Summer Stipend Program

Summer Stipend Infographic

All Harvard College Undergraduates who are returning to campus for the Fall semester.

Applications Open: March 1, 2024 at 12:00 a.m. (Midnight) ET 

Applications Due: March 31, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Applications for Summer 2024 are closed.

Full-Time vs Part-Time Summer Stipend Opportunities:

Starting in Summer 2024, the Institute of Politics will be offering funding for both full-time (10 weeks of 35-40 hours per week) and part-time (10 weeks of 15-20 hours per week) internship opportunities through the Summer Stipend Program. 

  • Full-time internships are eligible for up to $6,000
  • Part-time internship are eligible for up to $3,000

Students will indicate their internship type in their application.  


Examples of IOP Summer Stipend Internship Placements

The Institute of Politics Summer Stipend offers funding for students returning to campus for the Fall semester who accept non- or low-paying summer internships in politics and public service, including: local, state, or federal government, public interest groups, non-governmental organizations, political organizations, political journalism, think tanks, and political campaigns. All organizations involved must comply with Harvard anti-discrimination policies.

The IOP does not curate a list of eligible organizations. If you are unsure if your internship host meets the program criteria but believe it constitutes politics and/or public service, we encourage you to apply to the program.

Frequently Asked Questions



No, applications are not reviewed until after the application deadline.

Since the application pool is considered as a whole, we're not able to say how competitive any given year will be before the application is closed. Each year the program receives more applications than it is able to fund, and we encourage students who are applying to or have accepted a low-paying or unpaid internship in politics and public service to submit an application before the deadline. 

An application consists of a three basic parts: statement of interest, a resume, and an internship confirmation.

The Statement of Interest is somewhere between a cover letter and a college application essay — it's more professional than your college application essay but more personal than a typical cover letter. While it should be no longer than one page, the format and tone can vary depending on the organizations you're applying to and an organization's public persona — it's up to you! You should be sure to address basic things like: internship description, your interest in the organization, and what you hope to learn from your summer experience.

Yes! If your summer plans aren't all the way finalized, you can still submit an application to the program.

When applying, let us know what relevant pending applications you have submitted or where you've been accepted. We are able to offer conditional funding based on your submitted applications (e.g. if you have five potential internships, you may receive an IOP Summer Stipend award for one or two of those internships). You can read more about conditional offers in the "After the Application Deadline" section below.

It's important to remember you must have submitted an application before the deadline in order to be considered.

No. Each student should only submit one application to the IOP Summer Stipend Program. The application allows you to indicate if you have multiple potential internships for the summer and to list them in full.


All political or public service internships that are low-paying or non-paying are eligible for an IOP Summer Stipend. There is not one definitive list of eligible organizations, and if you aren't sure if your internship is eligible, we encourage you to submit an application before the deadline and to share why the internship is a fit for the Summer Stipend program in your Statement of Interest. All prospective host organizations must abide by Harvard's nondiscrimination policy. You can find more information about that policy here

The IOP is able to support in-person, remote, and hybrid internships.

IOP summer programs, including the Summer Stipend Program, comply with Harvard's COVID travel policy, which can be found here. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure their ability to complete the internship for which they are applying.

As of December 2021, Harvard's COVID travel policy states that students who are fully vaccinated are able to travel both domestically and internationally (providing they adhere to all host-country requirements, and to Harvard's student international travel policies). Unvaccinated students may petition the University to travel both internationally and domestically for in-person internships. There is more information about that petition process here.

All students are eligible for remote internships.

Students must work full-time (35-40 hours/week) or part-time (15-20 hours/week) for at least 10 weeks in the summer. Those 10 weeks take place between the first week of June and the second week of August, unless a date-shift exception is asked for and granted (e.g. May 31 to August 5). 

While there is not a definitive list of eligible organizations, any prospective host organization must abide by Harvard's nondiscrimination policy. You can find more information about that policy here. Applicants are encouraged to address prospective host organizations' role in the public service/political environment in their application. 

It varies — some organizations are able to offer transportation stipends or a small monthly stipend. However, if you are receiving $6,000 or more from other sources, you are not eligible for the IOP Summer Stipend Program. While applying for and/or receiving funding from other sources does not make you ineligible for the program, you must report all outside funding you receive or have applied to when you submit your application.

Yes. However, you must indicate this on your application, and you must let us know if you receive additional funding and in what amount.

Receiving additional outside funding does not immediately disqualify you from the IOP Summer Stipend Program. Students must disclose if they are receiving Harvard or non-Harvard funding for any other projects at any point throughout the summer, the amount of the award, and the dates of the other project as soon as possible and no later than June 1 of the year of the award. The IOP reserves the right to modify awards accordingly. Failure to promptly report other Harvard-funded summer activities may be reported to the Administrative Board.

Additionally, there are opportunities for co-funding between the IOP and other funding centers at Harvard. For more information on co-funding policies, please read HERE.

No. Director's Interns are not eligible for the IOP Summer Stipend Program.

Yes, you can receive funding via the IOP Summer Stipend Program for internships abroad.

No. While financial need is taken into account when applications are considered, students who do not receive financial aid are eligible for the IOP Summer Stipend Program.

Yes. Students who received a previous IOP Summer Stipend or a Director's Internship are eligible to apply for an IOP Summer Stipend. 

No. If you are a graduating senior interested in pursuing politics and public service after graduation, you are not eligible for the Summer Stipend Program. However, you may be eligible for the IOP Senior Start-Up Stipend. You can find more information about that program here.

If you are on leave during the Fall or Spring semesters, you may be eligible to apply. You will need to petition, and receive approval from, the Administrative Board for approval to use the CARAT Application Portal. Contact your Resident Dean to initiate the petition process as soon as possible. Please note that students on leave will not be eligible to apply until the Administrative Board has approved any request. We recommend students on leave begin this process as soon as possible.

No. Right now, term-time internships are not eligible for the Summer Stipend Program, and the IOP does not offer term-time internship funding.


We do not consider applications on a rolling basis. Therefore, once the application deadline has passed, we try to notify all applicants within four weeks. 

If you are offered a conditional award, this means we haven't yet received confirmation of your internship and funds will not be distributed until we receive that confirmation. It is your responsibility to submit confirmation. A conditional offer may expire if we do not receive confirmation in a timely manner. The specific date by which confirmation is required will be indicated in your conditional offer, and will be no later than the end of spring reading period.

Conditional awards are not transferable to another internship placement, and if you choose an internship other than the one for which your conditional offer was made, you must notify us immediately of your decision.

We understand each internship has its own selection timeline and try to be as accommodating as possible with regards to when internship confirmations need to be submitted to us. However, as we near the end of the Spring semester, if we have not received an internship confirmation, a conditional offer may expire. If you have received a conditional offer and are concerned about this, please reach out to us directly.

IOP Summer Stipends are up to $6,000 awards. Award amounts are dispersed on the basis of application strength, presence of outside funding, financial need, and meeting of eligibility requirements.

If you receive a stipend, you'll receive more information about this with your award letter.

Generally, if you are a domestic student, you will receive your IOP Summer Stipend via Harvard Jagger Buy to Pay, which you will need to set up in the system, and you will be paid via Zelle. If you are an international student, you will receive your stipend via paper check. The turnaround time for international students is usually around four weeks. Due to increased activity at the end of the fiscal year (June) in the Financial Office, it can sometimes take longer. Please note that any delay in responding and completing IOP requirements may delay the stipend disbursement. 

Per the office of Risk Management at Harvard, any liability claims would go through the internship placement because the injury/accident happened on their property.

Please contact with any questions.