Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative (PPI) offers funding, on a competitive basis, to students who accept an offer for a public policy summer internship at a government entity or non-profit policy research organization in Washington, DC, that otherwise would be unpaid or come only with modest compensation. This includes internships on Capitol Hill, at any of the executive branch or independent agencies, and at think tanks or research organizations that focus on economic issues. All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in any of Penn’s schools are eligible to apply for funding from Penn Wharton PPI.
For internships that are unpaid, Penn Wharton PPI can provide up to $500 per week to undergraduate students for up to 12 weeks, for a maximum of $6,000 for the summer. Graduate students are eligible for up to $1,000 per week for up to 12 weeks, for a maximum of $12,000 for the summer. To be eligible for funding, undergraduate internships must be at least 8 weeks in duration; graduate internships must be for at least 6 weeks.
Students receiving some compensation (or funding from other sources) that falls short of the $500/week threshold for undergraduates or the $1,000/week threshold for graduate students may apply to Penn Wharton PPI for supplementary funding to make up the difference.
Please note that students who, at the time of application, have not yet received their undergraduate degree but are pursuing a graduate degree will be considered as undergraduates.
Please also note that funding awards constitute taxable income. If you are a U.S. citizen, you will receive a 1099 tax form from the University of Pennsylvania for tax reporting purposes. If you are an international student, the University will withhold 30% of your stipend amount for tax purposes, barring any tax treaties that may exist with your home country. International students can find information about Penn’s tax policies at the Office of Comptroller.
Our aim is to disburse these summer awards as lump-sum payments at the start of the internship.
In exchange for funding, recipients will be expected to:
- Write one blog post during the summer on an economic public policy topic (around 1000 words in length) for the Penn Wharton PPI website;
- Serve as an “ambassador” for Penn Wharton PPI in DC, practicing good public relations and maintaining a level of professionalism both on and offline including your personal social media platforms;
- Participate in networking and professional development activities;
- Attend a mandatory training workshop on advanced skills in Excel; and
- Complete an evaluation at the end of the summer about your internship experience.
The review committee will be reading funding applications in three rounds, on February 28th, March 30th, and April 30th. Students will have their applications reviewed on the first of these dates following the receipt of the application (i.e., all applications received on or before February 28th will be reviewed at that time, and so on). A funding application may be accepted, declined, or put on a wait list. If put on the wait list, the application will be reviewed again in the subsequent rounds.
Students who are waiting to hear back about an opportunity and have not received confirmation before the final May 1st application deadline, please email John Galm your name, prospective internship host agency, title of internship, and expected date of confirmation, in lieu of an application. Students who are hired after the funding deadline are still eligible for funding if they notify John prior to May 1st.
Any questions about the funding process should be directed to Ben Schneider, at email@example.com.
Subscribe to the Penn Wharton PPI listserv to receive information on upcoming student opportunities.
Apply for Funding