Thank you for your interest in the Summer Democracy Fellowship program!

This program will award competitive, summer-long funded fellowships to students interested in pursuing an internship experience this summer with any of the non-partisan organizations that work to advance democracy, listed below. Compensation will be awarded to successful applicants on a sliding scale dependent on expressed financial need, anticipated living expenses, and specific summer plans. Awards for participating fellows last summer ranged from $1000 – $5000 each.

Successful applicants will need to commit to required program components throughout the summer that will include occasional writing requirements and video or phone check-ins with other participants. We are also hoping to promote more programming this summer that will provide fellows the opportunity to engage with each other’s experiences.

This fellowship program is only open to undergraduates who plan to return to campus in the fall of 2019. This is a highly competitive program, and some applicants may be contacted for an interview. Freshmen and sophomores are strongly encouraged to apply!

This nonpartisan program is facilitated by The Foundation for Civic Leadership.

More information about each of the organizations is located here.

The 2019 application can be found here and is due by Sunday, March 17th. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March.





Using paid internships to increase capacity and inclusion at democracy reform organizations. The Summer Democracy Fellowship Program is designed to engage students who would otherwise be unable to engage in low-paying and unpaid summer internship opportunities, and help create the next generation of leadership for reforming money in politics by creating a network of highly motivated students from across the country and political spectrum. This is a highly competitive program that awards fully funded fellowships to undergraduate students interested in pursuing a 10-week summer internship with many leading political reform organizations, including the Center for Responsive Politics, based Common Cause, Democracy Matters, and others.

Sam Heller


  1. Conducted survey research using a large sample of students at a few universities to discover how students found internships and funding, and what would provide the prestige as well as experience to attract students.

  2. Reached out to partner organizations and recruited 7 democracy reform organizations who agreed to host an intern at no cost to them for the summer.

  3. Reached out to schools, students, and as many networks and partners as possible to publicize the opportunity, and demonstrate at a small scale that paying for internships can better improve a talent pipeline.