Life Design Lab 2024 Summer Scholarships & Development Program

The Life Design Lab is pleased to offer scholarships to Johns Hopkins University undergraduates for summer 2024 experiences, such as unpaid and underpaid internships. 

If selected for a summer scholarship, student are required to enroll in a 1-credit development course. The course is virtual, both synchronous and asynchronous, and offered at no-cost to students. The Life Design Summer Experience Practicum provides students with a structured opportunity to apply Life Design to their summer immersive experience. Over the course of 8-weeks, students will use the principles and processes of design thinking to:

  • Reflect upon their values, identities, habits, and experiences and their relationship to the world of work & research
  • Deepen their understanding of potential professional pathways through conversations with colleagues, supervisors, and alumni
  • Test out these pathways through storytelling and the designing of new habits.

By the end of the course, students will be able to articulate the ways in which their summer experience informs and supports their academic, professional, and personal ambitions. The course is graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U)

All summer scholarships decisions have a built-in financial aid review to minimize the impact of the award on fall/spring financial aid in the next academic year.

All Applications are DUE March 25th at 11:55pm.

Application Process

Applications open on February 26th, 2024. Using this link, you have access to a form where you will be asked questions and prompted to submit the following info: 

1. One-page resume 

2. One-page Personal Statement: In no more than 500 words, please clearly describe the summer experience that you will be pursuing and how it impacts your life design. In addition to sharing the details of your experience, we hope to learn more about three specific elements that are core and critical to the life design approach: self-empathy, curiosity, and equity.  Explain how this experience aligns with the values, interests and identities that you hold most dear.  Detail the questions you wish to explore by taking on this experience.  And, finally, describe how this experience is going to help you approach your future with increased empathy and an inclusive mindset. 

3. Proposed budget (this will outline your expenses as well as other salary/compensation or other funding.)  <Download the template>

4. Verification of your summer experience. (An official letter or email from the employer verifying the internship/experience. See the FAQs below for more info)

For questions about the application process, join one of our information sessions which will be held virtually on the following dates:  

  • Sunday, March 3 from 7pm – 8pm 
  • Thursday, March 14 from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm 
    Register on Handshake

List of Scholarships:  

Design Your Summer Experience  

Open to all undergraduates, the DYSE funding provide up to $1,000 for summer experiences that are either traditional or non-traditional, paid or volunteer, short- or long-term, or scholarly (non-credit-bearing) or professional in nature. This can include any variety of immersive projects or programs.. Students cannot apply for DYSE funding in order to fund an intensive summer research program (greater than 50% of the summer experience or 20+ hrs per week) and students cannot receive funding if they are also receiving academic credit for their work. DYSE may be used to close the gap on short-term, underfunded, or low-hour research or hybrid research and job shadow opportunities (10-12 hrs or less per week). 

Un(der)paid Life Design Lab Internship Scholarships 

Many internships that students get in the summers are unpaid or underpaid. Still other students commit significant time to volunteering or immersive programs rather than summer internships. These grants provide up to $3,000 in funding to help make ends meet and to acknowledge the significant value of these experiences for developing professional skills. You do not have to request the entire amount, and we encourage you to request funding only for essential needs such as reasonable college housing costs, food, transportation, and business essentials. 

Second Decade Society (SDS) Grants (Multiple Awards) 

The Second Decade Society will provide funding for 10 Un(der)paid Internship grants to Krieger School of Arts & Sciences Undergraduates. All KSAS applicants will automatically be considered for this funding opportunity. 

SOAR Summer Plunge Scholarship 

The SOAR Summer Plunge Grant offers up to $3,500 to support FLI students with summer internship and professional development experiences in a variety of ways.  

Center for Student Success Summer  Scholarship (FLI Support) 

The Center for Student Success Summer Scholarship offers up to $3,500 to support immersive summer experiences, including internships, research, and other academic/professional opportunities. Students in the following CSS-based programs are eligible to apply: JUMP, FLI Network, Hop-In, SCAA, Kessler Scholars Program, and Cummings (Baltimore & DC Scholars Program).  

Center for Diversity and Inclusion  

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) is excited to provide up to $3,000 and summer-long professional development for students of diverse ethnicities, abilities, gender, and sexual orientations. Our summer grants are meant to offset the costs incurred by taking on an unpaid or underpaid summer internship, apprenticeship, or some other immersive experience where you are exploring a passion including yet not limited to a career, professional or personal interest. CDI works to create and sustain an environment where students are empowered to be true to themselves, work across differences, and create equitable cultural change. Applicants for this funding must showcase these values at their summer experience.  

