University of Washington College of Education is proud to continue its Community Partner Fellows initiative to foster and grow research + practice + community partnerships. The Community Partner Fellow program builds relationships with our community partners to enhance their equity-focused research and evaluation capacity. For our PhD students, it provides critical professional development opportunities and funding to support the next generation of practitioners and scholars. Our two-fold goal is to provide increased capacity to local community partners while providing increased funding to ensure we recruit and retain the most competitive PhD students.

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Building off a successful pilot launch in Spring 2018, in September 2018 we placed 3 PhD students in two-year internships with Washington STEM, Pacific Science Center, and Boys & Girls Club of King County. We also awarded Community Partnership Fellow placements to 2 incoming PhD students who will start their internships in September 2020. In September 2019 we placed 4 more PhD students with School’s Out Washington, Southeast Seattle Education Coalition, Technology Access Foundation, and the Black Education Strategy Roundtable. We also awarded 3 incoming PhD students with fellowships and future placements in September 2021. With increased public and private funding support, we envision growing this program over the next 5 years to offer 10 internships per year.

We are beginning our recruitment process for two-year internship fellowships beginning in September 2020 (for up to 4 current PhD students) and for internships beginning in September 2022 (for up to 4 incoming PhD students).

For academic year 2020-2021, the internship fellowship award is $41,718 which includes a tuition waiver, NRD tuition waiver (if needed), a scholarship, and a stipend. Students are eligible for health insurance benefits through the Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP). Please be aware that it is not a GSA or GRA appointment and that the student intern is not an employee nor part of the UW collective bargaining. Please note that the value of the fellowship award may be adjusted in future years for tuition increases as needed.

For incoming PhD students, the Community Partner Fellows award provides 4 years of guaranteed funding. The first two years will be supported by a combination of a fellowship and a Research or Teaching Assistantship, while the second two years will be supported by the internship placement.

Students selected for these internships will be tasked with projects that range from:

  • Performing landscape analyses
  • Conducting statistical analyses
  • Conducting oral interviews and observations
  • Conducting environmental scans
  • Engaging in the co-design and study of educational initiatives & programs
  • Curriculum design and implementation

What Are Learning & How Are We Evolving Community Partner Fellows?

Building off of our pilot year learning and feedback from faculty area listening sessions, we have modified the recruitment timeline to allow for more time in the process while still keeping it aligned with the admissions cycle for incoming students. Based on feedback from students and faculty, we are exploring ways to make this opportunity more student-centered by opening up the application process, providing more staff support, and aiming to build a cohort experience. The biggest change for cohort 2 recruitment is that we will now allow UW COE PhD incoming and current students to self-nominate for the Community Partner Fellows program so as to make the opportunity more equitable. This will still allow faculty to put forth recommendations but also allows students to determine whether this is a good fit for their doctoral experience and career trajectory. For cohort 3, we also anticipate offering a professional learning community that will meet regularly over each quarter and offer community-based content.

Key Dates in the Application Process

  • February 7, 2020 - Community Partner Fellows application opens to both incoming and current students with announcement posted to COE Faculty & Student listservs, social media communications, and to the website:
  • March 6, 2020 - Application deadline for both incoming and current PhD students to apply. This also coincides with the COE admissions decision date.
  • March 23  – March 27: COE staff notifies incoming students and their advisors of the award offer. The deadline to accept the Community Partner Fellows award is April 22, which is consistent with the University of Washington & the Council of Graduate Schools’ national resolution. Incoming students will receive their partner organization sites closer to the start of their internship in September 2022.
  • April 20 – 24: COE staff notifies current students and their advisors of the award offer and partner organization placement site. The deadline to accept the Community Partner Fellows award is May 8. Orientation will take place in Fall 2020 and the internships will begin in September 2020.

Required Application Materials – DUE BY MARCH 6, 2020

UW COE PhD Students: Please be advised that if your academic program has a required internship or practicum requirement, you will need to work closely with your faculty advisor to determine whether this opportunity is a good fit. If you are an international student, you will also need to work closely with your advisor and UW staff to ensure that this opportunity does not exceed your CPT and/or OPT hours. All students must be in good academic standing and be enrolled as a full-time PhD student at the time of appointment and maintain full-time status during the duration of the appointment.

For incoming PhD students:

  • A letter of support from their faculty advisor that describes how the student shows promise and specific interest in working with community partners. This may include reference to previous work and academic experience in community settings. Our collective goal is to award a four-year funding package to attract and support the most competitive incoming PhD students. If faculty can provide a commitment to any Research or Teaching Assistantship positions, please include this information but note that this is not required.
  • Student’s curriculum vitae (CV) and a cover letter stating their interest in working with community-based organizations on  equity-focused research and evaluation projects.

For current PhD students:

  • A letter of support from a faculty member that includes a description of the applicant’s fit for the work and contributions to the College with special attention paid to their academic accomplishments, pertinent methodological skills, writing and analyzing abilities, and previous work/academic experience that is relevant to interning in a community partner setting. There is no need to include the financial plan as current students will be awarded two-years of funding through this opportunity.
  • Student’s curriculum vitae (CV) and a cover letter stating their interest in working with community-based organizations on equity-focused research and evaluation projects.

The application process will be open on February 7, 2020 and posted to the Community Partner Fellows website:

Please submit all application materials by email by March 6, 2020 to:

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