Provost’s Graduate Academic Engagement Fellowship at the Netter Center

The Provost’s Graduate Academic Engagement Fellowship at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships is a new opportunity for PhD students across all schools and fields at the University of Pennsylvania. Fellows will be outstanding students whose scholarship significantly involves Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) and related activities, including locally based community problem-solving, engaged scholarship, service learning, and learning by teaching in public schools.

The Fellowship will involve the following:

  • Years 1 and 2: Participation in a faculty-student seminar on community-engaged research and teaching, a research fund for each Fellow of $5,000 over the two years, and support to attend as well as present at conferences.
  • Year 2: A full fellowship in which Fellows continue their studies and/or work on their dissertation. This fellowship should be treated like an external fellowship consistent with the practices of your graduate group.

Graduate Academic Engagement Fellows may follow one of two tracks:

  • Fellows serve as instructors and/or teaching assistants for academically based community service seminars that are working in partnership with local public schools.
  • Fellows work on ongoing research projects that, in connection with the Netter Center, are largely focused on West Philadelphia and involve undergraduates.

Provost's Graduate Academic Engagement Fellows will be encouraged to publish scholarly articles, some of which may emerge from the interdisciplinary, faculty-student seminar.  Fellows will also have an opportunity to present their research to schools and community organizations in West Philadelphia that partner with the Netter Center. Working through the Netter Center, particularly its university-assisted community schools program, they will actively engage with West Philadelphia on behalf of the University, and their work as Fellows will inform their future scholarship.



PhD Students will be eligible to apply in the spring semester of their first year of study or any year thereafter provided they have at least two years left in their program at the start of the next term.

Each applicant must have a Penn faculty sponsor to help oversee the student’s project. The sponsor may be the student’s advisor or another relevant faculty member.


Application Process and Timeline:

  • Applications are now open HERE. Please submit:
    • A personal statement addressing past experience with Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) and related activities, plans for the two-year period of the fellowship, and how the fellowship will support future research and career interests
    • Unofficial graduate transcript(s)
    • Two letters of recommendation including one from the faculty sponsor
      • Faculty sponsor FAQ is here.
  • We would be pleased to provide recommendations and feedback at any point in the process. Moreover, students are encouraged to send drafts of their proposal to
  • Final submission is due March 2, 2020.
  • A Faculty Committee will select finalists who will be notified in April 2020.

The faculty-student seminar will start in the 2020 fall semester.

Inaugural recpients were announced in May 2019.

For more information: