Carolina Covenant Professional Development Grants



The Carolina Covenant is committed to supporting Scholars’ success at Carolina and beyond.

Covenant Scholars are critical to the next great generation of leaders and will serve a diverse and evolving society. To support our Scholars’ leadership and career development, the Covenant offers grant funding specifically for high-impact, career-advancing experiences.

Our funding is focused on the summer months when less financial aid is available. Scholars may also apply for funding to support one-time or limited time professional development opportunities during the fall and spring, such as conferences or fall/winter break internships.

Everything you need to know

The menu below features answers to key questions about this funding, the application process, and expectations. Questions should be directed to

All enrolled Covenant Scholars are eligible to apply, including those planning to graduate in May. Priority will be given to students who:

  • Are engaging in a first-time meaningful internship or research assistantship
  • Are hired by Carolina Covenant mentors, university alumni or affiliated personnel, or industry partners and employers that have high-capacity for career-development impact yet minimal funding to support internships or research assistants
  • Are connected to or committed to joining our Career Accelerator Program

Students who have received professional development grant funds (including the 2022 Beyond Completion grant) through the Carolina Covenant may not receive this source of funding again. Our program is happy to coach and support you in seeking other sources of funding to fund future professional development efforts! Consider, for example, summer internship grant through the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.

Students may apply for funding to support:

  • Unpaid Research Assistantships
  • Unpaid Internships
  • Unpaid Travel costs (hotel/transportation) associated with interviews, internships, conference attendance (and registration) – conferences must be attended with a mentor to guide you, or you must be invited to present at the conference
  • Unpaid career-advancing, mentored service in a career field of interest
  • Certifications (such as Certified Nursing Assistant)
  • Test Prep courses for required standardized tests
  • Professional Attire (Note: If this is your only need, consider applying for Styled for Success funds instead!
  • Supplementation of paid internships and research assistantships: For Scholars who have secured a funded professional development experience, but the wages are insufficient to cover basic needs, travel or housing costs. Scholars in this situation will be asked to work with the Assistant Director for Career Development and Outcomes on strategies to negotiate salary. If the employer is unable to offer more, Scholars can provide documentation from the employer noting the limited capacity to cover these costs with their application for Covenant supplemental professional development funds. See the templates provided below for guidance on negotiating compensation and incidental costs with employers.
  • Furniture costs
  • Moving costs
  • Independent international travel not hosted by a UNC-sponsored program or department
  • For-credit course enrollment toward a UNC degree. Carolina Covenant Scholars can graduate debt-free without attending summer school.
    • Note: Many Scholars want to study abroad or take courses over the summer months. While coursework can contribute directly to career development, Covenant Scholars can engage in courses and graduate debt-free even without attending summer school via fall and spring enrollment. Many Covenant Scholars also study abroad through exchange rate programs in fall and spring where costs are covered by the Carolina Covenant financial aid package.
  • With these benefits in mind and due to limited funds, we are currently unable to award Covenant-specific grants to cover the additional costs of enrollment for summer or study abroad programs beyond the exchange rate in fall or spring. Our program is happy to coach and support you in seeking other sources of funding or less expensive alternatives to help you achieve your academic and experiential goals.

Most awards will be granted in the following flat amounts:

  • Micro-internship – up to $1000 (1-4wks)
  • ½ summer (5-7wks) $2000 for half a summer
  • $4000 for full summer (8-10 weeks).
  • Up to $2,000 for conference registration, lodging and travel.

Up to $500 reimbursement for travel to interviews.

