Frequently Asked Questions

Great Lakes Summer Fellows Program

Have questions about the program? The answer might be below!
Contact Mary Ogdahl, CIGLR Program Manager, with additional questions:


Who can apply to the Great Lakes Summer Fellows Program?

The program is designed for students currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program and entering their junior or senior year, and graduate students pursing a master’s degree or Ph.D. You must be a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident, or foreign national residing in the U.S. on a current Student Visa. This is a national program open to students at any accredited college or university.

Members of underrepresented socio-cultural or geographic groups, including: first-generation college students, veterans, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or economically disadvantaged individuals are strongly encouraged to apply.

    I am not a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident. Am I eligible?

    If you are a foreign national student currently enrolled at a U.S. university and residing in the U.S. on a current Student Visa, you are eligible for the program. Foreign national students residing outside of the U.S. and without a U.S. Student Visa are not eligible for the program.

      I have already graduated from my degree program. Am I eligible?

      If you graduated in May 2021 or after and the position fits directly with your career or academic goals (e.g., you plan to pursue a related master’s degree or Ph.D), you are eligible for the program. Please include an explanation in your cover letter.

        What qualifications are required? Do I have to have a lot of experience?

        Each position describes the required and desired qualifications for that position. However, our mentors are prepared to provide the hands-on training and resources needed for students to succeed in their fellowships. If you are motivated to learn and have had basic coursework related to the position, we encourage you to apply regardless if you possess any specific skills that may be listed.

          Application Process

          What materials should I prepare for my application?

          The required application materials are:

            1. Cover letter
            2. Résumé
            3. Unofficial transcript
            4. Essay (max. 400 words) describing an obstacle you have had to overcome
            5. Names and contact information for two (2) references
            6. One (1) letter of recommendation*

          *Note: We prefer to receive letters as part of your application package, but if the person writing your letter would rather submit it themselves, they can email it to Mary Ogdahl at

            I already submitted my application, but I need to make changes. Can I do that?

            If you need to make a change to an already-submitted application, please apply again with the updated information. We will delete all previous applications that you submitted.

              Whom should I ask to write my letter of recommendation?

              You are welcome to choose any individual who will best represent you and your experience, potential, and aspirations. Letters may not be written by a family member. You must provide the name and contact information for the person writing your letter as one of the two required references.

                I'm having trouble accessing the online application! What should I do?

                You must be signed in to a Google account to access the form. Click here to register for a Google account. Click here for help with creating a Google account. If you are still having problems, contact Mary Ogdahl:

                  How do I combine all of the required files into a single document?

                  If you have access to Adobe Acrobat, you can use it to combine multiple files (Word and/or PDF format) into a single PDF. In Adobe Acrobat, click File>Create>Combine files into a single PDF. You may then select all of your files and drag them into the order you wish them to appear. If you do not have access to Adobe Acrobat, there are several third-party options online that are free. This webpage provides a summary of some options and you may be able to find others by searching online for how to merge PDF files.

                    I have a question about a specific project. Whom should I ask?

                    For questions about a specific fellowship position, please contact the lead mentor who is listed first and has an email address provided.

                      What is the interview and selection process?

                      Applications are reviewed by project mentors, who identify the top 3 candidates for their position. Mentors will arrange a phone interview with each of the top 3 candidates. Following the interviews, mentors will extend an offer to the candidate they select.

                        Program Logistics

                        How long is the program?

                        The program lasts 12 weeks.

                          When does the program start? Is the start date flexible?

                          The program starts on May 16. We are not able to accommodate different start dates. Please contact Mary Ogdahl with questions or special circumstances:

                            Can I take time off during the fellowship?

                            We require that students complete the full 12-week fellowship. If circumstances arise that require you to be absent from work, you must receive permission from your mentor and the CIGLR Program Manager, and arrange to make up the time missed at the end of your fellowship. Summer fellows are granted Memorial Day (May 30) and Independence Day (July 4) as paid holidays.

                              When and how do I get paid?

                              Your $10,000 stipend will be paid to you in 4 installments of $2,500. Stipend pay dates will be: 5/16/22, 6/13/22, 7/11/22, and 8/8/22. You can receive payment via direct deposit to your bank account or a mailed check, though we recommend direct deposit.

                                Is housing provided?

                                No, housing is not provided as part of the fellowship program. Summer fellows are responsible for finding and paying for their own housing.  Housing costs were figured into the stipend amount. For in-person fellowships, we will provide resources for finding housing in Ann Abor and connect fellows with each other for potential roommate matches; we will assist any accepted fellow that is having difficulty finding housing.

                                  What expenses am I responsible for?

                                  Summer fellows are responsible for their housing/utility costs, meals, incidentals, and other personal purchases during the fellowship. CIGLR will pay transportation costs to travel to/from Ann Arbor at the beginning and end of the fellowship (for in-person fellowships), and all expenses incurred for any fellowship-related travel that is required (e.g., fieldwork outside of the local area).

                                    I don't have a car. Will that be a problem?

                                    No, personal transportation is not required. We will provide a shared vehicle for business use (e.g., travel to/from the work location) for students that do not have their own transportation. Ann Arbor also has a robust public transportation system that can be used for personal transportation needs. (Note: this applies only to in-person fellowships. Fellows working virtually are responsible for their own local transportation.)

                                      Is travel assistance provided to get to/from Ann Arbor?

                                      Yes, we will pay transportation costs to/from Ann Arbor at the beginning and end of the fellowship for in-person work. If fellows working virtually are permitted to make a short-term visit to Ann Arbor during their fellowship, CIGLR will pay transportation costs.