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Jeff Metcalf Fellowship Grant for Graduating Students Applying for OPT

 Jeff Metcalf Fellowship Grant for Graduating Students Applying for OPT
Career Advancement will offer a limited number of grants for undergraduates who will graduate in June 2023 and plan to apply for Optional Practical Training during Spring quarter of this year.
Grants can be used to offset the cost of living if you secure an unpaid internships once your OPT has started, enabling you to confidently accept the unpaid internships and research opportunities that can give you more experience to build a bridge to their career.
Opportunities can be:
  • Remote, hybrid, or in-person
  • Based in the U.S. or abroad (only if remote)
  • Full-time – you can also be part-time as far as the total amount of work hours satisfies OPT requirements

You will be an ambassador of the University at all times and in all interactions. Receiving internship funding through the Metcalf Program means upholding this commitment. Grant recipients are instrumental to fostering a strong UChicago community on campus and beyond.
For a comprehensive list of requirements eligibility requirements, reference the Eligibility section below. 
Incomplete or late applications will not be reviewed. The decisions regarding acceptance and funding made by the reviewing committee are definitive and cannot be appealed. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the materials submitted through Handshake and the additional grant application form. No new materials or updates will be accepted and/or taken into consideration.
Application Requirements & Components
1.       Updated Resume
2.      Complete appointment with any Career Advancement career adviser to review resume and cover letter (applicants can upload the confirmation email they receive once their appointment is completed)
a.      We strongly encourage you to fulfill this requirement before any other
3.      Proof of application to 10 full-time positions within your area of interest (screenshot of confirmation messages, confirmation emails, etc.)
4.      A one-page document outlining your job search strategy. Please include the following:
a.      Your professional interests and goals
b.      Which steps you are taking or plan to take to ensure you succeed in your job search (interview practice, networking, attendance to career fairs, workshops, employer info session, etc.)
c.      10 additional positions you plan to apply for within the next month
  • You must be graduating in Spring 2023
  • You must be eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training in Spring 2023

The proposed professional experience must meet the following criteria:
  • Begins after you have received their physical EAD Card. Funding cannot be applied retroactively.
  • Meets OPT requirements outlined here
  • One application per quarter. If you secure an additional opportunity with a different employer, submit a separate grant application.
  • If in the U.S., can be remote or in-person. If abroad, internships can only be remote.
  • Provides a direct supervisor who serves as a mentor throughout the internship. In the case of supervised research, the supervisor does not need to be a UChicago professor but must be affiliated with another research institution. Independent research projects or freelance experiences are not eligible.
  • Offers a substantive professional experience.
  • Is unpaid or offers very little compensation.
  • Is NOT requiring a fee or deposit for participation. The grant only funds internships that students arrange directly with employers.
  • Is NOT with 1) an organization on the State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations or otherwise sanctioned or monitored by the U.S. Government; 2) an organization formed for the purpose of supporting a candidate for political office. Because the University is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under the tax code, it is prohibited from participating in political campaign activities. All other organizations are eligible for funding under this grant, including government agencies and for-profit organizations. 

To give maximum flexibility, applications will be accepted throughout the 2022-2023 academic year. Each quarter will have 2-3 application cycles. Students can request funding during any of these cycles. 
Preview the cycle deadlines:
Winter Cycles | Timeline
Cycle 1:
Deadline: Jan 27
Decision Released: Feb. 8
Cycle 2:
Open: Feb. 3
Deadline: Feb. 19
Decision Released: Mar. 3
Spring Cycles | Timeline
Cycle 1:
Open: Mar. 6
Deadline: Mar. 19
Decision Released: Mar. 31
Cycle 2:
Open: Mar. 31
Deadline: Apr. 16
Decision Released: Apr. 28
Cycle 3:
Open: Apr. 28
Deadline: May 14
Decision Released: May 26
Grant recipients will receive a total amount of $5000. The amount will be disbursed once recipients’ OPT start date has passed. The amount will be disbursed in two separate instalments of $2500. The second instalment will be released after the student has updated their record in the SEVP Student Portal.

Note: If you have already acquired funding for this role and/or have applied for funding through other sources, please disclose this in your application as we make every effort to provide equitable access for students. This includes any research scholarships, fellowships, and/or grants offered through Career Advancement, the College Center for Research and Fellowships (CCRF) and the Institute of Politics (IOP).