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Political Science - Scholarships & Awards

Through generous gifts, the Political Science Department is able to assist students who are interested in pursuing summer internships in public affairs in Washington and around the world. These funds provide living expenses for students enabling them to accept unpaid appointments.

Funds available include:

The Harold M. and Margaret R. Coons Public Service Internships

In recent years, Wabash students have used this fund to support internships with:

  • New Hampshire Public Defender
  • Louisiana Captial Assistance Center
  • RAND Center
  • Students for a Free Tibet 
  • The staff of a member of the Scottish National Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland

Applying for  Coons Funding
The political science department has funding available to provide financial assistance for students who work as summer interns in public service. Available to students with financial need who otherwise would be unable to accept internships in the public sector, these awards may be used to help defray living expenses during the internship or may go toward the student's expected self-help contribution from summer earnings.

Awards are open to all continuing students but preference is given to juniors who are political science or PPE majors or minors. Preference is also given to internships at the national or international level. Students who have obtained internships in local, state or national government or international organizations may apply for funds. Awards are available for internships in the US or abroad. Internships are not available for work in election campaigns of parties or candidates. Examples of appropriate internships include working in the White House, the office of a Member of Congress or Parliament, working for the United Nations, the WTO, the Red Cross),"think tanks" (e.g., AEI, Brookings, NDU), lobbyists, (e.g. National Audobon Society, Union of Concerned Scientists, Amnesty International), non-partisan voter information services (e.g. Project Vote Smart), or the media (e.g. C-Span, PBS News Hour). Students may not accept or receive concurrent College awards during the summer. 

Internships must have a public policy focus which may involve any of the stages of public policy including agenda setting, formulation, decision-making, implementation or assessment. Internships appropriate for these awards shall offer students genuine opportunities to learn about these areas, through such activities as studying legislation, attending briefings and legislative hearings, researching issues, writing articles, preparing papers, doing grassroots organizing, constituency services or outreach.

To apply, students will need:


Explains in detail the nature of the project and how it will enhance your educational experience or post-graduate plans. For internships, courses, or programs, you should include excerpts from the job, course, or program description. If you have already been accepted into a position, please include supporting documentation, such as an email offering you the internship. If you have applied, but not yet been accepted, please indicate the date you anticipate having an offer if possible.


  • Awards may range in amount, up to a maximum of $3600 (before taxes are taken out).
  • Include all expected costs to participate in your proposed project or internship, even if totalling more than $3600, to provide a full picture of your personal expense to participate. The budget proposal is best submitted in a simple Excel file or table in a Word document. Examples of expenses to include are:
    • Meals
    • Transportation to and from the site of your experience (flight, train, mileage)
    • Daily transportation (public transportation pass, mileage)
    • Housing, rent, or room and board fees
    • Program or course fees
    • Supplies needed to conduct research or participate in the experience
    • Professional clothing or clothing appropriate for the experience

Download a Budget Worksheet with examples here to build your Budget Narrative.


  • Request recommendations from two (2) Wabash faculty or staff members.

  • Recommenders will be asked to comment on the suitability of the proposed project and your ability to successfully complete the work. You should have discussed the proposal with the recommenders in advance.

  • You must notify your recommenders in advance to allow them time to complete the recommendations on your behalf. Missing recommendations will be considered an incomplete proposal.

  • Be sure to share the recommendation submission deadline when asking for the recommendation. You can share this Recommender Info Sheet with all the pertinent information they will need.

Award recipients are required to provide a written 350-word blog on their internship, along with two pictures, by August. This report should describe the internship experience and reflect on it in the light of the student's application essay.

Begin Your Application