Looking for community-based projects? Join UniverCity Alliance’s new Scholars Program

UniverCity Alliance (UCA) is excited to launch a new scholars program for undergraduate and graduate students seeking opportunities to apply their skills to a community-based project. 

This cohort-based program builds off UCA’s hallmark program UniverCity Year, which connects Wisconsin local governments to university resources through a three-year partnership. Primarily, the program has matched community ideas with faculty and teaching instructors, who embed projects into their courses.

Through the UCA Scholars Program, students can apply directly to work on a community-based project that furthers the goals of Wisconsin cities, counties, towns, and villages. 

Students from a variety of disciplines are encouraged to apply for the program, which comes with a $1,500 scholarship. Students will be matched to a project after they are selected into the scholarship program. While projects vary by year, topics have included the following: 

  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (e.g. equity audits, communications strategies, training programs, etc.)
  • Sustainability (e.g. energy audits, climate action plans, watershed protection strategies, scenario planning for how development impacts the environment, addressing groundwater quality, etc.)
  • Improving government efficiency (program evaluation, consolidation studies, process improvement, public communications plans, etc.)
  • Child care (e.g. innovative solutions for addressing accessibility and affordability of child care services, innovative solutions for improving child care worker wages, etc.)
  • Transportation (e.g. road maintenance plans, improving biking and walking infrastructure, reimagining roadways, etc.)
  • Economic development (e.g. innovative solutions for workforce development, trade market analyses, rebranding efforts, creating websites, etc.)
  • Housing (e.g. planning and analysis of affordable housing sites, housing plan updates, etc.)
  • Health (e.g. plans to improve mental health, drug/alcohol abuse prevention, improving health equity, etc.)
  • Urban design (e.g. creative placemaking, pedestrian safety planning, wayfinding plans, downtown development projects, etc.)

“Any student reading this who thinks they have skills to offer in the topics mentioned are encouraged to apply!” UCA Managing Director Gavin Luter said. “We also want these students to interact as a cohort, learn about local government as a career path, and get excited about making places better.”

Applications are due April 15. Students should apply through Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH) portal. More information on eligibility criteria and application requirements can be found here. Please email UniverCityAlliance@wisc.edu with any questions. 

The UCA Scholars Program is a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, COWS, the School of Human Ecology, and over 20 other campus partners on the UCA Advisory Board. This scholarship award is provided through the philanthropy of UW alumni John Holton, Pat Thiele, Colleen Goggins, John Nelson, Bill and Karen Monfre, John Bauman, Curt Fuszard, and others.