Social Science Scholars

Leadership Development Program

The Social Science Scholars Program provides career-accelerating leadership training and experiences.  It was created in 2011 to recognize and challenge outstanding juniors in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy.

Social Science Scholars are chosen through a highly competitive process in fall to participate in a leadership seminar during the following spring semester of their junior year. The seminar prepares students for internships as well as for research and service projects that are undertaken during the following summer semester.

Social Science Scholars receive funding up to $5,000 for approved travel and other expenses related to their summer projects, which may be conducted in the U.S. or abroad. The next fall scholars report on what they did and what they learned and prepare for next steps in their academic and professional careers.


  • Receive funding up to $5,000 for approved travel and other expenses related to your summer projects (conducted in the U.S. or abroad). 
  • Develop leadership skills in class and while engaging in your summer opportunities (internships, research or service projects). 
  • Obtain support and guidance from faculty, students in your cohort and alumni of the program. 
  • Create lasting relationships with the dean, faculty, staff, peers and Social Science Scholar alumni.
  • Gain experience in public speaking and community engagement by presenting internship, research or project findings to the FSU Community in various forums. 


  • Fall 1: Apply
    • Applications open in September and are due by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, October 3, 2023.  
    • Interviews.
    • The selected cohort is notified by the end of November.
  • Spring: Leadership Seminar
    • Participate in a leadership seminar that encompasses leadership theory, communications, consensus building, participation planning, conflict resolution, adaptive management and diffusion of innovation.
    • Develop proposals for social change.
    • Identify, develop and apply for summer project opportunities.
    • Enjoy the opportunity to build relationships with faculty and other students in their cohort.   
  • Summer: Leadership Development Opportunity 
    • Conduct and receive funding for an internship, research, or service project.
  • Fall 2: Reflection Seminar & Present at the Social Science Scholars Program Symposium 
    • Meet throughout the semester to present and discuss summer project experiences and lessons learned.
    • Pursue academic and professional opportunities with support from peers, faculty and others.

Selection Criteria

  • Applicants for the 2024 Science Scholars Program must have completed their liberal studies requirements and been accepted as a major in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy by the beginning of fall 2023 semester.
  • Students must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher.  
  • Engagement in leadership, service, research and work activities, both on or and off campus, are weighted heavily in the selection process. 

Click to Apply by October 3

For more information or help, contact Tom Taylor ( ), 850-933-9444 or
John Mayo ( ), 850-644-4321.