Community Research Fellowships

Create research that builds towards positive social change!  You will have the opportunity to work with one of the UHC Scholar Communities, a nonprofit partner, or focus on an issue you are passionate about by creating your own sustainable, long-term project for students to continue in future semesters.

The Community Research Fellowship (CRF) is ideal for students who seek to connect theory and better understand community-identified issues to inspire action on positive social issues.  Learn more by attending the Zoom info session (sign-up below).

 

The Award

Fall (2021): In addition to receiving a $1,000 stipend, fellows are expected to work part-time on their research projects while engaging in a seminar that will meet once a week. 

Details

The CRF’s mission is to provide experiential learning to students as they engage with curriculum concepts to create a socially responsible, mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources with community partners. Students will explore civic learning and develop an understanding of equity, implicit bias, and strengths-based orientation as they pertain to community engaged scholarship.

The Fellowship includes a weekly seminar to discuss, reflect, and learn about community-based research methods and best practices. Students will also post monthly critical reflections on the Pitt Honors blog. At the conclusion of the seminar, fellows will be expected to produce a final report, a deliverable product for the community partner, and a final presentation to the larger University and Pittsburgh communities.

Who Can Apply?

Any full-time student who has completed at least 12 credits from any of Pitt's undergraduate schools or majors at the Oakland campus, is not a graduating student, and is in good academic standing.

How to Apply

Students must apply according to the instructions via the “Application Instructions” link below. All application materials must be received by the date listed below. All applicants will be notified by the UHC within roughly 30 days of the application deadline.

View the recorded Zoom info session.

CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

Application Materials

Required materials include (Detailed explanations can be found via the link above, and in the online application itself, linked below.):

  • Project proposal
  • Diversity Statement
  • Resume
  • Faculty Mentor Letter of Support
  • Community Partner Letter of Support*

It is the applicant’s responsibility to include all materials mentioned above as a complete application package. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

*If you cannot obtain a Community Partner Letter of Support, you can include a letter from someone from a community organization who can comment on your prior experience in community engagement. 

Application Deadlines

The Fall 2021 Application is Active -- Apply Here!

  • Deadline: Rolling applications will begin May 7, 2021. Priority will be given for applications submitted prior to June 28 at 9:00am.
  • Spring 2022 Application Dates TBA

Selection Criteria

Fellows are selected based on the quality and feasibility of their research proposal, their commitment to positive social change, their academic record, the strength of their faculty mentor and community partnership letters and referencing prior research and community engagement/volunteering experience. Preference may be given to students who are pursuing the Honors Joint Degree, Honors Distinction, or who have prior research methods coursework (including the completion of a section of Honors 0001 Foundations of Scholarship & Research).

There will be two steps in the selection process. The first step includes a panel review of all submitted applications. The students whose applications are selected will be contacted and move onto the second step, an in-person interview. After interviews are held, the panel will contact students who are awarded the Community Research Fellowship.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Stacie Dow, Program Manager of Student and Faculty Engagement at the Honors College, at smd164@pitt.edu.

 

The community-based research framework directly applies the research process to investigating pertinent issues in the community. The undergraduate researcher works with a community, community leader, or non-profit organization to develop a research project that seeks to explore and address an issue that is important to the given community. The results or outcomes of the research are intended to effect positive social change.

 

These fellowships support University of Pittsburgh undergraduate students while they are conducting community-based research projects. Research projects must investigate an issue in the local community. The Fellowship awards a stipend of $800 for a semester; in addition, it requires the Fellows to participate in four interdisciplinary seminars during the semester in which Fellows will report on their research progress and reflect on how different disciplines enact social change. Fellows must also prepare a final report for the University Honors College, their faculty mentor, and community partner that details their research efforts and their findings.

 

Up to 6 Fellows will be selected for each of the fall and spring terms for a maximum total of 12 Fellows annually. Fellows are selected on the basis of their academic record, their connection to the community of research, and the promise of their project to explore and address an important issue within the community. Fellows must show a commitment to social change.

 

Application Deadlines:

Friday, April 19, 2013 for Fall Term Awards

Friday, November 15, 2013 for Spring Term Awards

 

Who may apply

Undergraduate students who are sponsored by and working with a full- or part-time faculty member during the upcoming Fall or Spring term. Applicants must also be sponsored by and working with a community partner (e.g., community leader or non-profit organization) involved in the issue that the researcher proposes to investigate. Students in any academic discipline enrolled in any of Pitt’s undergraduate schools can apply for a Community-Based Research Fellowship.

 

How to apply

The student, the sponsoring faculty member, and the sponsoring community partner must make a joint application according to the guidelines listed below. Applications materials must be received by the University Honors College by the date specified above. The UHC will evaluate the proposals and all applicants will be notified of decisions shortly after the application deadline.

