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.
  • 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. Sign up to receive updates about info sessions, project announcements, and more.

Geraldine Dagher“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