Psychology Engagement Awards

We value real-world experiences students may participate in while an undergraduate. Students engage in volunteer work in the community and participate in unpaid internship work that connects learning to their community. As such, the Department has funds for up to two (2) awards of $500 each that may be distributed to qualified applicants each semester. These awards are intended to provide financial support to students participating in real-world learning experiences beyond the campus and classroom environments. 

A third, highest-ranking applicant, will be named the Natalis Award recipient and receive an award of $600 during the fall and spring semesters. 


Eligible candidates must:

  1. Be a declared major in psychology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
  2. Be enrolled in UMN-TC classes during the term of application
  3. Have an engagement experience planned for the award term. Qualifying experiences include: 
    • Significant short-term service experiences.
    • Unpaid internships/volunteer experiences in the local, national, or international community.
    • Learning abroad that incorporates an internship or community-based research experience.

Note: Research laboratory experiences on campus typically do not qualify for this award. The focus is on work that contributes to the local community (through non-profit organizations). You may email in advance of submitting an application if you would like to confirm your experience eligibility.

          For community-engaged experience ideas, refer to the CCEL Volunteer Advising website and our Department of Psychology list of local Internship Sites.

Demonstrated financial need and special financial circumstances may also be taken into consideration. Please consider submitting documentation that demonstrates your financial need (e.g. how this award could reduce your reliance on student loans, etc.).

How to Apply

Fill out the online Google Form application. Some materials you will need to include:

  1. Description of your experience in a 1-2 page essay that includes:
    • a description of the organization and your specific work
    • an explanation of its relationship to your psychology major
    • how your studies in psychology have prepared you for this experience (e.g. include specific examples from PSY classes)
    • how you plan to draw from your knowledge of psychology during the experience
  2. Financial statement (optional): either documentation of financial aid award or a personal statement regarding your financial need.

Note: We will only be able accept the essay and statement uploaded in PDF format. 

Prior to the distribution of funding, you will be asked to provide documentation that confirms your stated plans.

Recent winning experience examples:

  • CornerHouse - Child Advocacy
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters Twin Cities
  • Tubman - Resource Counseling Advocate
  • WATCH - MN Court Monitoring
  • YMCA - Y Chill Program
  • School of Social Work - NUWAY Project Intern
  • Madrid, Spain: ASPASI Intern - for Sexual Assault victim support
  • UMN Medical Center Volunteer