artistic productions, and other capstone projects) to the Brown and Rhode Island communities. It's also a chance for all seniors, presenters and non-presenters alike, to reflect on their college experience.

Post-Graduate Opportunities

Baker and Emery Fellowships [Brown undergraduates only]

The Harvey A. Baker Fellowships are awarded annually to outstanding members of the graduating class to aid them in undertaking graduate or professional study at a university of their choice either in the U.S. or abroad. The Harvey A. Baker Fellowships are awarded annually to outstanding members of the graduating class to aid them in undertaking graduate or professional study at a university of their choice either in the U.S. or abroad. Both fellowships offer $10,000 to support graduate and professional school study for Brown graduating seniors for one year.

The application is due in March and accessible through UFUNDS. The application requires a list of graduate or professional schools to which you have applied indicating the status of your applications and, if known, the school you plan to attend; a double spaced no longer than 5 page essay addressing four points (which appear below); a resume, which should be no longer than 2 pages; an official or unofficial Brown University transcript; and 3 letters of recommendation.

Beinecke Scholarship [nationwide]

Beinecke Scholarships are awarded to undergraduates in their junior year to support graduate study at a university in the United States or abroad. This year, twenty Beinecke Scholarships will be awarded to college juniors who have demonstrated unusual ability in fields of study they intend to pursue at the graduate level in a masters or doctoral program. The award is $34,000.

Applicants must submit: a completed Application form; a completed Financial Information form; a one to two-page resume or curriculum vitae; a personal statement of 1,000 words or less describing the applicant's background, interests, plans for graduate study and career aspirations; three letters of recommendation; and an official transcript. The application is due in late January.

Fulbright Student Fellowship [nationwide]

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. Government’s premier scholarship program, enabling students to conduct research, study, or teach in over 140 countries around the world. There are two basic types of grants: Research Grants and Teaching Assistantships. Research Grants support individually designed projects, or university coursework in virtually all subject areas. Teaching Assistantships offer opportunities for grantees to teach English conversation and American culture in elementary, high school, or university classrooms.

Fulbright applications are due in August, and require an application from Fulbright's site, a statement of grant purpose, a personal statement, a letter of affiliation (for research grants), 3 letters of recommendation, transcript(s), and a language evaluation (if required).

The Keasbey Memorial Foundation [undergraduates from selected partner schools]

In the interest of promoting Anglo-American relations and providing Americans with an opportunity to experience the British educational system, the Keasbey Memorial Foundation awards scholarships to support one or two years of graduate study at selected British universities. Brown University is one of a select group of American institutions invited on a rotating basis (every three years) to nominate two candidates to the national competition.

The Keasbey application is due in late October to UFUNDS. The application requires a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, an official Brown University transcript, and a curriculum vitae.

Michel David-Weill Scholarship [undergraduates from selected partner schools]

The Michel David-Weill (MDW) Scholarship supports an American student from a Sciences Po partner institution (Brown is one) to pursue a two year master's degree Sciences Po in political science, international relations, economics, history, law or sociology. The award provides one American student with an $80,000 award to cover the full cost of attending Sciences Po for a two-year masters degree.

The application is due November 23, and includes a letter of motivation, three letters of recommendation, and one graded paper from one of your undergraduate classes at Brown.

New York City Urban Fellows Program [nationwide]

The Urban Fellows Program is a highly selective, nine-month fellowship which combines work in Mayoral offices and City agencies with volunteer service opportunities and a seminar series that explores current urban issues impacting public policy. New York City Urban Fellows are placed at an array of agencies across the City where they learn about public policy through a hands-on approach.

The application is due in January and requires a transcript, resume, two essays, and three references.

Rhodes Scholarship [nationwide]

The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and perhaps the best known of the postgraduate scholarships. The Rhodes is a graduate scholarship for two years of study at the University of Oxford. Rhodes Scholars may pursue any full-time graduate course offered by the University, whether a taught Master's program or research degree. The Rhodes Trustees cover all educational costs, including tuition, relevant fees, and travel for two-three years of study at Oxford University.

The application is due in July and requires a two-page activities list, a Brown-specific questionnaire, 5-8 letters of recommendation, and an official transcript.

TRIALS [nationwide]

Fully-funded five-week residential program for disadvantaged students to study for the LSAT. The partnership between Harvard, New York University, and Advantage Testing Foundation is designed to prepare underrepresented students who wish to attend law school.

The application opens in October and is due in April for the following summer.

Schwarzman Scholarship [nationwide]

The 200 Schwarzman Scholars chosen annually will work towards a one-year master’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Schwarzman Scholars will be selected based on their academic credentials, extracurricular interests, and leadership potential to study public policy, economics and business, or international relations. Scholars will be selected from candidates in countries around the world.

The application is due by early August in UFUNDS, and includes a Brown-specific questionnaire, resume/CV, and an official transcript. Four letters of recommendation are required, one of which is a letter of institutional support.