A graphic showing two adjacent word bubbles. The one the left is solid blue with a white question mark in the center. The one on the right is white with blue outline and blue check mark in the center. Words beneath the graphic read: IFM FAQ for Companies.

Fellowship Placement

In 2024, will the intern work on-site at my company or remotely?

That is based on your preference. You can choose to host an intern on-site at your company if you have an appropriate space for them to work or you can choose to have them work remotely for you at the University of Maine or a UMaine partner location.

When can the intern start work?

In 2024, we plan to run the Innovate for Maine boot camps in late May. Your fellow is eligible to begin work as soon they complete their boot camp session. Most interns will begin work the week of May 30th or June 5th, depending on which boot camp session they attend.

How long does the student work?

Student fellows can work full-time (a 400-hour placement), part-time (a 200-hour placement), or on a project basis (a 100-hour placement). When they finish working will depend on the type of placement and the fellow’s schedule. Most fellows working a full-time schedule with 40-hour weeks will complete their internship during the first or second week of August. All internships must be completed by the end of August. 

What kinds of projects can the students work on?

Innovate for Maine Fellows have the ability to:

  • Conduct market research and customer interviews or surveys
  • Generate ideas to solve problems and improve processes
  • Write marketing messages and develop new channels to communicate with customers
  • Run “fail fast, fail cheap” experiments to determine innovation feasibility
  • Leverage technical skills to design and build prototypes

How much does it cost to hire a fellow?

Innovate for Maine is receiving funding through UMaine’s Solutions for Maine Hub, funded by the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan, to support the recovery and long-term growth of the many Maine startups and small businesses that have faced pandemic challenges. Participating companies may be eligible for student assistance at no cost and must meet the following qualifications:

  • Maine company with fewer than 250 employees
  • Negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Offer meaningful projects

If your company doesn’t qualify for no-cost assistance Innovate for Maine fees are as follows:

  • Summer Full-Time (up to 400 hours), $8,200
  • Summer Part-Time (up to 200 hours), $4,700
  • Summer Project-Based (up to 100 hours), $2,350

What are my responsibilities as an intern host?

Be prepared to work closely with the UMaine team to ensure the best experience for you and your fellow. In addition to your direct interactions with the fellow, you’ll also sign off on their weekly timesheet and check in with the fellow’s UMaine supervisor on a monthly basis. If you’re hosting an intern on-site at your company for the first time, a UMaine team member will need to conduct a site visit prior to the beginning of the placement.

What if I have an issue with my intern’s performance once they’ve been hired?

Communicating early with our program if an issue arises is key to a successful outcome. You should contact your fellow’s UMaine supervisor as soon as possible so that we can work together to resolve the problem. 

Application Process

Is my company eligible to host a fellow?

Typically, we work with private-sector companies or non-profits that would provide the opportunity for students to directly engage with innovating companies. If you’re not certain your company qualifies, we encourage you to reach out to us before completing the application – contact program coordinator Emma Wilson with questions.

When is the deadline to apply to host a fellow?

The application deadline is February 25th, 2024. However, we encourage you to apply early!

How does the company/student matching process work?

Read all about the matching process here.

If I’m accepted to host a fellow, do I get to choose which fellow works with me?

One of the benefits of working with Innovate for Maine is that we handle most of the work involved in the hiring process, including recruitment and placement. Based on your application, we will choose two to five student applicants who we believe will be a good match for your company and project.

I already know of a potential intern I would like to hire, but I want them to go through the Innovate for Maine program. Is that an option?

If you have an individual in mind for a placement with your company, please indicate that on your application. The student will still have to apply to Innovate for Maine so that we can ensure they meet our program standards.

How does the hiring process work?

All Innovate for Maine Fellows are hired as employees of the University of Maine and are paid directly by UMaine. Each fellow is assigned a UMaine supervisor who checks in with them on a weekly basis.