Accepting for the 2024-2025 academic year — deadline extended to May 31, 2024!

Kott Gerontology Scholars Program
1049 Lake Street, Suite 204
Oak Park, IL 60301


Supporting Education, Training, and Research in Gerontology

In partnership with the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation

About the Program

The Kott Gerontology Scholars Program (KGSP) aims to advance the field of aging in an effort to bolster opportunities, engagement and quality of life among older adults. Since 2004, the Russell and Josephine Kott Charitable Memorial Trust has provided internship scholarships to promising advanced degree graduate students interested in the aging field who are attending Chicagoland-area universities. The Kott Gerontology Scholars Program (KGSP) encourages and supports graduate students in a variety of professional specializations to develop skills that will engage and prepare them to continue working with and on behalf of older adults after graduation. KGSP strives to build a robust pipeline of enthused aging professionals to support increasing longevity among the growing number older adults in our communities.

Intern leading movement therapy with a senior woman

Kott Scholars Profile

Kott Gerontology Scholars represent an exciting and diverse range of professions that include social work, psychology/behavioral health, counseling, law, art therapy, and dance movement therapy, among others. Advanced students enrolled in graduate university programs in the Chicago area and accredited by the professional organizations that they represent are invited to apply for internships. Through its internships, KGSP champions esteemed professionals that will continue to work with and on behalf of older adults after graduation and propel the field of aging. Kott Scholar Alumni hold leadership positions in agencies and organizations prioritizing older adults throughout Illinois and beyond.
Young man at door shaking hand with older man in house

The Application Process


Applications will be accepted through May 31 and reviewed in the order they are received.


Please click here for the Kott Gerontology Scholars Program online application for the 2024-2025 school year. We encourage 2nd year advanced degree students of all abilities, and racial, ethnic and identity backgrounds to apply.


For more information about the Scholarship application, selection process and/or internships, email the Kott Gerontology Scholars Program at

The Internship Experience

The Kott Gerontology Scholars Program provides meaningful and intensive ‘hands-on’ training for its scholars. Interns are assigned to a primary host agency for a placement that requires 600 hours of on-site participation over a complete and continuous academic year, or approximately three full days per week from September through May.

The KGSP experience includes opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and support, as well as deepened exposure to the field through presentations and an annual event with agencies, universities and Kott Scholar Alumni. Kott Scholars are also required to complete a macro project that meets their interest and the needs of their host agency. Most students spend some time working at their respective agencies during school vacations to complete their hours and to provide continuity of services to clients. Because host agencies serve clients in broad geographic areas, interns are required to provide their own transportation and submit documentation of personal insurance for vehicles upon acceptance to the program. Interns do not transport clients in their work.

Scholarship Terms

Kott Gerontology Scholars receive a $10,000 scholarship for a complete academic year, paid directly to interns’ universities for deposit into their personal student accounts in two equal payments. Interns are expected to be registered as full-time students during their internships. Partial and part-year scholarships are not offered. Kott Scholars are required to participate in no less than 600 hours of on-site field experience during their internship, regardless of the field work requirements of their respective academic institutions.

What if things don’t work out?

Interns will not receive field credit from host agencies until the full 600 hours have been completed. Interns who fail to receive a passing grade in their field experience from their respective academic institutions for any grading period, withdraw from or change academic programs, voluntarily withdraw from the Kott Gerontology Scholars Program, fail to maintain adequate placement hours to complete the internship academic year, or are terminated by their host agency for any reason, will not receive the balance of any remaining scholarship payments. Internship site assignments are the responsibility of host agencies, who take into consideration agency needs, interns’ preferences, and commuting time in making assignments.


Required Hours

Placements require 600 hours of on-site participation over a complete and continuous academic year.


Days Per Week

Required hours approximate to about 3 full days per week from September through May.