Community-Engaged Research Fellowship Program Application

Community-engaged research—academic research that meets significant public goals or needs as articulated in dialogue with community partners—is an important part of the Bates education and the College’s commitment to informed civic action. The Harward Center for Community Partnerships invites applications for Community-Engaged Research Fellowships for Winter 2024. The CER Fellows Program provides funding, mentoring, and peer reflection for student projects that engage public needs, as articulated in dialogue with community partners, through significant academic research. Students may apply for a community-engaged research project that is already underway (one that was initiated in a Fall Term course, for instance, or a year-long Honors Thesis project) or a project they are only beginning to plan (for instance, a Winter Term senior thesis or capstone project). This program complements rather than replaces the support students receive from their research project faculty advisor. 

Who May Apply for a CER Fellowship?

Any Bates student may apply for a CER Fellowship, but strongest consideration will be given to seniors. CER Fellowships are not reserved solely for thesis/capstone students, but we assume those students will be especially interested and qualified. Students may apply for projects in all disciplines, including the arts, and for interdisciplinary projects. 

What Are the Criteria for Selection?

In some ways, the CER Fellows Program resembles other undergraduate research grants: the best proposals will be for projects that are well-articulated, intellectually significant, and feasible within the resources and time frame available to the student. At the same time, community-engaged research projects differ from other research undertaken by Bates students: they contribute not only to scholarly knowledge but also to the solving of public problems, the meeting of public goals, or the enriching of public culture, as defined in mutual dialogue with public partners. The strongest proposals for CER Fellowships will be for projects that offer such community benefit and are grounded in a process of community partnership.

What Are the Benefits and Expectations of Being a CER Fellow?

CER Fellows will receive a stipend of $400 for the Winter semester. Equally important, they join a community of support by participating in a non-credit Fellows’ Seminar, led by Darby Ray, Harward Center Director and Professor of Civic Engagement, and Morgan Kinney, Associate Director of Community-Engaged Learning and Research. The bi-weekly seminar (ungraded) will expose students to the history, methods, and ethics of community-engaged research across different disciplines, engage them in thinking about the distinctive values and challenges of community-engaged research, and offer them an interdisciplinary peer community for trouble-shooting and sharing their work. 

The Seminar, which usually takes place at the Harward Center over a home-cooked meal or a meal from local restaurants, will begin meeting in January and continue, roughly on a biweekly basis, throughout Winter term, meeting 6-7 times and culminating with a session at the Mount David Summit. The meeting dates and time will be selected in consultation with selected participants. 

Like all Bates researchers, students will be expected to fulfill the ethical obligations associated with their projects, including submitting their research plan to the Institutional Review Board for approval, if needed. They will be expected to present their work at the Mount David Summit and to decide, in dialogue with their community partners, the most valuable venues or products for giving the fruits of their research back to the community.

Your application must include:

  • The form below.
  • An email from the community organization with which you are or will be working, discussing their support of your project and the benefit they expect to receive from it and, where applicable, how you will be supervised. If your partner is still in the works, please speak to this in your application form, including who you hope your community partner will be and what relationship/experience you may already have with that partner. 

Please contact Darby Ray ( with questions about the Community-Engaged Research Fellows Program or for advice about specific project proposals.


Applications are due on or before December 22, 2023. Decisions will be shared with applicants via email by January 5, 2024.

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