 

The Awards

Each Fellow will be awarded $800 for participation in the proposed project. The funds are directly credited to the Fellow’s student account as a stipend; therefore, a student must be registered full-time for courses during the term for which the fellowship is awarded.

 

Projects for which awards are made

To be successful, a proposal must show evidence that the project:

Identifies a pertinent social issue within a clearly identified community and describes the timeliness of this issue.

Displays a committed relationship between the researcher and the community partner.

Defines the specific objectives of the student’s research.

Displays sponsorship from a faculty member relevant to the student’s research project.

 

Examples of Potential Projects

Public Space and Community Perception in Garfield (Studio Arts): The Fellow could collaborate with the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation and the Sprout Fund of Pittsburgh to research Garfield residents’ perceptions of specific public spaces in the Garfield neighborhood. The Fellow would develop a series of proposals to receive further funding from the Sprout Fund to create community-enacted public arts projects. The locations, methods of creation, and art designs for each public piece would be determined by applying public art theory to interviews with community members.

 

Voices Project, The Face of Pittsburgh Immigration (English Writing): This Fellow could collaborate with local refugee resettlement organizations to interview Burmese residents of Pittsburgh regarding their integration into the city and American urban life. The Fellow would apply English writing theory exploring perspective and authorship to develop a collection of narratives and analysis of Burmese life in Pittsburgh. The technique used in this study would advocate on behalf of Pittsburgh Burmese individuals and families to an audience of local service providers and government agencies.

 

Green Alleys, A Permeable Urban Alley Design to Minimize Residential Flooding in Negley Place (Engineering): This student could collaborate with local community members and local government officials to research and develop a semi-permeable alley way in an area of Negley Place where residents experience annual water damage as a result of flooding from poorly designed alleyways. The student would research the topography of the area, interview local residents, research and develop a design for a permeable surface, collaborate with local community members to write a grant for the implementation, and work with local city officials to ensure that the project will be implemented in line with city code.

 

Application Materials

COVER SHEET: Print and fill out the applicant data sheet (PDF)
Student: Submit the following:

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: A 2-3-page letter describing the proposed project. It should emphasize your interests and goals, and your past involvement in the project.

ACADEMIC RECORD: Current transcript (may be unofficial).

STATEMENT OF INTEREST: A brief commentary (500 words or less) indicating what positive social change means to you, your commitment to achieving this change, and why you are interested in participating in the interdisciplinary community-based research fellowship community.

 

FACULTY MENTOR: Submit a 1-2-page nomination of the student who would work with you. This letter should address the following:

What is the student’s role in the research project? Student research, as much as possible, should be independent in nature. Students should feel ownership of the project in contrast to performing at the technical staff level and simply doing as directed. We recognize that in some fields, students may be limited in what can be done; hence our phrase that students’ work be of an independent nature “as much as possible.”

How does your personal research align with the student’s proposed project?

How many hours per week (up to 12) do you expect the student to work on this project?

What schedules have you and the student decided upon for periodic meetings?

How will you assess the student’s academic performance?

 

COMMUNITY PARTNER: Submit a 1-2-page nomination of the student who would work with you. This letter should contain the following:

What community and issue do you represent and what is your role within this community/issue?

What is your relationship to the student whose research you are sponsoring?

What is the student’s role in the research project? What is your role in the research project?

How many hours per week (up to 12) do you expect the student to work on this project?

What schedule have you two decided upon for periodic meetings? How will the student’s research make a positive impact in your community and/or address the specified issue?

What do you expect the student to produce as a result of the research?

It is the applicant’s responsibility to include all materials mentioned above as a complete application package. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. All application materials must be submitted to Ryan Gayman and delivered to the University Honors College (3600 Cathedral of Learning).

 

Please Remember

Application materials are due in the University Honors College (3600 Cathedral of Learning), on or before the date specified above. For more information, please contact Ryan Gayman (ryan.pitt.uhc@gmail.com).

 

Students are encouraged to discuss their proposals with UHC advising staff prior to the formal submission.

Fall/Spring Community-Based Research Fellowships

The community-based research framework directly applies the research process to investigating pertinent issues in the community. The undergraduate researcher works with a community, community leader, or non-profit organization to develop a research project that seeks to explore and address an issue that is important to the given community. The results or outcomes of the research are intended to effect positive social change.

These fellowships support University of Pittsburgh undergraduate students while they are conducting community-based research projects. Research projects must investigate an issue in the local community. The Fellowship awards a stipend of $800 for a semester; in addition, it requires the Fellows to participate in four interdisciplinary seminars during the semester in which Fellows will report on their research progress and reflect on how different disciplines enact social change. Fellows must also prepare a final report for the University Honors College, their faculty mentor, and community partner that details their research efforts and their findings.

Up to 6 Fellows will be selected for each of the fall and spring terms for a maximum total of 12 Fellows annually. Fellows are selected on the basis of their academic record, their connection to the community of research, and the promise of their project to explore and address an important issue within the community. Fellows must show a commitment to social change.

