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The Marvin H. McKinney Scholars Program

Are you a sophomore or junior at a North Carolina historically Black college or university (HBCU) looking for a paid summer internship? Do you have an interest in child development or a related discipline? Do you want:

  • hands-on professional research experience;
  • exposure to leadership, structure, operations, and decision making;
  • opportunities to build professional relationships with renowned experts in the field;
  • opportunities to participate in professional activities such as conferences, poster presentations, and publications; and
  • greater understanding of professional opportunities and possible career pathways?

If so, you could be a great fit for the McKinney Scholars Program. Apply today! (Application deadline is March 14, 2024 at 5pm.)

Our Institute

The UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute is one of the nation's oldest and largest multidisciplinary centers devoted to the study of children and families. About 200 researchers, implementation and technical assistance specialists, staff, and students work on more than 55 projects related to developmental disabilities; early care and education; physical, social, and emotional health; and racial, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic diversity. Our work crosses many disciplines from education and psychology to social work and public health. We strive to transform children's lives through innovation in research, practice, and policy.

Our Internship Program

The McKinney Scholars Program (MSP) is coordinated by Sherra Lawrence; she can be contacted via email at fpg_edi@unc.edu email. The program is open to students who are enrolled full-time in an undergraduate degree program at a North Carolina HBCU. Students must have completed at least two years of classes and must be in good academic standing.

The summer internship program, which is an eight-week paid internship program, provides students an opportunity to participate in meaningful, project-based work in pursuit of their professional interests and in preparation for their careers. McKinney Scholars will gain familiarity with how FPG contributes to positive outcomes for young children and their families through research and evaluation, implementation, technical assistance, and policy engagement. In particular, they will further their understanding of the importance of research, practice, and policy, as well as the interconnections and pathways between each of these areas of work.

Within the summer internship program, each McKinney Scholar will have an FPG mentor who will ensure that students are supported in their work, exposed to maximal learning opportunities, and integrated into the FPG community. Scholars will create a comprehensive work plan; actively engage in one or more projects related to child health, child development, and/or child and family outcomes; participate in regular project and community meetings; and complete performance and program evaluations.

The 2024 program takes place May 28-July 19 and will be conducted on the UNC Chapel Hill campus, where housing is provided, and has a stipend of $4,800, a $750 food and parking allowance, and an $800 travel allowance.

Apply for the 2024 cohort today!

Former Scholars Share Insights

During an informational session for prospective scholars, former 2021 McKinney Scholars, Paula Mason (attending NC Central University) and Jasmine Evans (attending Bennett College), talked about their experiences during the McKinney Scholars Program.

Paula Mason; headshot of young African American woman with short hair and glasses smiling at camera; photo has light green border
Paula Mason, NCCU

Mason (pictured at right) shared that during the program she improved her time-management skills, made friendships with people in her cohort, was exposed to dozens of careers that she previously didn't know existed, and learned how to conduct network interviews and talk to professionals in the field, “I learned how to carry a conversation by practicing ... so I'd know what to say when we were actually in the conversation.” Mason also shared that she had the best mentors and loved this internship, “I learned more about research and how to condense information into a presentation. Mentors were flexible and personable. I loved this internship and was so glad I was able to be a part of it!”

Jasmine Evans; young African American woman with long straight hair; photo surrounded by light green border
Jasmine Evans, Bennett College

Evans (pictured at left) echoed Mason's sentiments shared above, saying that she had a really amazing experience and also enjoyed learning about a variety of careers, something that helped her figure out what she wants to do, "I had an idea for what I wanted to do with my career but learning about the different types of careers helped me figure out the population I wanted to work with in the future." Her time in the program also helped quell some nerves related to graduate school. “I am very nervous to be a graduate student, but I know with the guidance I had at FPG, I am now very confident going into my Masters program.”