Clements Internship Awards

The Mark and Pearle Clements Internship Awards are intended to enable Syracuse University students to undertake unique internships that they have developed on their own initiative and that would not be possible to undertake without financial help. Clements interns will usually spend a summer away from the University, working under the guidance and supervision of an experienced professional who can help them explore opportunities that link theory with practice in their fields of career interest.

  • Syracuse University juniors, seniors and masters students of all majors are eligible to apply.
  • Academic credit may be earned for participation in these internships, but is not required.

Applications 

Clements Awards typically range from $1,500 to $6,000. There are usually several awards made in the spring semester of each year. The award may be used to pay for internship-related travel, accommodations, living expenses, and required materials, but may not, in most cases, be used to pay for salaries, stipends, tuition for Syracuse University required courses, or major equipment/technology that will become the possession of the applicant at the conclusion of the internship.

Each academic year the application period is hosted from Nov. 2-Feb. 2, 11:55 p.m. (ET). Submissions will be reviewed mid to late spring semester. For questions or more information, please contact Kate Mercer, Syracuse University Career Services career exploration specialist, by emailing klmercer@syr.edu or calling 315.443.3616.

  • Applicants are responsible for developing and obtaining their own internships and should make preliminary contact with a representative of the proposed internship employer (to the extent possible) before submitting the application for a Clements Internship Award. No money will be released to successful applicants until final employer confirmation of the internship position has been received by the coordinator of the award process, but an applicant does NOT need to have final confirmation of the position before submitting the application.
  • Log into Handshake.
  • If not already, update and complete your Handshake account.
  • Then within the “Jobs” tab search “Clements Internship Award.”
  • Applicants must upload in one PDF document, in the following order the below six documents (available in Handshake) between Nov. 2-Feb. 2, 11:55 p.m. (ET).
  1. Personal Data Form - Completed and with identifying details related to you and to your proposed internship site.
  2. Internship Proposal - In a detailed paragraph include the following.
    1. Purpose and Goals of the Internship -  Describe the purpose and goals of the proposed internship and how it relates to your education and career objectives. (This section should describe the rationale behind the proposal. The statement must contain carefully considered learning goals. When formulating the learning goals, applicants may wish to consider the following questions: Why do I want to participate in this internship? What do I want to learn? Why do I want to learn about a specific field or a specific aspect of that field? The goals should describe what you plan to learn, to achieve, and to accomplish through participation in the internship. It is important to build a strong case for the proposed internship, since competition for these awards will be keen.)
    2. Activities and Supervision - Describe the activities to be undertaken/supervision to be received, structure of the internship and specific activities, tasks and projects you hope to undertake or already know.
  3. Budget Form
  4. Current Resume
  5. Unofficial Advising Transcript - This is available on MySlice. Explore instructions for accessing your Unofficial Advising Transcript.
  6. Faculty or Staff Sponsor Letter - This letter will confirm support from your Syracuse University faculty or staff sponsor. Your sponsor should have familiarity with your work, character, career interests, and be able to speak to your ability to learn in the internship setting. The letter of support should contain the sponsor’s views on the significance of the proposed internship to your academic program and career interests.
  • Once all forms are complete and uploaded, select "Submit."

 

  • Juniors, seniors and masters students of all majors are eligible to apply.
  • Each academic year the application period is hosted from Nov. 2-Feb. 2, 11:55 p.m. (ET). Submissions will be reviewed mid to late spring semester.
  • Students may only win an award once.
  • United States work authorization is required.
  • Clements Awards typically range from $1,500 to $6,000. There are usually several awards made in the spring semester of each year. The award may be used to pay for internship-related travel, accommodations, living expenses, and required materials, but may not, in most cases, be used to pay for salaries, stipends, tuition for Syracuse University required courses, or major equipment/technology that will become the possession of the applicant at the conclusion of the internship.
  • No money will be released to successful applicants until final employer confirmation of the internship position has been received by the coordinator of the award process, but an applicant does NOT need to have final confirmation of the position before submitting the application. Applicants with questions about this requirement should email Kate Mercer, Syracuse University Career Services career exploration specialist, by emailing klmercer@syr.edu or calling 315.443.3616.
  • Each Clements Award application must have the support of a Syracuse University faculty member who agrees that the proposal complements the student’s academic program, and that they are willing to act as an academic "sponsor" of the proposed internship. A sponsor must have knowledge and expertise in the subject area of the proposed internship but is not obligated to monitor the internship unless it is to be granted academic credit through Syracuse University.
  • Academic credit may be earned for participation in these internships, but is not required. If the internship is to carry academic credit, students are responsible for following registration procedures and for meeting the prescribed tuition costs with resources other than the Clements Award. Learn about additional opportunities on the Internship Funding Award webpage.

