Seidel Scholars PRISM Grants

You came to Chicago for the ‘Life of the Mind.’
You have found an intellectual passion in your major.

This summer, take whatever you love about your major, and do nothing else. See where your dreams and experiences take you.

Thanks to a generous donation from Larry R. and Kathleen Gilles Seidel, Career Advancement is pleased to offer the Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant. The Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant gives students the opportunity to explore a career-related individual project with the hope of inspiring students to translate their academic interests into careers outside of an academic setting.

The grant cannot be used to fund unpaid internships, volunteer work, classes, or projects that are exclusively academic.  Students may partake in an apprenticeship for the beginning half of the summer if additional knowledge is necessary in order to successfully complete the project (if you are considering this please contact Nelida Garcia at to ensure your vision fits within the parameters of the grant).

The deadline for the 2018 Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant will be Sunday, April 8th, 2018 at 11:55pm. Applications should be submitted through UChicago Handshake. Applicants should expect to receive the committee’s decision by mid May 2018.

The Award

The Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant sponsors innovative and novel professional experiences designed by the applicant essentially allowing students to create their own “non-traditional internship”.  Each professional experience should result in a tangible final project.  This project should creatively put some aspect of the student’s PRISM major (methodologies, research interests, etc.) into practice. Some previous examples of Seidel projects include writing novels, curating museum exhibits, filming documentaries, and researching family histories.

The grant funds three 8-10 week student projects with each student receiving a $4,000 stipend for the summer.


Only currently enrolled 1st-3rd year undergraduate students (including International Students) with declared majors in the PRISM fields (Anthropology, Art History, Cinema and Media Studies, Comparative Human Development, Creative Writing, English Language and Literature, History, Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities, Linguistics, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Philosophy/Allied Fields, Psychology, and Sociology) are eligible to apply. Coursework, however extensive, in one or more of these fields is not sufficient. Students should check their myUChicago portal prior to the application deadline to ensure that the correct major displays on the academic record.

First year students may apply for the grant upon completion of the Declaration of Intent to Major Form provided in the application and declare a PRISM major immediately if chosen as a grant recipient. This form is only for the use of first year students who wish to apply for the Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant – it will not be accepted from second and third year students in lieu of an official declaration on the myUChicago portal.

Students with PRISM majors who are double majoring in a non-PRISM field are also eligible, but should take special care in the application essay to describe how the proposed project and primary interests are allied with a PRISM field.

Applicants should be aware that Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant recipients are expected to remain enrolled in a PRISM major for the duration of the grant, and their declarations will be verified by grant administrators throughout the grant period. Failure to remain declared as a PRISM major may result in the forfeiture of the award to the College.

Applications for any domestic or international location will be accepted. If a student wishes to travel to a country currently bearing a State Department Travel Warning, the student must petition the University. Prior to submitting a petition form, the student must meet with Sarah Walter, Director of Study Abroad and Associate Dean for International Education. Since the conversation with Dean Walter may affect your plans, please schedule your appointment well in advance of the grant application deadline.

A student may only receive the grant once while at the University of Chicago.

Students who receive a Metcalf Internship for Summer 2018 are not eligible to receive a Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant for that same summer.

Required Materials

  • Cover Sheet (form will be made available on UChicago Handshake posting)
  • Resume
  • Project Proposal (2 page maximum – will be judged as a writing sample)
  • Professional Mentor Agreement Form (form will be made available on UChicago Handshake posting)
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Declaration of Intent to Major Form (for first-year students only)

Be sure to review the Seidel Scholars PRISM Grant proposal guide before applying. Applications missing any of the required materials will unfortunately not be reviewed by the committee.

Optional Application Materials

  • A work sample (not required, students without a sample will not be viewed adversely during the review process). A brief sample of your work either written (2 page maximum), audio (under 5min), or visual, will be accepted

The Application Process

Materials must be submitted via the grant listing on UChicago Handshake, Career Advancement’s online job search system.


Please contact Nelida Garcia at