Sorensen Fellowship

We Give You $4000, You Put Social Justice Into Action.
    meet the 2015 Sorensen fellows.

The deadline for summer 2016 has passed. Take a look at the application materials to get a sense of the process for future summers.

Tackling climate change. Expanding access to health care. Building peace through the arts. Working for educational equity.
Given the chance, how would you put social justice into action?

Become a Sorensen Fellow and spend next summer working on issues that matter to YOU in the organization of YOUR choice. As a Sorensen Fellow, you will have the rare opportunity to contribute as an undergraduate to an organization of your choice that addresses ethical issues of worldwide import. Carry your undergraduate learning out into the real world.

Changes for 2016 (more about these changes in the info packet and here)

  • Students abroad in the spring are eligible.
  • No need to secure your internship before applying
  • Summer Earnings Replacement Grant available
  • New options for letters of recommendation

A Three-Part Experience

Sorensen Fellowship 2016:

  • Spring 2016: Take a course of your choosing, at Brandeis or abroad, as academic preparation for your internship.
  • Summer 2016: Intern in the organization of your choice, anywhere in the world. Tackle issues of international importance like coexistence, human rights, international law, hunger relief, gender equality, development, education, global health, AIDS prevention, refugee assistance, or something we haven't thought of!
  • Fall 2016: Take a course with the other Fellows to reflect and write about the internship experience.
Paul sukijthamapan,
Sorensen 2011, in
east Timor


Sorensen Fellows receive a $4000 stipend ($3500 if internship is in the U.S.) intended to cover travel and modest living expenses for a summer internship.

Summer Earnings Replacement Grant - Learn how you can earn a need-based award on top of your Sorensen Fellowship stipend.


Sorensen Fellows must be Brandeis sophomores or juniors in the fall of 2015. Fellows must be in good standing. Fellows must be on campus in the fall of 2016. Students from any major are eligible. We are pleased to consider applications from those who have previously applied.

Why is the program being changed?

Since the first group of Fellows in 1998, the Sorensen Fellowship program has changed several times to reflect a changing world. In 2016:

  • Students abroad in the spring are eligible. Students can take their spring preparatory course in their study abroad program, and join the spring Fellowship gatherings via Skype or phone. Today's technology makes this more doable, and today's students are more accustomed to virtual interactions. Some students may choose to extend a spring semester abroad with a summer Sorensen Fellowship in the country in which they are studying.
  • No need to secure your internship before applying. Sorensen Fellowship applicants now list three internships of interest on their application, but are not required to contact the organizations before applying or being selected. Fellows will narrow their list to one and confirm their internship in the spring, with support from Ethics Center staff to make sure that each Fellow has the best possible internship for their interests. This timing is often a better fit for the schedules of internship organizations, since many have application deadlines in the spring.
  • Summer Earnings Replacement Grant available. Students who need to work to save money over the summer may not have been able to consider applying for unpaid internships, even with programs that cover airfare and living expenses – until now. Applicants for the Sorensen Fellowship may apply for this need-based grant of up to $1,500 as partial replacement for what they would have earned at a summer job. (This grant is in addition to the merit-based award all Sorensen Fellows receive to cover internship-related costs: $4,000 for international internships, $3,500 for internships in the USA.)
  • New options for letters of recommendation. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation. Previously both recommenders needed to be affiliated with Brandeis. Now only one letter must be from a Brandeis faculty member; the second letter can be from staff or faculty from Brandeis or elsewhere. Sometimes off-campus recommenders (high school advisor, a summer job supervisor, a volunteer manager, etc.) can add an important dimension to the applicant’s qualifications.

Click here to learn about Ted Sorensen, JFK's presidential speechwriter, for whom the Fellowship is named.