The Oak Institute for Human Rights offers summer internship funding to allow students to pursue internships at institutions that work on issues of human rights, broadly defined. Internship funding (up to $5,000) is available to continuing full-time Colby students over the summer. To apply, please submit an application through DavisConnects.

Learn more about Colby’s grant program here >>>


Applications for Summer 2019 will be live on this DavisConnects webpage on March 1, 2019. Students will submit a general application (please visit DavisConnects funding page to prep all essay questions an application materials) in addition to the following questions by March 13 at 11:59 PM EST.

1. How does your experience tie into the mission of the human rights mission of the Oak Institute?

2. You will be prompted on the general application to send a reference request to a Colby faculty or staff member and a reference request to a former or current employer on the Oak Institute application. Both references will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire. Please give them prior notice of your specific plans and explain that fund disbursement is conditional on a completed and positive reference.

3. Please upload a copy of your unofficial transcript.

4. Are you applying for funding from any source other than the Oak Institute? If so, indicate the source and how much are you requesting.

When they return to campus, recipients of Oak Internships will be expected to submit a 500-1000 word report on their internship work that will be posted on our website.


Important Considerations:

Student Eligibility – Summer awards are open to first-years, sophomores and juniors.  While students who have previously been awarded funds may reapply, preference will be given to new applications.

Internship Eligibility – An internship is a carefully monitored work experience in which a student has intentional learning goals and reflects on what she/he is learning through the experience.  Preference is given to unpaid internships at institutions involved in promoting and protecting human rights, broadly defined. Summer awards can be adjusted for the length of the internship, and usually require a minimum of 20 hours/week for 8 weeks.

Funding is not meant to serve as compensation for an internship.  Rather, it is designed to cover supplemental costs that come along with an unpaid internship – i.e., transportation, lodging, meals, etc.

Applicants do NOT need to have a confirmed internship to apply.  Based on application deadlines, students are often still waiting to hear back regarding their plans for January or the summer. Funding applications can be submitted without a secured internship, but should be completed with information for one specific opportunity – the one that is most likely to take place. The committee will make a decision based on the initial application.  If you are awarded funding, it will be provisional on receipt of a letter from the organization confirming the internship. If you plans or circumstances change, you will need to resubmit your proposal with the updated information.

If you are applying for funding from other Colby or non-Colby sources, you have an obligation to let us know and provide details.

If you are planning to do an internship outside the US, please note that Colby will not sponsor your efforts if the experience is located in a country for which the US government has issued a travel warning or recognizes as a dangerous place.  Please visit the US State Department’s website here for a list of these countries.

Please do not tie your plans to winning this very competitive award.  You need to make alternative plans in case you are not selected. The Oak Institute has limited funds to support somewhere between 3 and 5 internships each year and does not have additional funds.