Seidel Scholars Grant

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 Grant. The Seidel Scholars 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 option please contact Melissa Ross at to ensure your vision fits within the parameters of the grant.).

Applications for the 2024 Seidel Scholars Grant are due April 2, and applicants should expect to receive the committee’s decision by the end of April 2024.

The Award

The Seidel Scholars 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 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 following fields are eligible to apply.

  • Anthropology

  • Art History

  • Cinema and Media Studies

  • Classical Studies

  • Comparative Human Development

  • Comparative Literature

  • Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies

  • Creative Writing

  • East Asian Languages and Civilizations

  • English Language and Literature

  • Fundamentals: Issues and Texts

  • Gender and Sexuality Studies

  • Germanic Studies

  • History

  • Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities

  • Jewish Studies

  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies

  • Linguistics

  • Medieval Studies

  • Music

  • Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

  • Religious Studies

  • Philosophy/Allied Fields

  • Psychology

  • Political Science

  • Romance Languages and Literatures

  • Russian and Eastern European Studies

  • Sociology

  • South Asian Languages and Civilizations

  • Theater and Performance Studies

  • Visual Arts

Coursework, however extensive, in one or more of these fields is not sufficient. Students should check their my.UChicago 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 major in one of the above fields 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 Grant – it will not be accepted from second and third year students in lieu of an official declaration on the my UChicago portal.

Students who are double majoring in a major outside of the aforementioned fields are also eligible, but should take special care in the application essay to describe how the proposed project and primary interests are allied with their major from the approved list above.

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

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

Students who receive a Metcalf Internship for Summer 2024 are not eligible to receive a Seidel Scholars Grant for that same summer.

Applications for any domestic or international location will be accepted consistent with University guidelines. Please note that current University guidelines restrict international travel. If a student is awarded a Seidel Scholars stipend for an on-site internship outside the U.S., they must successfully petition the University for an exemption to this policy in order to receive their funding. All petitions will be reviewed by the Study Abroad Risk and Security Assessment Committee (SARSAC).

SARSAC will only give exemptions to students who had existing travel plans to return to their home countries/countries where they have long-term residence permits, and have now secured an internship there. Students will need to indicate as well that they will not need to apply for a work permit in such situations. Exemptions will not be given for new trips. As part of the petition, students will be required to submit a budget worksheet indicating that any grant stipend they receive will not be used to travel to the site of an internship outside the U.S.

If an exemption is given, students may not use University funds to purchase international airfare or other international travel arrangements.

For questions regarding the petition process, please contact Erwin Paderanga at

For country-specific information, the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories can be found at, 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.

Required Materials

  • Cover Sheet and Project Proposal (form will be made available on UChicago Handshake posting, 2 page maximum for proposal – will be judged as a writing sample)

  • Resume

  • Professional Mentor Agreement Form (form will be 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 5 minutes), 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 Melissa Ross at