Published: Dec. 16, 2019

snowy day walking faculty fellows

UPDATE on CBR Fellowship Applications and Funding (4/19/20): CU Engage has made the difficult decision to suspend our call for proposals for the Graduate Fellowship in Community-Based Research. The current May 15 deadline is postponed. This decision is due to the COVID-19-related budget uncertainty on campus and our need to be cautious about funding commitments for next year. We apologize to those who have already started conversations with community partners or are writing proposals. Please know we hope to issue the request for proposals (RFP) in the Fall for funding and fellowship programming in Spring 2021; this will depend on the budget situation in August 2020. Don’t hesitate to email with questions. This information is also posted on the CU Engage webpage:, and we will post updates in August about whether there will be a Fall RFP. Thank you for your interest in community-based research, and please know we intend to resume the CBR fellowship program in the future.


For future reference, more information on the fellowship and the application is detailed below.


CU Engage is pleased to announce our Request for Proposals that will provide grants of $4,000 for Faculty Fellows in Community-Based Learning.

The Faculty Fellows program provides resources and support for faculty to design a new course or modify an existing course to include a community-based learning component.  Fellows can use grant funds for summer salary and teaching/research materials. Fellows participate in a cohort-based professional development institute during the 2020 Maymester.

Proposals to join the 2020-21 Faculty Fellows cohort are due by February 17, 2020. View the RFP here.

CU Engage is offering a workshop for faculty interested in applying on Wednesday, January 15th, 12-1PM, in EDUC 230.
Click here to RSVP.

The aim of the Faculty Fellows Program is to expand, deepen, and institutionalize community-based learning at CU Boulder. According to current faculty fellow Dr. Nicole Civita from the Masters of the Environment Graduate Program, ENVS, "Pedagogical and financial support — plus the rare gift of designated time to build curriculum and workshop it in a supportive environment with Dr. Hildreth and the other fellows — combined to propel our clinic from concept to successful execution." 

Civita and her colleagues set out create an experimental learning environment in which Masters of the Environment candidates could have a positive and lasting impact on communities with critical and unmet needs for sustainability planning, research, and consulting guidance. "Community-based learning is, without a doubt, a labor-intensive undertaking for faculty," explains Civita. "But, when done well, it has the potential to be far more impactful for students than courses that exist within the four walls of a traditional classroom. And it can make meaningful, measurable advancements for the communities with which we collaborate."  

Other examples include Enrique Lopez’s course in Education which provides on-going support for high school students in the Aquetza program, Joanne Belknap’s Ethnic Studies course where undergraduates take courses alongside inmates at Camp George West and Sarah Massey-Warren’s Writing and Rhetoric course where undergrads are paired with senior citizens to develop inter-generational understanding through writing.

CU Engage defines community-based learning as an intentional pedagogical strategy to integrate student learning in academic courses with community engagement. This work is characterized by reciprocal and mutually beneficial partnerships between instructors, students, and community partners. The goal is to address community-identified needs and ultimately create positive social change. Critical reflection is also an essential component to enhance students’ learning of course content, understanding of the community, and sense of civic agency.

What to learn about current and past fellows?

2019-20 Faculty Fellows

2018-19 Faculty Fellows

2017-18 Faculty Fellows

2016-17 Faculty Fellows

2015-16 Faculty Fellows

CU Engage is an interdisciplinary center based in the School of Education and serving the Boulder campus. We support programs and initiatives that work collaboratively with community groups to address complex public challenges through academic courses, research projects, and creative work. We do this by developing and sustaining equity-oriented partnerships, organizing opportunities for students to learn alongside community members, and supporting faculty and students to implement ethical and rigorous participatory research.

For more information about CU Engage and the Faculty Fellows in Community-Based Research, please visit our website.