To provide students the opportunity to address some of the biggest problems facing the country and the world and, through their work, to make a lasting impact on public policy.

Derek Yang was a rising third-year undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying Foreign Affairs & Economics (with a minor in Chinese), when he completed this internship.

Manan was a fourth-year student in the Frank Batten School, studying public policy and leadership, when he completed this internship.

Christine was a second-year undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying Marine Biology, when she completed her internship.


In 2020, the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, the Weldon Cooper Center/Sorensen Institute, the Miller Center, the Democracy Initiative, the Batten School, and the Career Center worked together to create the 22nd Century Scholars program, a five-week virtual internship for approximately 60 student interns. The program is so named because these scholars will make a lasting impact on public policy that extends into the 22nd century. The 2021 program was funded by the Jefferson Trust.

Program Structure

  • The internship is five weeks long and in 2021 ran from July 1-August 6.
  • Students receive a $2,000 stipend.
  • How it works:

    Each student is assigned to one of five public-sector units of the University; the Center for Politics; the Miller Center; the Democracy Initiative; the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; and the Sorensen Institute.

    Students will gain hands-on experience and will have access to additional resources, such as career development sessions, webinars and networking opportunities with policymakers, non-profit leaders, and other guests. Each student will be paired with a UVA alumnus/a mentor.

    During the first three weeks of the program, students will work at their designated participating unit. Programming criteria and internship requirements will vary by unit, but students may be tasked with submitting a final project such as a white paper and/or a digital exhibit and/or a digital conference (open to the public) on themes to be assigned at the unit level.

    Student interns will work with supervising units to assist in specific unit-level projects and will also assemble weekly on designated days for hour-long, day-specific educational programming.

    During the final two weeks of the program, the entire cohort will come together to work on a virtual exchange program with a delegation of undergraduate students from Iraq.


If you are interested in applying to the 22nd Century Scholars program, you can do so through the 22nd Century Scholars site. Submit your application to Stefanie Georgakis Abbott at sg9mj@virginia.edu.

More Stories from 22nd Century Scholars

Thomas was a third-year undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying History and Foreign Affairs, when he completed his internship.

JaVori was a fourth-year student in the College of Arts and Sciences, studying Government and Studio Art, when she completed her internship.