If you have strong ideas, plans, and passion for protecting the vulnerable, helping people meet their basic needs, or are interested in some form of civic engagement, there are a number of opportunities to undertake meaningful service and education projects.
Through two unique summer programs, URAF supports current undergraduate students who want to combine scholarly research with community engagement. This is done in partnership with the Mindich Program in Engaged Scholarship. Students have the opportunity to conduct their own project under the guidance of a Harvard-affiliated faculty mentor or to work in collaboration with a team of scholars and community partners on a pre-designed project.
Seniors may apply for fellowships supporting postgraduate public service and teaching activities. Applications for these awards generally ask you to demonstrate your interest in a particular issue or community and your ability to meet the specific needs of that community. Teaching opportunities generally ask you to identify what you might bring to the classroom environment and to describe ways that you could engage with the community within the school and locally. Among other qualities, applicants should aim to demonstrate their adaptability and flexibility via a compelling plan for reaching their students who may be used to a different pedagogical tradition.
If you choose to engage in public service and teaching, you should consider the ways in which your privilege may affect your presence in a community. Before interacting with communities experiencing discrimination, trauma, or violence (systemic or otherwise), you should endeavor to be learn about that community so that you can be sensitive to their needs and rights. You should be careful not to engage in activities for which you are not qualified, especially in a medical setting. It is ultimately your responsibility to know how to engage with an individual or community respectfully, responsibly, and compassionately.
You can learn more about service and teaching opportunities by using the Browse URAF Opportunities page search tool, and follow that up by contacting URAF staff, directly or through our drop-in hours: Monday to Thursday, 2:00pm to 4:00pm (EST) and Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST). The link is on our homepage. We are looking forward to it!