Request for Proposals to join the IMA BIG Internship Network

Start date: January 1, 2018

Proposal deadline: November 30, 2017
Please upload your proposal online.


The IMA BIG Internship Network program is designed for IMA Participating Institutions (PIs) to support the development of graduate student training programs and internships in business, industry, and government (BIG). It will leverage the experience and resources gained from the IMA’s Math-to-Industry Boot Camp and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's (UIUC) PI4 program. The IMA will serve as the hub to share resources, information, and connections to industry among the distributed network. Ideally, the network will be geographically distributed to maximize its potential audience.

Decisions on individual awards will be made by a committee consisting of several members from the IMA PI/PC community.

How the program works

The IMA provides:

  • Funding of up to $20K (see below for guidelines and details on allowable expenses).
  • Training materials from the IMA’s boot camp and UIUC’s PI4, which may be adapted and expanded to meet the needs of individual programs.
  • Mentorship on the development of internship connections.
  • Coordination of career events and assessment.
  • Collection and dissemination of best practices.
  • Curation of future resources developed at host institutions.

Department’s responsibility:

  • Identify a point of contact who will:
    • Seek out internship opportunities and liaise with local students.
    • Administer graduate training programs either during the academic year or as a summer program.
  • Share unfilled internship opportunities with other network sites and other PIs.
  • Prepare for long-term sustainability.

Call for proposals

The Principal Investigator will be the point of contact for the internship program at his/her department.

The proposal (up to six pages not including NSF-style bio-sketches) must include the following components:

  • Articulation of the need for a training/internship program, including a brief profile of graduate program.
  • Proposed training program, which may borrow liberally from the IMA boot camp and UIUC PI4 models. Detailed materials from both programs will be made available through the IMA’s Resources webpage this fall.
  • List of potential companies, labs, or government organizations where the interns may be placed, especially noting those with established departmental connections.
  • Demonstration of departmental commitment; a minimum one-course release for the point of contact is strongly preferred.
  • Description of additional desired resources.
  • Proposed budget that may include other known or pending sources of support.
  • Timeline of the project with milestones.
  • Sustainability plans.

Guidelines and available funds

Up to $20K funding for the first year provided by the IMA (with the possibility of renewal). Host institutions can supplement these funds through other granting bodies.

Allowable uses of funding:

  • Consultant fees and travel funds for point of contact, mentors, and instructors.
  • Expenses incurred in designing and delivering training programs (production of training materials, room rentals, food at the workshop, etc.).
  • Travel funds for students to a training program at another PI or at the IMA. 
  • Funds for travel to the IMA for training.

The IMA intends to fund multiple projects; the proposal deadline is November 30, 2017. Start date of the award: January 1, 2018; program development should begin in spring 2018, with training programs to begin as early as summer 2018 or academic year 2018-19. Students should be placed in internships by summer 2019 or earlier.