The Richard Bland Fellowship Professional Pathways Program

The Richard Bland Fellowship Professional Pathways Program supports doctoral students at they explore non-faculty career paths through the design and experience of a unique summer internship opportunity.

Students work with a host organization to propose an internship plan (200 hour minimum). The proposal includes information on their professional goals and learning objectives and identifies a professional mentor. Both the student and the mentor will evaluate the experience upon the conclusion of the internship. The fellowship includes a $5,000 summer stipend to enable the student to engage exclusively in this unique learning internship for the summer.

See how this innovative fellowship program is helping doctoral students explore exciting professional opportunities.

Submit Application »


You are eligible if:

You must be willing to provide a report on your internship experience, and your professional mentor must be willing to provide a written evaluation of your work to The Graduate School at the conclusion of your fellowship.

Internship Experience

The Richard Bland Fellowship supports students who design an internship as an opportunity to explore a non-faculty career path. The internship must be in collaboration with a professional mentor within the host organization and should be at least 200 hours in length.

The fellowship cannot be used for the purpose of advancing the student's research (though some overlap may be inevitable.) Applicants must be able to clearly articulate how the internship relates to their career goals and what they hope to gain from this experience, both intellectually and professionally. The fellowship cannot be used to fulfill a graduate program internship requirement or supplement a similar required graduate program experience.

Students who have not had opportunities to explore non-faculty careers previously will be given priority.

This fellowship is designed to support internship opportunities that would otherwise be unpaid. Students should not receive funding for this opportunity from another source (including the host organization) simultaneously with this fellowship. Additionally, the fellowship should not replace other available funding.

The fellowship cannot be used to support internships where the primary work tasks involve advocating for a particular political party, candidate or platform.

Selection Criteria

We select awardees based on how ready they are to productively use the time of this summer internship. You must have a well-articulated internship plan, definitive career exploration and learning objectives, and preparations in place regarding a host organization and professional mentor to support your plans.

Previous Bland Fellows


  • James Carter, Wake County Public School System
  • Timothy Holder, Medical Innovators Collaborative
  • Sophie Kelmenson, Pacific Shellfish Institute
  • Abigail Lee, Center for the Study of the American South
  • Megan Ross, Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies; Center for Beethoven Research
  • Monica Scovell, International Programs Center, UNCG
  • Jennifer Standish, Southern Oral History Program
  • Paul Treacy, North Carolina Justice Center


  • Gonzalo De Asis Ruiz, Economics, Tiger Management LLC
  • Michaela Dwyer, American Studies & Folklore, Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh
  • Allison Forbes, City & Regional Planning, Urban Institute
  • Gale Greenlee, English & Comparative Literature, UNCG Office of Leadership & Service Learning
  • Mackenzie Herzog, Epidemiology, Quintiles
  • Sydney Jones, Epidemiology, Active Living by Design
  • Rebeccah Sokol, Health Behavior, NC Division of Public Health
  • Thomas Phillips, Romance Studies, Duke University Advising Corps


  • Christa Bentley, Music, The Bluegrass Situation
  • Emma Calabrese, English & Comparative Literature, The Center for the Study of the American South
  • Michael Crowder, Education, Harnett County School District
  • Kristen Downs, Environmental Sciences & Engineering, North Carolina Sea Grant
  • Geoffrey Hughes, Anthropology, Old Salem Museums & Gardens
  • Meredith Jones, Education, Military Extension Internship Program
  • Maria Obando, Juntos at NCSU
  • Mariah Smith, Education, Green Plus/Redwoods Group Foundation
  • Christian Straubhaar, Chatham County Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services
  • Nikhil Tomar, Occupational Science, Club Nova

Award Amount

The award is a one-time $5,000 stipend at the beginning of the summer.

Stipend $5,000
Tuition None
Fees None
Health insurance None
Length of support Three summer months
TA/RA position No

Depending on funding, this award may change from year to year.


Deadlines are posted on the funding deadlines calendar.

How to Apply

Submit Application »

  1. Prepare an internship plan, career plan, description of your learning goals, and curriculum vitae. Arrange for a recommendation letter of commitment from your professional mentor. Be sure to follow the application guidelines.
    View Frequently Asked Questions about the online award application.
  2. Submit your materials to The Graduate School Award Online Application.
  3. Ask your mentor to submit the Letter of Commitment to with "Richard Bland Fellowship Mentor Letter of Commitment" as the subject line.
  4. Your department does not need to rank your application or submit a nomination.
  5. We will notify awardees in the middle of April.

Application Guidelines

We cannot consider your application if you exceed any of the page limits or if you do not follow the proper format. All materials must be double-spaced, with 12-point font, 1-inch margins, pages numbered, and the applicant's name on each page.

A complete application includes:

Online Application

Internship Plan

Format: No more than 2 pages. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

The plan should include:

Career Plan

Format: No more than 1 page. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

Learning Goals

Format: No more than 1 page. Double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, your name on each page.

Curriculum vitae or resume

Format: No more than 2 pages. 12-point font, 1-inch margins, numbered pages, and your name on each page.

• Include recent professional activities, awards, honors, and courses you have taught.

• Other sources of funding awarded or pending

Letter of Commitment from your Professional Mentor

Your mentor should submit the Letter of Commitment to with "Richard Bland Fellowship Mentor Letter of Commitment" as the subject line.

Instructions for mentors:

Each letter of commitment should be no more than 4,000 characters (spaces included), which is approximately 600 words or one single-spaced page.

Address the letter of recommendation "To the Fellowship Committee."


Contact Us

Graduate School Fellowships Office