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Graduate School

Application Instructions

Graduate Civic Scholars Program Information Sessions

Applicants are strongly encouraged to watch the informational webinar and/or attend the in-person information session before submitting their GCSP application.


 What You'll Need to Apply

Upload these materials in one single PDF via the online application form

Academic CV

No longer than five pages and includes: 

  • Your projected date of graduation and your final degree.
  • A list of academic accomplishments (presentations, publications, exhibits and teaching assignments

Response to Questions

You will need to respond to the following questions. 

1. Experience (500 words max)

What is your past involvement as a student, teacher, and/or scholar with publicly engaged scholarship, volunteerism, service learning, or community activism? What skills have you built in these areas?

2. Current Vision and Sustainability (750 words max)

You have a choice between Option A and Option B (specify in your response). Choose only one.

Option A. 
Describe a project that you would like to develop further that involves public scholarship or community engagement. This project can be in any stage – from the spark of an idea to a program that is already in place and on which you would like to build. How can participation in this program help you move the project further? How can this project forge interdisciplinary scholarship and cooperation? We would like to hear what excites you and where you can imagine applying the methodologies of this program.

Option B. 
Is there a community-based group or agency that you would like to partner with to develop a project for GCSP? What is the name of the group/organization? Do you currently have a relationship with this group/agency? Why would you like to work with this group/agency? Describe a project that you would like to develop that involves public scholarship or community engagement with this group/agency. We would like to hear what excites you about possibly working with this group or agency and how you hope to enhance your skills through such a project.

3. Perspective (500 words max)

How does your background, scholarly training, and/or life experiences relate to your interests in publicly engaged scholarship? How would your participation in this program advance your own scholarly development? We are particularly interested in the unique and diverse perspective you would bring to the program.

It may prove useful to you and those writing letters on your behalf to consider this definition of public scholarship from Imagining America.

Public scholarship is scholarly or creative work integral to a [faculty member’s] academic area. It is jointly planned, carried out, and reflected on by co-equal university and community partners. And it yields one or more public good products.

Public good products may take diverse and plural forms, including but not limited to the following: peer reviewed individual or co-authored publications; presentations at academic and non-academic conferences and meetings; oral histories or ethnographies; interviews with or reflections by participants; program development; performances, exhibitions, installations, murals, or festivals; new K-16 curriculum, site designs or plans for “cultural corridors,” and other place-making work; and policy recommendations.

Letters of Support

Two confidential letters of support (one from your advisor and one addressing your work with public engagement) are required to apply. We will also need an email from your Director of Graduate Studies saying you are in good standing in your department.


What You'll Need for Letters of Support

Your recommenders should send all materials by the deadline.

Where to Send

Send via email to with “GCSP: Name of Applicant” (insert name of applicant) as the subject.

1. Confidential Letter of Support from Your Advisor or Faculty Mentor

This letter of support should address:

  1. The value of the GCSP to your present and future teaching and scholarship.
  2. Your potential for collaborative, publicly engaged teaching and/or scholarship. 

2. Confidential Letter of Support Addressing Your Work with Community or Public Engagement

This letter might come from a second faculty member, a community mentor, or a supervisor in a volunteer position. This letter should address any or all of the following:

  1. Your potential to bring a project to fruition.
  2. Your ability to work with a community partner
  3. The viability of the proposed project (if appropriate).

3. Email from your Director of Graduate Studies

To ensure your department is aware of your participation, we require an email from the Director of Graduate Studies from your school/college stating: “NAME OF APPLICANT is in good standing in our department. If he/she is accepted, I support his/her participation in the Graduate Civic Scholars Program in 2020-2021.” This statement – no more and no less – should be emailed by your Director of Graduate Studies.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.