Senior Start-Up Stipend

The Senior Start-Up Stipend continues the IOP's long-standing tradition of supporting Harvard College students in pursuing work in politics and public service. The IOP student leaders and staff have allocated funds with the express purpose of offering support to graduating seniors as they seek a full-time role in politics and public service post-graduation during the summer. 

Applications Open: March 22, 2024 at 12:00 a.m. (Midnight) ET

Applications Close: April 21, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Applications for Summer 2024 are closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Students who are graduating from the College in May 2024 and who are seeking full-time roles in politics and public service after graduation are eligible to apply. 

This program is intended for all graduating seniors who are pursuing a full-time post-graduation role in politics or public service.

Because the fields of politics and public service are wide, there is not a "one size fits all" rule of what situations are eligible, but it includes things such as: accepting an unpaid internship in government after graduation with the goal of using that internship to secure a full-time role, supporting a student's relocation expenses to pursue full-time work in public service, etc.

Please use the Proposal section of the application as a space to share more about your summer plans and how those plans are intended to lead to a full-time job.

The application has a few different pieces:

  • Resume (1 page). 
  • Proposal (up to 2 pages). The proposal should contain two different aspects, outlined below. You can address them as two separate sections of the proposal, or jointly throughout.
    • ‚ÄčExperience: This is your opportunity to share what you intend to do over the summer months (with IOP funding) AND how you see those plans leading to long-term work in public service. You might think of this as the "what" and "why" of your proposal.
    • Timeline & Benchmarks: This is your opportunity to share more information about the details of your plan (for instance the length of internship, expected work hours, etc.) and how that will lead to securing a full-time role in politics and public service. This is the "how" of your proposal.
  • Two References. Please use this format.
  • Budget. The application in CARAT contains a budget worksheet which you will be required to complete.

The stipend amount will vary and may be up to $6,000. Please be sure to outline your anticipated costs in the Budget section included in the application. 

Similar to the IOP's other summer funding programs, this stipend is intended to support graduating seniors' expenses so they can pursue a full-time role in public service or politics. Students may use funding to cover costs including housing, local transportation in program location, food, attire, and incidentals. The IOP Senior Start-Up Stipend is intended to support graduating seniors between Commencement and the following August.

Funding students receive from Harvard sources cannot be used to pay others to provide services or be given to an organization; for example, hiring third-party researchers or clinicians, or making charitable donations.

No. While financial need is taken into account when applications are considered, all students who are graduating from the College in May 2024 are eligible to apply. 

Students who accept this funding are expected to pursue a full-time role in politics and public service afterwards, and the program's goal is to support seniors as they search for those roles. If a student is offered, and accepts, a role during the summer months, they must let the IOP know as soon as possible. If that role is outside of politics and public service, next steps will be decided on a case-by-case basis. 

The goal of the IOP Senior Start-Up Stipend program is to support students as they seek full time roles in politics and public service after graduation. It is our hope that students who have been part of this program will navigate that process over the summer months to secure a full-time role in the field. Additionally, recipients may be asked to serve as advisors and as a resource to other seniors in years to come.