SCRUB awarded grant for Internship study of signage control and economic prosperity

The Samuel S. Fels Fund recently awarded 15 grants to Philadelphia nonprofit organizations to support internships for graduate students during the summer of 2011. These internships are full-time and take place over the summer. The interns are paid a stipend of $6,000. The internship position description and contact information for applicants are below.

The Samuel S. Fels Fund was founded in 1935 by Samuel S. Fels, a Philadelphia philanthropist. The Fund is a private foundation with a broad interest in community programs, education and the arts. Grants are restricted to organizations located in the city of Philadelphia or focused on local issues. 

SCRUB, the Public Voice for Public Space, seeks a graduate student intern to research, report and organize data regarding non accessory sign control laws (generally affecting billboard type advertising) in a representative sampling of cities and communities, and to develop appropriate data to support the correlation between economic prosperity and strict signage controls. The Fels Interns will:

  • Review the current literature on the few studies of signs and economics and prepare a synopsis of those studies.
  • Research the laws of a representative sampling of cities and communities with strict signage laws and cities with less restrictive ordinances.
  • Use permit data and field reports from city officials to provide an estimate of advertising signs per capita in the sampled communities.
  • Develop a matrix of data showing signage laws, number of signs and economic indicators within the sample communities, and analyze for any correlations between sign number, or sign regulation and economic data.
  • Extrapolate data using census information, real property values,  retail sales and other economic data to  determine the larger economic impact of  signage restrictions
  • Prepare a report to be published on the SCRUB and Scenic America websites.

The ideal candidate for the internship would be a graduate student in either city planning or business, enrolled in a program emphasizing real estate economics and urban planning.  

 The Fels Intern will become knowledgeable about signage laws and urban economies and will be able to share this knowledge through research which will have local, regional and national impact. Furthermore, by working for SCRUB, the Fels Intern will experience firsthand how sound research informs, educates and mobilizes stakeholders. 

The following students are eligible; a student who will enter a full-time graduate program in September 2011; a full time graduate or professional student; and a student who will complete a graduate program or professional school in May 2011. The ideal candidate will have excellent verbal and written communications skills, strong organizational skills, and competency in relevant data analysis skills. Please send a resume and letter of inquiry to Nick Clark at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 215-731-1775.

For more information about SCRUB, visit

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