  • Committee
    • Vicki Smith, assistant director of the Office of Student Success and Career Development Center
    • Christabel O B Sheldon, director of the McNair Program
    • Karen McGee, assistant dean of student success, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
  • Financial Aid
    • Kimberly Radcliffe – Loor – assistant director of Haudenosaunee Promise, Phanstiel Scholarship, Gerry Scholarship and endowed awards, Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs
  •  Career Services 
    • Kate Mercer, career exploration specialist, Syracuse University Career Services

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

No, but they are not restricted from doing so. Clements Awards may not be applied to tuition costs, so the cost of receiving credit for a summer internship when the student is not officially enrolled, must be assumed by the student through other means. Questions about costs attached to the granting of credit can be discussed with staff at Career Services.

Yes. While candidates should try to research expenses for budget estimates, the selection committee retains some discretion in the setting of a specific monetary award. Candidates are also expected to seek out other sources of funding to complement Clements funding and to report on their success in doing so, a situation that may result in the reduction of an award when the full need may be met through the infusion of external funds.

No. The award was set-up to fund internships for juniors, seniors and masters students of all majors.

For a staff person to be acceptable to the committee, the person needs to show a clear knowledge of the applicant and their career interests, and must themselves explain their own foundation of knowledge of the applicant’s field so as to convince the committee of their ability to confirm the relevance of the proposal to these interests or their field of study.

No. The awards were set up with the intent of funding summer internships, and since the determination of winners occurs only in the spring of the year, there is no provision for funding internships in the winter or spring. Students should be aware that costs of internships done for credit may be covered by their tuition for a given semester. Additional questions may be directed to the Clements coordinator or the internship coordinators at Career Services but might also be clarified by home college practices relative to internships.

Part-time students are generally ineligible for a Clements Award, mostly because the awards support summer internships for which the employer may consider only full-time students.

Submitting a proposal for a specific internship assumes that the applicant is seriously seeking this opportunity and wants their award to be evaluated on this basis. On rare occasions, winners’ internships have not materialized and they have been able to substitute another internship if the committee receives its details and approves the change. Wholly new proposals and budgets are not allowed since initial awards usually leave no excess money for distribution.

Such students can certainly apply but their final consideration may depend on how narrow the requirements for their degree actually are and therefore how little uniqueness there may be in the opportunities they may be restricted to choosing. One of the main factors in the determination of winners is how much freedom the applicant had to cultivate specific and unique settings within their overall fields of interest. Students with questions should discuss their dilemmas with the Clements coordinator well in advance of the deadline date.

Yes. Many fields and roles consider candidates from various academic areas as long as applicants have the requisite skills and demonstrate a knowledge of the field sufficient for credibility. Students should use their proposals to explain their pursuits of such opportunities and should choose sponsors, if possible, who can also provide support accordingly.

Yes. The Clements Awards are meant to help students meet the expenses that their own resources cannot. This could include a situation created in a paid internship where the pay is inadequate to cover basic living costs of food, lodging, transportation, etc.

Winners do need to submit receipts for major expenditures like travel to and from an internship at its beginning and end and lodging during an internship. Other costs may be estimated and submitted on the required budget sheet and supported by an award but receipts for day to day incidental purchases may not need to be kept and submitted. Clarification can be sought from the Clements coordinator.

Once an employer confirmation is received by the Clements coordinator, requests are submitted to Financial Aid for approval. Upon approval, funds are posted to a winner’s Bursar account and arrangements may then be made to receive a check or have money electronically deposited to an account for the student’s use.

Sources upon which anticipated costs have been estimated are requested on the budget form and have usually included links to information sources such as travel costs, student housing and lodging resources, visa details, etc. The Clements coordinator can clarify this further and may suggest certain options and their sources.

No. Proposals should explain the applicant’s reason for seeking the proposed internship, relevant information about the opportunity and the employer, and the steps taken to secure it so far.

Clements Awards may not be used for tuition costs of internships associated with academic programs or as a salary or stipend that an employer might otherwise offer to other interns. Applicant requests for things like computers, software, other equipment or clothing that will revert to the ownership of the award winner are generally not supported for funding. The awards can fund travel, lodging, food, visa and vaccinations for foreign internships, and to a degree, materials necessary for the execution of the duties of the intern.

Uniqueness and specificity of the internship relative to students’ areas of study and distinct career interests, the effort the applicants have undertaken themselves to cultivate the opportunity, and a personal connection carry significant weight. Completeness of the proposal and budget, the relative likelihood that the internship can be obtained and completed are also given significant weight. Students who merely identify internships online and apply through a website for internships typical to their general fields, or who rely on someone else to find an internship and arrange placement, are seldom given serious consideration.

Most winning proposals have been 2 to 3 pages of concise writing and follow the instructions offered about topics to be covered in the full description of the Handshake application process for every year’s specific awards.

Winners are notified as soon as the selection committee chooses winners, usually in early March.

While the Office of Financial Aid reviews and approves the awards for those chosen as winners, there is an understanding that since the one time monetary award helps defray non-academic expenses, it is unlikely to have any negative impact on a winner’s existing financial aid package.