Preparing Your Funding Application

How to write a Funding Application

Funding applications can be extremely competitive and have many different requirements. It is extremely important to follow the guidelines specific of each application, as some parts may differ. Below is a general list of requirements and how to fulfill them.

Statement of Purpose

Traditionally a 1-2 page essay explaining why you are interning or researching abroad and why you require funding. The statement is also meant to give insight on who you are. Consider addressing the following issues:

  • Why this internship will help you meet your future academic/career goals
  • How the internship fits with your past and future experiences
  • Address the needs of the organization you are applying to
  • Demonstrate your awareness of the organization's mission

Be sure to have professors, GSIs, and/or advisors read over your statement of purpose. Grammatical errors and typos could result in your application being placed in the “no” pile. For assistance with your writing style, please see the Sweetland Center for Writing. To see a video and handout from a recent Sweetland Center for Writing workshop, see the International Institute’s FLAS website (click on “Tips for Writing your Statement of Purpose).


Include figures for travel, housing, and personal expenses Research the currency compared to the dollar as well as the cost of living in the destination city. The employer or internship provider may also be able to assist with a cost estimate. The Area Studies Centers within the International Institute are also a great resource for this.

Below is an example of a basic budget:

Sample Budget for U.S. Department of State Internship in Athens, Greece

Travel: $1,200 (roundtrip airfare from Detroit to Athens, summer)
Room/ Board: $3,000 (10 weeks)
Personal Expenses: $600 (including cost of daily transportation to internship)
TOTAL: $4,800

See a detailed sample budget that includes anticipated expenses and funding sources.


The STA Travel is a good resource for student travel rates. 


Negotiate with the employer to see if housing can be provided as “payment in kind” or see if the employer can help locate inexpensive housing.

Letters of Recommendation:

Letters from professors or Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) attesting to the relevance of the internship to your academic and personal goals strengthen your application.

Verification of your acceptance:

This can be in the form of an acceptance letter or e-mail from a program or supervisor which includes information regarding location, dates, and nature of your internship.

Official or Unofficial transcript