Experiential Learning Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply?

FOR: Research/Creative Works/Service/Travel

  • Undergraduate and graduate students from all University of Montana disciplines may apply.
  • Individual students may apply.
  • An individual within a group may apply (group applications are not accepted).
  • A student must have a faculty/staff mentor oversee, and approve the experience by submitting a letter of recommendation. (faculty/staff will receive an automated email after you include their contact information on the application)
  • Student applicants must be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or higher) and there must be no outstanding holds or debts on the applicant's student account
  • Plan to enroll at UM in Autumn 2022

FOR: Internship (low-paid* or unpaid)

A portion of the ELSF scholarship funding is dedicated to providing financial support to undergraduate and graduate students who would not be able to participate in an internship experience in their chosen field without it. 

Preference is given to students seeking their first internship/career experience in their field of interest and can demonstrate financial hardship in accepting a low-paying/unpaid internship.

  • Open ONLY to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students from all University of Montana disciplines may apply.
  • Individual students may apply.
  • The internship must be connected to UM course credit
  • The internship must be either low-paid or unpaid
  • Students must be registered in Handshake
  • Students must complete an Online Learning Agreement for their internship
  • An individual within a group may apply (group applications are not accepted)
  • A student must have a faculty/staff mentor oversee, approve the experience by submitting a letter of recommendation. (faculty/staff will receive an automated email after you include their contact information on the application)
  • Student applicants must be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or higher) and there must be no outstanding holds or debts on the applicant's student account
  • Complete either a short video/vlog or complete the internship success story.
  • Plan to enroll at UM in Autumn 2022
  • International students must have work authorization for the internship to be eligible**

*A low-paid internship is defined as receiving less than minimum wage ($9.20/hour)

**Work authorization for the internship must be retained from the International Students and Scholars (ISS)

Please note:

  • Applicants may only apply for one Experiential Learning Scholarship per application period.
  • A recommendation letter is required and should be written by UM faculty or staff. All recommendation letters must be submitted by the application deadline.

How to Apply

  • All applications and accompanying materials must be submitted on the ELSF Portal.
  • Follow the rubric for your project/experience type.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their faculty/staff mentor is prepared to upload a reference letter when they receive an email from us asking them to upload that to the applicant's application. We strongly recommend you communicate with your faculty mentor well in advance of the deadline so they are prepared to upload your reference prior to the deadline.

Apply for the Experiential Learning Scholarship Fund!

Resources

Rubric: Please read the rubric for your experience type. The rubric is what the committee uses to score each scholarship application

Note: see description of experience types below

Budget Form: Please complete the budget form and include it in your application.

Application Materials

A one-page maximum (single-spaced, 12 pt., 1-inch margins, Times New Roman font) document containing the following information: 

  • Your proposal for low-paid or unpaid internship, research or creative work, travel, service, study away or participation in professional development, etc. will need a description of the proposed experience using language accessible to a non-specialist audience as well as how this connects to your future career aspirations.
  • Include information for any financial considerations, out-of-pocket expenses, that affect your ability to pursue your experience.
  • If presenting at a conference/event, the applicant must explain the work being presented. Applicants must also provide an abstract of their presentation, if applicable. (Note: Abstracts do not count within/toward the one-page limit).
  • The applicant should explain, in detail, their academic, professional, career, and/or research interests and how the opportunity/experience is relevant to these interests. All descriptions should address the broader impacts and significance of the experience and how that relates to students, the University, and to broader society.
  • Please also include information about how the experience will enhance the applicant’s professional and career development.
  • The applicant will need to upload this experience description during the application process for the ELSF.

Budget

  • Include all items that will be necessary to complete the project (including self + externally funded items), with the understanding the review committee will fund the line-items deemed most appropriate. When applicable, please use the following ASUM rates for calculating mileage: Private Vehicle ($.15/mile), Commercial Pool (varies).
  • Each student may be funded up to $1,000.
  • Additionally, the committee will exclude projects from funding that go towards a paid position, research fellowship through a department, as well as capital investments (for example laptops and other hardware) that benefit a department or a specific individual past the length of the individual project. The Committee will similarly refrain from providing any direct funds to a campus department or to direct tuition and fees for UM or any other institution of Higher Education. Awards given will be distributed to the student recipient after being vetted by Business Services for any holds and Financial Aid.
  • The budget form may be uploaded as a  DOCX, or CSV.
  • Please upload a completed Budget Form on your application page found on the ELSF Portal.

