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Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program

The application is open for the 2017 Fellows. Learn more below, and apply here.

2016 Fellows | 2015 Fellows | 2014 Fellows | 2013 Fellows

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[Download a PDF of this RFP]


The Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program is a yearlong faculty development program designed to significantly enhance the capacity of Cornell faculty to conduct courses and develop research projects that directly engage the university with communities. Through a combination of cohort meetings (four per semester) and individual consultations, participants will collaboratively explore theories, practices, and assessment measures of community-engaged learning and research. Additionally, participants have the opportunity to (re)develop a course, research proposal, or engaged project in accordance with these proven principles and techniques. Faculty fellows form a learning community, participating in a cohort for feedback and support and sharing their learning experience at a year-end, university-wide showcase.

The Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program offers an opportunity for participants to:

  • develop a project that improves community-engaged learning and research at Cornell;
  • design a community-based research activity leading to recognizable benefits for community partners;
  • cultivate and support a learning community of engaged faculty leaders who are committed to integrating principles and practices of engagement in their own research and teaching, and who share these practices with their colleagues and students;
  • consider, with faculty colleagues and the Office of Engagement Initiatives staff, strategies for developing products of work, as engaged scholarship and/or scholarship of engagement.


All full-time faculty members and academic staff (including lecturers and extension faculty) are eligible to apply.

Previous engaged research or teaching experience isn’t required; proposal narratives should reflect some level of critical thinking around issues of engagement.


In addition to academic and administrative support from the Office of Engagement Initiatives staff, faculty fellows receive a $2,000 grant. The grant is provided for discretionary use for activities such as professional development, course design, research activities, and implementation costs that could include curriculum materials, shared materials for community partners, and course- or project-related travel.

Fellows are also eligible for up to $1,000 of additional funding to support conference travel to present their engaged project, course or research.

Application Process and Timeline

For general information, please contact the Office of Engagement Initiatives staff at

Proposal Guidelines

The Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program is designed to advance the theory and practice employed in a specific community-engaged project, defined by individual fellows. Projects may be local, domestic, or global; they may advance existing partnerships or forge new ones. Generally, projects are developed and implemented during the fellowship year; but, in some instances, the implementation of projects has extended past the duration of the fellowship. Possible project ideas include the following:

  • developing a new service-learning course or integration of service-learning into an existing course;
  • creation of assessment tools or strategies for measuring the impact of service-learning on students, faculty, or the partner community;
  • designing community-based research projects that contribute to the literature of the discipline or scholarship of engagement more broadly;
  • developing interdisciplinary collaborations to foster engaged learning and research across departments, college, units, and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Please see previous work of Engaged Faculty Fellows here: 2016 Fellows | 2015 Fellows | 2014 Fellows | 2013 Fellows

Proposal Requirements

Expectations and Deliverables

Faculty fellows are expected to prepare for and participate in all eight seminars (four per semester). Absence from more than two over the course of the year will result in grant forfeiture.

It is expected that fellows will serve as ambassadors of community engagement — sharing with colleagues the value of their fellowship — within their departments and college and across their academic field as a whole.

Faculty developing a course are expected to teach the course at least twice in the next five years.

Research projects must include action plans and assessment measures, and community site visits are encouraged to the extent that they’re possible.

Fellows are expected to offer a presentation about their work to the fellows learning community and perhaps beyond. The group may choose to host a symposium or series of lunch discussions that use their presentations to catalyze further discussion on campus or in the community.

Review Process and Selection Criteria

Engaged Cornell leadership and a faculty review committee will review the applications.

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Merit and soundness of the community-engaged course or project plan, including purpose, objectives, timeline, and work proposed
  • Description of the planned benefits to students and to the community partner of the course or project
  • Clear statement of learning outcomes that includes at least one community-engaged student learning outcome, along with descriptions of how the community-engaged activities are designed to affect (undergraduate and/or graduate and/or professional) student learning
  • Quality of rationale and benefits of participation through the Engaged Faculty Fellowship

Application Checklist

The application should be submitted online and include

  1. Completed application form
  2. Current C.V.
  3. Letter of support from department chair


On this page

[Download a PDF of this RFP]