Seidel Scholars PRISM Grants

You came to Chicago for the ‘Life of the Mind.’
You have found an intellectual passion in your major.

This summer, take whatever you love about your major, and do nothing else. See where your dreams and experiences take you.

Thanks to a generous donation from Larry R. and Kathleen Gilles Seidel, Career Advancement is pleased to offer the Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant. The Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant gives students the opportunity to explore a career-related individual project with the hope of inspiring students to translate their academic interests into careers outside of an academic setting.

The grant cannot be used to fund unpaid internships, volunteer work, classes, or projects that are exclusively academic.  Students may partake in an apprenticeship for the beginning half of the summer if additional knowledge is necessary in order to successfully complete the project (if you are considering this please contact Alison DeVries at to ensure your vision fits within the parameters of the grant.).

The deadline for the 2019 PRISM Research Grant is Sunday, April 14th, 2019 at 11:59pm. Professional Mentor Agreement Forms can be submitted until noon on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 via email to Alison DeVries at

 Applicants should expect to receive the committee’s decision by mid May 2019.

The Award

The Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant sponsors innovative and novel professional experiences designed by the applicant, essentially allowing students to create their own “non-traditional internship”.  Each professional experience should result in a tangible final project.  This project should creatively put some aspect of the student’s PRISM major (methodologies, research interests, etc.) into practice. Previous examples of Seidel projects include writing poetry chapbooks, illustrating comic books, curating museum exhibits, filming documentaries, and researching family histories.

The grant funds three to four 8-10 week student projects with each student receiving a $4,000 stipend for the summer.


Only currently enrolled 1st-3rd year undergraduate students (including International Students) with declared majors in the PRISM fields (Anthropology, Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, Comparative Human Development, Creative Writing, English Language and Literature, History, Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, Linguistics, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Philosophy/Allied Fields, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology) are eligible to apply. Coursework, however extensive, in one or more of these fields is not sufficient. Students should check their myUChicago portal prior to the application deadline to ensure that the correct major displays on the academic record.

First year students may apply for the grant upon completion of the Declaration of Intent to Major Form provided in the application and declare a PRISM major immediately if chosen as a grant recipient. This form is only for the use of first year students who wish to apply for the Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant – it will not be accepted from second and third year students in lieu of an official declaration on the myUChicago portal.

Students with PRISM majors who are double majoring in a non-PRISM field are also eligible, but should take special care in the application essay to describe how the proposed project and primary interests are allied with a PRISM field.

Applicants should be aware that Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant recipients are expected to remain enrolled in a PRISM major for the duration of the grant, and their declarations will be verified by grant administrators throughout the grant period. Failure to remain declared as a PRISM major may result in the forfeiture of the award to the College.

Applications for any domestic or international location will be accepted. The University of Chicago’s working assumption is that travel to countries or regions with a US Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 Advisory is not permitted for undergraduate participants. The University also also uses as indicators the advisory levels published by the Centers for Disease Control and our emergency provider, International SOS. Thus, if the country or region to which travel is contemplated is listed as Level 3 or 4 in the State Department’s travel advisories OR has a warning level 3 from the Centers for Disease Control OR has an International SOS risk rating of High or Extreme, travel is assumed to be prohibited.

Students who wish to travel to one of these countries must petition the University. Prior to submitting your petition form, they must meet with Chiara Montanari, Associate Director of External Relations or Eric Benjaminson, Assistant Director of Study Abroad, to discuss your plans in light of the Advisory. You must complete your meeting before you submit your grant application. Since this conversation may affect your plans, please schedule your appointment well in advance of the grant application deadline. Contact Chiara Montanari at to schedule a meeting.

For student reference, the CDC website can be found at and the International SOS ratings can be found at where one can log in with UChicago’s membership number: 11BCAS084635. This will provide students access to further country-specific information.

A student may only receive the grant once while at the University of Chicago.

Students who receive a Metcalf Internship for Summer 2019 are not eligible to receive a Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant for that same summer.

Required Materials

  • Cover Sheet (form will be made available on UChicago Handshake posting)
  • Resume
  • Project Proposal (2 page maximum – will be judged as a writing sample)
  • Professional Mentor Agreement Form (form will be made available on UChicago Handshake posting)
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Declaration of Intent to Major Form (for first-year students only)

Applications missing any of the required materials will unfortunately not be reviewed by the committee.

Optional Application Materials

  • A work sample (not required, but strongly encouraged). A brief sample of your work either written (2 page maximum), audio (under 5min), or visual, will be accepted

The Application Process

Materials must be submitted via the grant listing on UChicago Handshake. It is recommended that application materials be reviewed by your department preceptor or a member of Career Advancement staff. Please use Handshake to schedule an appointment with a Career Advancement adviser to review your materials.


Please contact Alison DeVries at