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Community-Based Research Fellows Program

The Community-Based Research Fellows Program (CBRFP) supports teams of faculty, students and community partners in conducting research that addresses community-identified needs. The Haas Center for Public Service and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) jointly fund the program. Student fellows are eligible for up to $6,000 for 10 weeks of full-time research during the summer quarter. Faculty Fellows and Community Partners who participate in the program receive $1,000 each. 

Community-based research (CBR) is defined as "a partnership of students, faculty, and community members who collaboratively engage in research with the purpose of solving a pressing community problem or effecting social change" (Community-Based Research and Higher Education, Strand et al., 2004, p.3). CBR is a method of conducting academic research that 1) relies on cooperation and communication between all research partners; 2) validates multiple sources of knowledge; 3) promotes the use of multiple methods of discovery; 4) pursues diverse means for disseminating research findings; and 5) includes a commitment to some level of social action. In the ideal CBR project, academic scholars work in collaboration with community partners at every stage of the research process.

Applications may be submitted by a faculty member OR a student member of the research team; community partners should be actively consulted and included in the research design process. Student applicants are highly encouraged to enroll in the Winter 2016 Urban Studies course entitled URBANST123: Approaching Research in the Community, and students who are awarded fellowships are expected to enroll in the spring 2016 course URBANST123B: Approaching Research in the Community - Design and Methods.   

The CBRFP has three primary goals:

  1. Provide resources for community-based research teams that comprise faculty, undergraduate students and community partners.
  2. Deepen the connection between faculty and undergraduate students engaged in community-based research.
  3. Create a support network for undergraduate students that facilitates their research, develops their research skills, and connects them with similarly motivated peers.


Spring Quarter

In the spring, the CBRFP hosts a luncheon meeting with all community-based research teams. These meetings allow student, faculty, and community research team members to interact with one another, learn more about the program’s curriculum, structure, and expectations, and clarify the finer points of their CBR projects. Students wil be expected to enroll in the spring quarter course, URBANST123B: Approaching Research in the Community - Design and Methodsto help prepare them for their community-based fieldwork experiences.

Summer Quarter

Students who participate in the CBRFP communicate monthly with the program administrator and student fellows to share their research progress and discuss readings that promote intellectual development and demonstrate connections between research and positive social change. Specific topics include the principles and practices of community-based research, methods for forging campus-community partnerships, and the ethical dimensions of data ownership and dissemination. Specific assignments include

  • learning plan
  • research memos
  • monthly progress reports
  • community partner briefings

Autumn Quarter

Students present their research and field questions during an autumn quarter celebratory luncheon. Faculty fellows and community partners are invited to the luncheon, as well.

The CBRFP encourages students to present at SURPS, apply for research grants and fellowships through the Haas Center and VPUE, and build upon their community-based research fellowship experience with coursework that further develops their research skills. Students are also invited to visit Urban Studies 123: Approaching Research with the Community and to share their success stories and challenges.

Eligibility and Selection Process

Successful proposals include:

  • A well-defined research project that warrants a community-based research approach
  • Incorporation of best practices and principles of campus-community partnerships (e.g., Principles of Partnerships)
  • Community partner support for the research project (e.g., a letter from the community partner that indicates how the research meets its needs)
  • A clear plan for mentoring undergraduate students

VPUE Funding Restrictions

  • Funds may only support current Stanford undergraduates. Co-terminal MS or MA students may be supported only if their undergraduate degree is not conferred before the conclusion of the project.
  • Students may not receive both academic credit and pay for any single research activity.
  • Students receiving full summer stipends may not register for more than 5 units of coursework, nor may they work for more than 10 hours per week outside of their research appointment.
  • Students receiving support during the academic year must be enrolled for all quarters in which they receive support. Departments, programs or faculty mentors may elect to set more restrictive policies, as appropriate.
  • Funds may not be used to support honors thesis research. Honors students should seek funding through UAR’s Student Grants Program.


The submission deadline for the 2015 CBR Fellows Program is Friday, February 26, 2016 by 11:59 pm PST.

A faculty member or student may submit the application, but student submissions must be accompanied by a faculty mentoring plan that outlines how the faculty adviser will provide support to the student before and during the summer research experience. Students are encouraged to meet with their faculty adviser well in advance of the application deadline to craft this plan.  


Contact Information

For more information, contact Clayton Hurd, director of public service research.