Campus Scholars Program
Opportunities for Students
FIRE is excited to offer a semester-long, paid, remote program as part of our efforts to educate and empower students on American college and university campuses. This opportunity gives current undergraduates the opportunity to collaborate with FIRE in defending civil liberties on campuses across the country, while also working with our staff to create and build a personal project to promote FIRE’s mission on their own campuses.
This experience is remote. The 2023 spring semester program will begin with an in-person training weekend from January 27-28 and then run remotely until May 5, 2023. Campus Scholars will receive a stipend of $1,500 upon completion of the program and their project in May.
The program application process will open on November 1 and close on Friday, December 30, at 11:59 p.m. (ET).
Qualifications and Responsibilities
FIRE is looking for intelligent and energetic undergraduates attending colleges and universities in the United States who are looking to engage in free speech activism on their campuses. Ideal candidates are responsible, focused, and organized; have a passion for civil liberties; and have a history of taking action in support of causes they believe in. All Campus Scholars are expected to demonstrate excellent research, writing, and communication skills.
FIRE Campus Scholars will:
- Create, draft, and complete a personal project congruent with FIRE’s mission, and funded through a FIRE grant, over the course of one semester. Examples of a personal project could include:
- Host a free speech conference on campus
- Build a free speech website
- Research proposal aligned with FIRE’s mission
- Or, something that we haven’t thought of! (See past project examples here.)
- Submit one blog post to the FIRE Newsdesk detailing the results of their personal project
- Attend a weekend-long training session in Philadelphia or Washington D.C. from January 27-28. This weekend-long training session is fully-funded by FIRE. All travel expenses are paid by FIRE. The location of the training session will be determined in early January.
- Assist with various projects such as research, development, and outreach tasks, throughout the course of the semester
- Recommend fellow peers to FIRE events, our Summer Internship program, and the Campus Scholars Program
The fall semester application process opens on Tuesday, November 1 and closes on Friday, December 30 at 11:59 p.m. (ET). Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Applicants should submit a résumé, a project proposal, and budget estimations, detailing how they would use a FIRE grant to promote free expression or the First Amendment on their college campus. Projects must be congruent with FIRE’s mission. While applicants may not have all details fleshed out, they should have a clear goal, details on how they plan to achieve it, and an estimated budget.
Selected applicants will go through a formal interview process to be considered for the program. Please see a sample Campus Scholar proposal.
Questions and inquiries about FIRE’s Campus Scholar’s Program can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What are the details for the training weekend?
Campus Scholars will attend a fully-funded, weekend-long training at FIRE’s office in either Philadelphia or Washington D.C. to present their project proposal to select staff members of FIRE and receive feedback. During the weekend, Campus Scholars will also learn about FIRE’s mission and goals, establish a timeline and plan for completing their project, and network with other Campus Scholars and FIRE staff members.
- Is the FIRE Campus Scholars Program open to high school students, graduate students, law students, or international students?
No. At this time, the program is only open to undergraduate students studying at institutions in the United States. For more information about other opportunities at FIRE, please visit our jobs page. For information on FIRE’s Legal Clerkship for rising second- and third-year law students, please visit our Legal Clerkship Program page.
- What is the time commitment?
While the time commitment will vary due to the differences in personal projects, Campus Scholars are expected to average 8-10 hours of work per week, fully remote. In addition, Campus Scholars will have bimonthly check-ins with the Campus Scholar coordinator.
- Can I complete this program if I am on the quarter system?
Yes. This program is designed to match up with the length of one semester and could be modified for the length of one quarter.
- What should my project proposal look like?
FIRE seeks project proposals that are at least 1 page in length, as well as a detailed budget estimation. Project proposals should outline the project goal, summary, and how it relates to FIRE's mission. Please see a sample Campus Scholar proposal here.