Applied Career Exploration Program (ACE)

Applied Career Exploration Program 

The Graduate College believes that experiential learning enhances our students’ graduate education, broadens their knowledge of career options and prepares them for success in desired career paths. 

As part of our commitment to prepare students from all backgrounds, experiences, viewpoints and identities for career success, the Graduate College established the Applied Career Exploration (ACE) program to provide graduate students with the opportunity to pursue experiential learning opportunities at various offices within the University of Delaware. 

The ACE program is intended to 

  • Provide opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and skills beyond a typical academic setting 

  • Broaden the awareness of career options and help students gain a deeper understanding of scope and responsibilities of a unit within the University

  • Demonstrate skills and cultivate relevant real-world experiences that prepare students for the workforce

  • Offer venues to expand their professional network through mentorship by professionals with diverse roles in higher education

  • Help University of Delaware units achieve their mission by connecting them with graduate-level talents 

Learn the benefits of an internship for graduate students and strategies to evaluate internship opportunities in this article.


How It Works 

During the ACE program, graduate students will be working on a project under the supervision of a preceptor at the host department as an ACE fellow. The project can be in an in-person, hybrid or remote format. Duties, responsibilities and time commitment will vary depending on the needs of the host department and will be determined prior to the start of the program. 

Examples of the scope of work include:

  • providing data collection, analysis and other research support 

  • creating content such as reports, podcasts and videos 

  • assisting in the processes to commercialize discoveries and technologies 

  • performing background and preliminary analysis for specific policies

  • conducting literature review, benchmarking with peer institutions, and organizing and facilitating focus groups with stakeholders  


Funding and Duration

The host department will provide a stipend to its graduate fellow for the duration of their fellowship. Before accepting the fellowship, the Graduate College will confirm the student’s eligibility and academic standing. 


Project Duration

Estimated work hours

Fellowship Stipend
(for the duration of fellowship)

June 1 - August 31

Up to 9 hours per week

Up to 20 hours per week

Up to 29 hours per week 





Application Timeline

The Graduate College announces fellowships that will be offered during the upcoming summer at the beginning of the spring semester, and fellows are selected by April. Interested students may apply directly to opportunities listed on the ACE program page. Application review timeline differs for each fellowship. Please review the position detail for specific information. Application materials will be shared with the preceptor who will make the hiring decision. 



  1. Browse current opening on the ACE program webpage to identify opportunities of interest.

  2. You will be redirected to a Handshake job posting to access more information about the position.

  3. Carefully review details of the position.

  4. Determine if you are eligible for the position based on the following criteria 

    • ACE program eligibility (see below)

    • The degree program you are currently enrolled in. Some positions are open to both master’s and doctoral students. 

    • Estimated time commitment of the position. Your combined on-campus employment, including teaching, research and graduate assistantship, must not exceed 29.5 hours.

  5. Prepare your application materials. Every fellowship position requires a resume and a cover letter with some positions asking for additional documents. Make sure to specifically highlight in your resume and cover letter how your background and experiences align with the responsibilities of the position. Resources to assist with preparing your application material are available here.

  6. Complete this survey as part of the fellowship application. 

  7. Ensure that all require documents are submitted in Handshake by the application deadline. 



  • Upload your application materials as Word documents.

  • Please name your resume “[Last name]_Resume_[Position title]” where [Position title] is the title of the specific fellowship opportunity e.g. Ramos_Resume_DEI Analyst

  • Please name your cover letter in this format “[Last name]_Letter_[Position title]” where [Position title] is the title of the specific fellowship opportunity e.g. Ramos_Letter_DEI Analyst

  • Please make sure to follow job application convention in the United States. For example, do not include your personal information (birthdate, social security number, student ID number, etc.) or your photograph in the application.

  • Once your application documents are submitted in Handshake, it is not possible to modify them. Please review all documents carefully before submission.  


ACE Program Eligibility

Applicants must be enrolled full time in a doctoral program at the University of Delaware and be in good academic standing (maintaining a 3.0 GPA or above). In order to accept the fellowship, applicant's combined on-campus employment, including teaching, research and graduate assistantship, must not exceed 29.5 hours. 

Graduate students currently holding a GA or RA and interested in a fellowship with a time commitment beyond nine hours per week must inform their professor or supervisor that they are applying for the ACE fellowship.

International graduate students are encouraged to apply and consult International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) before starting the application process to ensure that they meet the U.S. federal government’s immigration eligibility requirements to participate in the program. 


Questions? Please email Dr. Suprawee Tepsuporn, senior assistant dean for graduate professional development.

Past Positions Available Through the ACE Program

Agribusiness Analyst

Work as part of an interdisciplinary team on an agricultural technology that offers chemical-free treatment of insect, pests and diseases on valuable food crops such as strawberries, grapes and blueberries. Conduct research and analyses to support and recommend market launch and growth strategies.

DEI Policy and Program Analyst

Help build more inclusive and diverse workplaces and enhance biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry corporate practices. Analyze policies, best practices, and trends in DEI, and work with senior staff and leaders to understand NIIMBL’s current culture and practices.

Science Education and Outreach Specialist

Develop a new high school and university outreach curriculum focused on providing foundational awareness of the biopharmaceutical industry through a team-based project. Research, develop, and write a web-based resource guide that will augment the new curriculum module..

Assessment and Student Development Fellow

Provide assessment, consultation, evaluation, potential implementation, and recommendations of programs and services that help the UD Career Center achieve its educational priorities, improve operations and maximize support and resources for students.

Full Stack Developers

Conduct research and analyses, technical development, and support pilot programming to develop and recommend implementation and product launch strategies for a company working to expand wealth generating opportunities for the underprivileged.

Sustainability Council Summer Fellow

Assist in collecting sustainability-related data such as curriculum, finance, procurement, and emissions for UD’s Sustainability Council and help identify how the University can improve its sustainability practices