Application Deadlines:

Friday, April 19, 2013 for Fall Term Awards

Friday, November 15, 2013 for Spring Term Awards

Who may apply

Undergraduate students who are sponsored by and working with a full- or part-time faculty member during the upcoming Fall or Spring term. Applicants must also be sponsored by and working with a community partner (e.g., community leader or non-profit organization) involved in the issue that the researcher proposes to investigate. Students in any academic discipline enrolled in any of Pitt’s undergraduate schools can apply for a Community-Based Research Fellowship.

How to apply

The student, the sponsoring faculty member, and the sponsoring community partner must make a joint application according to the guidelines listed below. Applications materials must be received by the University Honors College by the date specified above. The UHC will evaluate the proposals and all applicants will be notified of decisions shortly after the application deadline.

The Awards

Each Fellow will be awarded $800 for participation in the proposed project. The funds are directly credited to the Fellow’s student account as a stipend; therefore, a student must be registered full-time for courses during the term for which the fellowship is awarded.

Projects for which awards are made

To be successful, a proposal must show evidence that the project:

Identifies a pertinent social issue within a clearly identified community and describes the timeliness of this issue.

Displays a committed relationship between the researcher and the community partner.

Defines the specific objectives of the student’s research.

Displays sponsorship from a faculty member relevant to the student’s research project. Examples of Potential Projects

Public Space and Community Perception in Garfield (Studio Arts): The Fellow could collaborate with the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation and the Sprout Fund of Pittsburgh to research Garfield residents’ perceptions of specific public spaces in the Garfield neighborhood. The Fellow would develop a series of proposals to receive further funding from the Sprout Fund to create community-enacted public arts projects. The locations, methods of creation, and art designs for each public piece would be determined by applying public art theory to interviews with community members.

Voices Project, The Face of Pittsburgh Immigration (English Writing): This Fellow could collaborate with local refugee resettlement organizations to interview Burmese residents of Pittsburgh regarding their integration into the city and American urban life. The Fellow would apply English writing theory exploring perspective and authorship to develop a collection of narratives and analysis of Burmese life in Pittsburgh. The technique used in this study would advocate on behalf of Pittsburgh Burmese individuals and families to an audience of local service providers and government agencies.

Green Alleys, A Permeable Urban Alley Design to Minimize Residential Flooding in Negley Place (Engineering): This student could collaborate with local community members and local government officials to research and develop a semi-permeable alley way in an area of Negley Place where residents experience annual water damage as a result of flooding from poorly designed alleyways. The student would research the topography of the area, interview local residents, research and develop a design for a permeable surface, collaborate with local community members to write a grant for the implementation, and work with local city officials to ensure that the project will be implemented in line with city code.

Application Materials

COVER SHEET: Print and fill out the applicant data sheet (PDF)
Student: Submit the following:

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: A 2-3-page letter describing the proposed project. It should emphasize your interests and goals, and your past involvement in the project.

ACADEMIC RECORD: Current transcript (may be unofficial).

STATEMENT OF INTEREST: A brief commentary (500 words or less) indicating what positive social change means to you, your commitment to achieving this change, and why you are interested in participating in the interdisciplinary community-based research fellowship community.

FACULTY MENTOR: Submit a 1-2-page nomination of the student who would work with you. This letter should address the following:

What is the student’s role in the research project? Student research, as much as possible, should be independent in nature. Students should feel ownership of the project in contrast to performing at the technical staff level and simply doing as directed. We recognize that in some fields, students may be limited in what can be done; hence our phrase that students’ work be of an independent nature “as much as possible.”

How does your personal research align with the student’s proposed project?

How many hours per week (up to 12) do you expect the student to work on this project?

What schedules have you and the student decided upon for periodic meetings?

How will you assess the student’s academic performance?

COMMUNITY PARTNER: Submit a 1-2-page nomination of the student who would work with you. This letter should contain the following:

What community and issue do you represent and what is your role within this community/issue?

What is your relationship to the student whose research you are sponsoring?

What is the student’s role in the research project? What is your role in the research project?

How many hours per week (up to 12) do you expect the student to work on this project?

What schedule have you two decided upon for periodic meetings? How will the student’s research make a positive impact in your community and/or address the specified issue?

What do you expect the student to produce as a result of the research?

It is the applicant’s responsibility to include all materials mentioned above as a complete application package. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. All application materials must be submitted to Ryan Gayman and delivered to the University Honors College (3600 Cathedral of Learning).

Please Remember

Application materials are due in the University Honors College (3600 Cathedral of Learning), on or before the date specified above. For more information, please contact Ryan Gayman (ryan.pitt.uhc@gmail.com).

Students are encouraged to discuss their proposals with UHC advising staff prior to the formal submission.