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Graduate Community Fellows Program

The Community Fellows program strengthens the graduate community through advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Community Fellows identify areas of need, and they propose initiatives that help contribute to the graduate experience at Brown. Community Fellows develop valuable leadership skills, while they offer programming that contributes to a sense of connectedness among graduate students.

What does a Graduate Community Fellow do?

  • Design and implement community-building initiatives for graduate students falling under one of the following areas: Health & Wellness, Disability Community, International Community, Race & Social Justice, Family Friendly, LGBTQ+ Community, Master’s Student Community, and U-FLI (Undocumented, First-Generation, and Low-Income) Community. Students can also propose their own area. 
  • Receive peer feedback and guidance from the Graduate School staff and campus partners as they create and implement their initiatives.
  • Provide feedback and assessment on initiatives through mid-year and end-of-year program evaluation.

Initiatives may be speaker events, seminar series, networking events, community gatherings, discussion groups, workshops, a map, or a collection of resources. Initiatives may build upon previous initiatives and/or be entirely new. If participants wish to build on previous programming, then they should use their applications to address how they are expanding upon previous initiatives. See examples of past initiatives and descriptions. Each initiative should aim to strengthen the graduate student community, by celebrating diversity, promoting inclusion, and connecting individuals across disciplines.

Each initiative should aim to strengthen the graduate student community, to celebrate diversity, promote belonging and inclusion, and connect individuals across disciplines.

In addition, each Fellow receives an award of $2000 for one academic year ($1000 awards are disbursed each semester, Fall and Spring) and Fellows (in either pairs or small groups) receive up to $1500 to fund initiatives in the areas they represent. International students who are Community Fellows should register with FNIS before receiving any payments and should note award amounts are liable for taxes unless there are tax treaty benefits available, which differ according to the student’s home country.

When do the Graduate Community Fellows implement their initiatives?
Early-October through mid-May. Graduate Community Fellows are selected in early October and will have the remainder of the academic year to design and implement their initiatives.

Who Can Apply?
International and domestic, doctoral and master’s students who are registered full time in the current academic year, 2022-23, and are in good academic standing.

Previous Graduate Community Fellows are welcome to apply, though preference will be given to new applicants. Previous fellows should also contact the Community Fellows program coordinator about interest before applying.

Important consideration for prospective applicants: In the application, students will be asked to thoughtfully consider how they will balance academic pursuits and active engagement as a Community Fellow. Time commitments to the planning, coordination and implementation of initiatives will vary and are determined by the Fellows themselves.

How to Apply
Apply through UFunds. You can search for distinctive opportunities and then select Community Fellows. Deadline: Sept. 26, 2022.

Students may apply in pairs or individually. Applications are strongest when students apply as pairs or groups of three. All applicants must submit applications.

Application components
UFunds application: Students should prepare the following for the UFunds application:

  • PDF of your CV/resume, highlighting relevant experiences.
  • Description of an initiative you would like to implement as a Fellow. Include goals, anticipated outcomes and challenges, and discussion of feasibility. Please note that you can continue to develop your ideas in consultation with the Graduate School staff, and we expect these ideas to evolve and change. In your application, we want to see that you’ve provided achievable goals and demonstrated an ability to think about navigating potential challenges.
  • Explanation of how your proposed initiative strengthens the graduate student community, celebrates diversity, promotes belonging and inclusion, and connects individuals across disciplines.
  • Description of how you will manage your role as a Fellow with your academic and other pursuits this year.
  • Explanation of how being a Community Fellow will help you meet your professional goals and/or enrich your graduate experience.

Faculty and DGS Support: Students should also request email endorsement messages be sent directly to [email protected], confirming that you are a full-time registered graduate student, in good academic standing. These messages should be provided by: Faculty Advisor (if primary advisor has been assigned/selected) or the Director of Graduate Study.

First-year graduate students or any graduate student with no primary advisor selected may request a message of support and standing from their director of graduate studies.

Emails from DGS and advisors should be received no later than one week after the application submission deadline. 

Community Fellows selections will be selected based on:

  • commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • demonstrated leadership and organizational experiences, including event planning or organizational experience for departments or student groups and resource development for community purposes, or other relevant experiences
  • understanding of graduate student community interests 
  • experience with student community needs and concerns 
  • feasibility and scope of proposed initiative as well as outline of goals, expected outcomes, approach, and perceived challenges

Applications will be evaluated by a selection committee that includes graduate students and representatives of the Graduate School and campus partners.

Application Deadline: September 26, 2022, at 5 pm.

Want to learn more? Please join us for one of our information sessions on Thursday, September 15th. We will host information sessions on Zoom at 10 am and 2pm; registration required. These sessions will cover the program’s goals, structure, past successes, funding, application process, and timeline.

Questions? Please contact Byrd McDaniel, Assistant Director of Student Development.