The Goren Family Public Policy Fellowships 

Summer fellowship program to support Homewood undergraduate students pursuing public policy internships. FLI (first-generation limited income) and/or URM (underrepresented minority) status students are strongly encouraged to apply. This program rewards up to $5000.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for summer funding?
Interested students should complete the application form and will be prompted to submit the following:  

  • One-page Resume 
  • One-page Personal Statement 
  • One-page Budget (download and complete template)  
  • One-page Verification of Experience 

Why do I need to submit a budget, and how do I create one? 
Summer scholarships are intended to help defray costs of living costs (food, transportation, housing, and cost of living expenses) of unpaid or “under-paid” internships. We request you complete this template, save it as a PDF, and submit it with your application materials.  

When is the application due?
March 25 at 11:55pm  

Am I eligible to receive summer funding if I was a scholarship recipient in a previous year? Would I need to take the 1-credit Life Design course again? 
There is nothing prohibiting a student from receiving funding multiple years in a row. Participation in the 1-credit Life Design Summer Experience Practicum is a requirement for each year students are awarded a scholarship. Returning students will be invited to join a separate section offering a deeper dive into Life Design principles and practices. 

Who is eligible to apply?
Currently enrolled undergraduate students. Seniors graduating in spring 2024 are NOT eligible to apply. 

If I apply for a summer scholarship, will I automatically receive an award?  
This is a competitive process; not all applicants will be awarded a scholarship. A committee will evaluate each application, and award decisions will be based on the value of the experience and the quality and thoroughness of the materials submitted. 

If my application is selected for an award, will I receive the requested amount?
Summer scholarships are subject to the availability of funds, and funding amounts may vary. Students may be offered less than their original amount requested. 

When will I know if I am awarded a summer scholarship?
Application decisions will be sent out via email by April 29. 

My internship is international. Can I still apply for a summer scholarship?  
International internships are eligible for consideration if the internship meets certain requirements. All students participating in international experiences must submit an application to the Johns Hopkins Global Education Office for review before funding can be approved. Complete the online application and meet with GEO by April 1. (As a reminder, study abroad experiences that involve credit are not eligible for Life Design Lab summer funding.)   

I do not have an internship offer yet; can I still apply for a scholarship?  
Since scholarship applications require verification of experience, you cannot apply for this round if your internship is not confirmed. A limited funding pool is available for students who receive offers after the March 25 deadline. Known as “Late Offer” Scholarships, the applications for this round of funding will open on April 26 and close on May 2.  

Can I apply for a scholarship to pay for a summer credit-baring class? 
Summer internship funding may not be used to pay for tuition for academic courses. 

Can this scholarship be used to fund a research experience?   
The funding is primarily for unpaid and underpaid internships not lab-based research. CSS and SOAR Summer Plunge summer scholarships are the only funding opportunities for which research is considered eligible.  

What requirements are there if I am selected for an award, and will this impact my financial aid? 
Students who receive a scholarship will be required a take a one-credit summer course (at no cost), which will help them apply design thinking principles to their summer experience. This class will meet virtually and will be graded as satisfactory or unsatisfactory. The course allows us to factor in the costs of participating in an unpaid summer experience, and helps to minimize the impact of the award on fall/spring financial aid in the next academic year.  

How do I get help with my resume?  
Review this resume guide and make preliminary edits. Upload your resume (in pdf format) to Vmock – an online resume review tool that will give you instant feedback 24-7 (you can resubmit up to 10 times yearly). Drop by Life Design Lab Drop-in Office Hours held in-person in the Imagine Center and virtually.  

What should I submit as verification of the experience?  
An official letter or email from the employer verifying the internship/experience. The letter should be printed on company letterhead and contain the following information: 

  • Company Name & Address  
  • Supervisor Name  
  • Employee (Intern) Name  
  • Start and End Dates of Internship/Experience  
  • Start and End Dates of Internship/Experience 
  • Compensation (if applicable) 

Will my employer/supervisor be informed of my scholarship?
Once students have been notified of an award, they will be required to review and discuss the expectations of this program with their supervisor and return a signed supervisor confirmation letter (provided by Life Design) before the start of the Life Design Summer Experience Practicum.

What if I still have questions about the summer scholarship funding? 
Attend Life Design Lab drop-in office hours or check in on Handshake for upcoming virtual info sessions:

  • Sunday, March 3 from 7pm – 8pm 
  • Thursday, March 14 from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm 
    Register on Handshake

Other questions can be sent to kmardoc1@jhu.edu. 

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