Innovative Internship Program

Designed to foster innovative work in METRO’s member institutions, our Innovative Internship program provides stipends each fall and spring semester to graduate students and recent graduate degree recipients to support their work in local cultural heritage institutions in the METRO membership.

The goals of the METRO Innovative Internship Program are to:

  • fund otherwise unpaid internships
  • reward and encourage innovative projects for graduate students, recent grads, and individuals in career transition
  • support and foster innovative work within METRO-member institutions

The program allows students or supervisors to apply for funding. Projects currently underway and projects yet to begin are welcome to apply. 

The deadline for applications for spring 2015 Innovative Internships has now passed. 


Only otherwise unpaid internships are eligible for funding. Internships must be performed at METRO member institutions. Please check the online member directory for a full list of METRO members.

Current graduate students, recent grads, or individuals in career transition are eligible to apply. Intern and project managers at METRO members can also apply.

Award Details
The Innovative Internship Program will award at least two interns or projects per semester for the fall and spring academic semesters. Interns will receive $1,500 in funding.

If the host institution agrees to match the award with $500 or more, then the Innovative Internship Program will pay the intern(s)/project(s) $1,750 in addition to the institution funding. Applicants are required to commit to the matching funds as part of the application, i.e. before the awards are determined. Interns should confirm a matching agreement with their host institution prior to their application.

Projects with multiple interns (two maximum) are eligible to apply but are required to meet the $500 minimum match. Whether an application is matching or non-matching has no influence on application evaluation.

Students applying must already be working on, or selected for, an unpaid internship project. The money will be paid directly to the intern(s), half at the midpoint and half at the end of the internship.

The internship must entail at least 120 hours of work over the course of a semester to qualify for funding. Intern supervisors will be expected to confirm hours worked. 

Award recipients will be expected to write a brief update at the midway point of their internship and an 800-1500 word summary of their internship project at the conclusion of their internship. This final report should not duplicate any work turned in for course credit and will be published by METRO (see prior examples). Alternate forms of project outcomes may be acceptable.

Defining Innovative 
METRO is open-minded about defining what constitutes an innovative project within libraries, archives, museums, and non-profits. Surprise us. But if you require guidance, examples of innovative projects include but are not limited to those involving:

  • Novel initiatives around public services, advocacy, and outreach
  • New modes of access, exhibition, or publication of institution resources
  • Inventive strategies for collecting or acquisition
  • Digital preservation, curation, or data management
  • New technologies and approaches to description and/or metadata
  • Creative methods of education, instruction, or community engagement
  • Researching and/or instituting new workflows, process, or policies