The online application will include:

  • Information about you (your name, your contact information, your major, your career goals, etc.)
  • A description of the experience(s) you are seeking
  • An explanation of how the experience(s) will directly impact your career development, job placement and/or graduate school acceptance potential.
  • An explanation of how the experiences will help you grow in one or several of the NACE career competencies.
  • A brief letter of support from your Covenant Mentor and any other mentor who will support you through the experience. (Template provided)
  • If the experience(s) is/are a research assistantship, internship, or service-based experience, an official letter from the site supervisor confirming their support. (Template provided)
  • A budget sheet with documentation of estimated costs (Template provided)
  • Permissions to share your information as well as media and narratives about your summer experience with the grant team and for reporting, storytelling, and communications purposes

The application will ask you to upload these three documents to complete the submission process. Download them here to complete in preparation for uploading (please save as PDF if possible).

  • Explore Handshake and Parker Dewey on the University Career Services website.
  • Talk about potential opportunities with your mentors, your instructors, and your peers.
  • Think about a place you would like to intern or serve as an assistant, or a career development experience you would like to have where such opportunities don’t currently exist. Write to the leaders of the experience to pitch an idea (template provided below).
  • Explore opportunities with your current work-study position or with positions posted on JobX through Carolina Works for summer 2022. Is there an opportunity to enhance the experience to make it high impact? For example, if enrolled in a course, could you ask the professor about serving as a research or teaching assistant? Write to the supervisor to ask and pitch and idea.
  • Make an appointment with Jessie Durham-Nash, Assistant Director of Career Development and Outcomes, for support identifying or pitching an opportunity.

Professional staff with the Carolina Covenant will review all applications. They will be in touch with questions and suggestions as necessary to improve your application before deciding. We will provide you with support to make your request as strong as possible.

Not sure where to begin? Don’t have an idea yet? Make an appointment with Jessie Durham-Nash, Assistant Director of Career Development and Outcomes, for support identifying or pitching an opportunity.

Funds will be distributed in lump sum in the amount awarded directly to your student account before summer session 1, 2023. It is your responsibility to manage and apply these funds for the designated experience even if the experience isn’t slated to begin for several weeks.

If you are not enrolled in courses for summer 2023, the full amount of the award will be available in your account for you to support the needs outlined in your application.

If you do not enroll in any courses during summer 2023 (and are not a May 2023 graduate), you will be enrolled in a placeholder course. The zero-credit hour, no-charge placeholder course will show as “SUOP”. The placeholder allows funding to be added to your budget and funds to be given to you when not enrolled. Changes to your enrollment plans and adding/dropping classes after confirming your summer experience could cause delays or adjustments to your funding.  Please alert us should your enrollment plans change.

If you are enrolled in courses for summer 2023, these funds will be applied toward your cost of attendance and fees (tuition, on-campus housing, meal plan, etc.) in addition to any Pell or university grant available. Any funding not absorbed by these costs will appear as part of a refund that you can use toward other costs associated with your summer experience.

We expect that awardees will participate in all evaluation and assessment efforts, share photos and video about your experience to share in future reporting and promotional communications.

Notify the Carolina Covenant team. We care about you. Our grant team will work with you to identify a new opportunity that makes sense for you.

We expect this opportunity to provide a positive experience for you and hope that you are excited. We also know that many students may experience various mental health challenges even while engaging in a worthwhile experience. Dr. Jayne Davis – Director of Covenant Scholar Well-being – will be available to you over the summer months by appointment to support your well-being needs.

Grant Timeline

  • Application Period: February 27 – April 28  (Reviewed and Awarded on a rolling basis)
  • Awardees should receive their funding before the start of summer session I

Note: Students seeking funds for one time or short experiences during the fall, winter break, or spring should email to consult with our team before completing the application. 

Application Materials

The application will ask you to upload these three documents to complete the submission process. Download them here to complete in preparation for uploading (please save as PDF if possible).

The Carolina Covenant thanks University Career Services, Innovate Carolina, General Alumni Association, Scholarships and Student Aid/Enrollment, Office of University Development, and the Office of the Chancellor for their close partnership and support.

Learn More about our Career Accelerator Program

Learn more about two of our Covenant Scholars’ summer professional development experiences here:

Want to support Covenant Scholars’ professional development?

Email us with inquiries on how to support and engage.