Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Selection/Interview Process

  • What is the standard interview process?

    Applying to the Summer Internship is a three-step process that was featured at the 2011 Midwest Cooperative Education and Internship Association Conference. After the initial application (resume, cover letter, etc.), candidates are chosen by the selection committee to take part in an online interview, a series of additional questions that candidates have one (1) week to answer. The committee then selects a subset of that group for telephone interviews. Final selections are made based on the applicant's performance during all three phases of the interview process.
  • When are final selections and notifications made?

    The timeline is dependent on the number of applications we receive each year, but final selections are usually made mid-April.
  • Does the application package need to be postmarked by January 31, 2013 or does it have to arrive by the 31st?

    All application material should be received by the stated deadline. Late applications will not be accepted. Early applications are welcomed and encouraged.
  • Can I be notified about selection committee decisions earlier than mid-April if I have pending offers for competing internships?

    Our timeline is based on the number of applications we receive each year. We cannot review any one application separate from or earlier than the others. All notifications are made one business day after the selection committee has made their selections.
  • I am doing study abroad in the Winter/Spring semester; can I still participate in the interview process?

    Yes. We have conducted interviews with students while they were studying abroad in a number of different countries. Considerations will be made for time zone differences.
  • My institution is on the quarter system and therefore, we do not finish classes until June, will this be a problem as the internship begins in June as well?

    In the past, this has not been as issue. The students from institutions that use the quarter system arrive at the same time as the rest of their cohort.


  • Can international students apply for ICPSR summer undergraduate research program, the flyer mentions that US citizenship / permanent residency may be required.

    Undergraduate students supported with National Science Foundation (NSF) funds must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States or its possessions. At this time, we have not secured the additional funding required to support students who do not meet this criteria. In the past, the ICPSR summer internship program has accepted students from throughout the United States and across the globe and we recognize the benefits of having international students participate. When more information becomes available, we will distribute it to relevant LISTSERVs and post it here.
  • Are recent graduates or graduating seniors eligible for this internship?

    No. Graduating seniors and recent graduates are not eligible as we require each student to return to his/her respective institution for a minimum of one semester after the summer. In addition, graduate students (PhD and Masters) are ineligible.
  • Are majors other than the traditional social sciences eligible for this internship? Are students with a social science minors eligible?

    We have accepted students with varying backgrounds (including mathematics) into the program. Your major serves as one indicator of your interest. More importantly, if a prospective student can articulate the area of research he/she may want to conduct, that would give us a better understanding of how that student could fit into the program.
  • How can I better my chances of selection?

    One way of understanding what we do at ICPSR is to look at our thematic collections, and if anything is of interest, we strongly encourage each applicant to express that as clearly as possible in his/her application materials.

    Additionally, prospective applicants can gain further insight about the program here.

References and Additional Materials

  • Are there specific forms for letters of recommendation?

    For the application to be complete please be sure to have your recommendations completed via the ICPSR summer internship recommendation portal and submitted by the deadline. Please note that that we only accept recommendations via this online form and all answers must be completed. We have found that this form best provides us with a clear picture of applicants' skills as they relate to our selection criteria.

    For convenience, once an application is submitted, the recommendation forms will automatically be forwarded to the recommenders who are listed in the application. We encourage students to give references as much information about the program as possible so they can write the strongest possible letter of recommendation.
  • When asked for reference information should I provide the contact information for those who wrote letters of recommendation, or are you looking for additional references?

    We ask for reference information of those persons writing the respective letters of recommendation for your application and not additional references. This information will be used to provide the correct match in the event that letters become separated from other parts of the application during the review process.
  • Should I submit my transcript with my application?

    We do not require a transcript as part of the application material. However, we do request that each applicant submits a list of relevant courses that may be appropriate for the program.