Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility

Social Impact Summer Scholarship

Social Impact Summer Scholarships (SISS) support students pursuing unpaid positions with host organizations that empower them to add dimension to their undergraduate course work while advancing the organization's mission, goals, and objectives. All applicants are required to have a summer funding advising session with a Lang Center Associate or Lang Center staff member before submitting an application through the Lang Center Common App.

These scholarship are offered annually and generally follow a regular timeline:

  • October - Advising opens for the following summer's grant cycle 
  • December/January - Applications open 
  • February - Applications due 
  • March - Award decisions rendered 
  • April - Pre-summer training and preparation for ethical engagement 
  • June-August - Student internships, paired with guided activities and reflection facilitated by the Lang Center
  • September - Reconvene and share experience with campus community 

Current Swarthmore students are invited to utilize our Social Impact Organizations Map (login required)—which provides information on 300+ organizations at which Swarthmore students have had impactful experiences in the recent past—to research potential host organizations. Please note that these organizations operate independently of Swarthmore College and their appearance on this map is not an official endorsement of the organization. 

In addition to supporting students who identify their own internship placements, we also have ongoing partnerships with organizations at which we place students annually. These include: 

  • Philadelphia Behavioral Science Initiative (in collaboration with Prof. Bhanot) 
  • Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellowship (in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting) 
  • National Security Archives (in collaboration with Swarthmore College Libraries) 
  • Washington Office of Latin America (in collaboration with Prof. Nanci Buiza and the Latin American Studies Program) 

The SISS program also helps to administer a number of named grants. Students interested in pursuing opportunities that may fall within the parameters of one of these named grants are particularly encouraged to apply. These include:

  • using big data in the service of social change or liberal arts 
  • exploring how the arts can be used for social change 
  • addressing issues related to urban inequalities  

A complete list of named awards is available as an appendix in our Lang Center Summer Grant Handbook.

Faculty, staff, and community partners interested in establishing ongoing partnerships in relation to summer internships/the SISS program are encourged to reach out to Katie Price (kprice1@swarthmore.edu).