Faculty/Staff Endorsement and Reference Letter

Your faculty/staff mentor is expected to oversee/mentor your project/experience. They will confirm this in their endorsement letter. The faculty/staff member must be from the University of Montana. 

The applicant's faculty/staff mentor will provide a one-page letter of support that addresses the following:

  • Evaluation of the student and how this experience connects to the student's career plans, and the student's ability to complete the project/experience or the necessity/value of traveling or attending an event/conference.
  • Evaluation of the proposed project/experience, especially: (1) potential for student learning and (2) feasibility/likelihood of success, including a willingness to oversee and mentor the student.
  • Faculty/staff mentor role, in serving as a faculty/staff mentor for the duration of the project.
  • Whether the student understands and will be in compliance with IRB, IACUC, or other UM requirements for the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research that may be applicable for the proposed project.
  • Faculty/staff mentor preferred email address.
  • The applicant will include the faculty/staff mentor's email in the scholarship application. ELSF will then send the faculty/staff mentor an email requesting they upload the reference letter. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with the faculty/staff prior to applying to give the faculty mentor time to prepare the reference.

Complete All Application Questions

  • Identifying which type of application you wish to be evaluated under (Research/Experience, Travel, OR Creative Work).
  • Project Name
    • Please save and name ALL of your files in the following format: “[Last Name, First Name] [File Type].” For example: “Smith John Budget Request Form”; "Smith John Project Description"; "Smith John Faculty Reference". DO NOT INCLUDE ANY NON-LETTER CHARACTERS.
  • Understanding of conditions for acceptance.

 

Types of Projects/Experiences Funded

Research/Internship/Service/Professional Development

  • Research: Related to any field. Some examples include: examining the relationship between water quality and the lifespan of aquatic organisms; conducting a study to examine factors that lead to the development of chronic disorders; or designing a new piece of equipment.
  • Internship (low-paid or unpaid): Only available for undergraduate students to apply for. A traditional internship, for credit that is connected to an academic department at UM, at an organization that offers the applicant career development and growth in the area of study they are interested in pursuing. 
  • Service: Related to any field. Examples include: creating an education program to support your community; coordinating support for a group that is in need. 
  • Professional Development: Related to any field. Examples include: Attending a local conference (no travel needed). Attending a local event that has a meaningful impact on your professional development.

Producing an Academic Creative Work:

  • Must be related to an academic department on the UM campus. Some examples include: producing a video (fiction or non-fiction); creating a sculpture or other artistic work; creating a piece of literature. Important note for all applicants: If one is traveling to present a project that has already been completed or to attend a seminar to help with background for a project, then the main category for evaluation should be travel. If one is traveling to create a new project or work then the main category for evaluation should be travel.

Travel*

  • Approvable Travel Requests: to present a research/creative project, intern, service or participate in professional development.
  • Travel to participate in National Student Exchange and Study Abroad
    • There must be a strong indication in the budget line showing that the majority of the expenses for this type of experience are covered by other means. The committee will not be able to approve funding without this information.
  • Most commonly presentations/hosting a conference or workshop/service/participating in professional development.
  • If one is traveling to present a project that has already been completed or to attend a seminar to help with the background for a project, then the main category for evaluation should be travel. If one is traveling to present a project that has already been completed or to attend a seminar to help with the background for a project, then the main category for evaluation should be travel. If one is traveling to create a new project or work then the main category for evaluation should be travel.

*Travel may be restricted during this time. Please contact us for additional information about any travel restrictions.

Finances

  • Students may apply for $100-$1,000.
  • Scholarship funding will be disbursed to a student's account after the student has been vetted by Business Services for any holds and through Financial Aid to determine how this funding will affect their financial aid package*.
  • This funding counts towards the student's financial aid eligibility and could disrupt their current financial aid package. If you have concerns regarding financial aid implications, please talk with the scholarship program staff and UM Financial Aid.

*If a student's financial aid threshold has reached its limit, the scholarship will go to pay off their loan. Students who have a strong budget with receipts/documentation are able to share this with Financial Aid to raise their financial aid threshold.