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Community Academic Scholars Initiative logoBecome a Community-Academic Scholar

  • Develop applied research skills for measuring and maximizing impact
  • Build cultural and civic skills while becoming a more informed citizen
  • Strengthen teamwork/collaboration skills by working with both campus and community partners
  • Sharpen professional communication skills by developing a plan for updating faculty and community mentors on weekly progress
  • Witness firsthand how your work makes a difference in the local community 

Meet the 2021 Community-Academic Scholars

Submit your interest

 Submit a brief interest form to receive updates about the 2022 application cycle.

Eligibility and preference
  • Applicants must be undergraduate students in good standing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (graduating seniors are not eligible to apply).
  • Preference is given to students from underrepresented backgrounds, and to those whose background reflects the communities their project serves.
Program requirements
  • Applicants are expected to be engaged full-time in their projects over the summer for 10 weeks.
  • Students must create a communication plan for updating their faculty and community mentors on weekly progress.
  • Students must create and present a poster with their summer work at the final awards ceremony.
  • Students will attend a program orientation, a welcome event, and weekly coffee hours during the summer. A final awards ceremony will be held at the end of the summer to honor the scholars and their teams.
Coverage for expenses
  • A $3,500 disbursement will be made to each successful applicant’s university account at the end of the spring semester.
  • The purpose of the disbursement is to offset the cost of housing and/or other living expenses during the program.
Selecting a project
  • Projects will address health or social justice in the community.
  • Student applicants will have an opportunity to learn about and rank projects of interest when completing the application.
  • The Community-Academic Scholars team will match each chosen scholar to the project that most aligns with their strengths and interests.
Application Process

The application period for the Community-Academic Scholars summer program typically opens mid-January. 

“These opportunities push you to think critically, be more concerned about your community, and ignite the fire within to create change.”

Geraldine Dagher
2019 Scholar