Harvard College-Mindich Program in Community-Engaged Research (PCER)

Application deadline: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at 11:59pm EST

The Harvard College-Mindich Program in Community-Engaged Research (PCER) is a 10-week immersive experience focused on community-engaged inquiry projects.

The Harvard College-Mindich Program in Community-Engaged Research (PCER) pilot launched in summer 2017 by the Mindich Program for Engaged Scholarship in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. PCER introduces students to the field of engaged scholarship, which seeks to advance the public purpose of higher education through scholarship that has impact within and beyond the academy through the discovery, integration, application, and communication of knowledge. Employing an asset-based approach, and focused on reciprocal relationships with community collaborators, engaged scholarship recognizes the perspectives, knowledge, and expertise present in communities and the academy are of equal value.

The Field-based Harvard College-Mindich Program in Community-Engaged Research (PCER-Field) is a 10-week immersive experience focused on community-engaged inquiry projects. The program will provide a small team of Harvard undergraduate researchers the opportunity to learn about collaboration and reciprocity in a research context, working on a pre-designed project alongside Harvard faculty in collaboration with community partners as part of a multidisciplinary research team. PCER fellows will develop skills necessary to carry out research that is academically rigorous as well as responsive to community interests and priority action areas.

PCER will have two different experiences this Summer. Students may feel free to apply to one or both opportunities.

Project #1: The Harvard Democracy Renovation Project, Boston, MA

With Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor and Director of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Ethics, Partners in Democracy (a start-up organization dedicated to renovating the institutions of our democracy at the state and local levels), and GenUnity (an organization that strengthens the capacity of everyday adults to evaluate, navigate, and drive change on community issues).

Up to three Harvard undergraduate students will participate in the Harvard Democracy Renovation Project, part of a community-engaged initiative to achieve justice by means of democracy. Students selected for this project will be placed with one of two organizations based in Cambridge (Partners in Demoracy) or Boston (GenUnity), and will support Development, Communications, Organizing, and Strategy functions. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with leadership, learn from 1-to-1 mentoring, and explore a variety of roles and projects within the organizations. A sample of tasks include: planning and initiating fundraising plans, outreach tactics, social media strategy and content development, volunteer recruitment and training, and development and planning of strategies and partnerships. Local travel within the Boston area may be necessary.

All undergraduate students who are returning to campus in AY 23-24 are welcome to apply; students enrolled in Dr. Allen’s Spring 2023 “GOV 1041: Justice By Means of Democracy” will be given preference for this program.

Project #2: The Commonwealth Project, St. Louis, MO   

With Walter Johnson, Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies. It is part of the Commonwealth Project, an ongoing partnership with local non-profits, community groups, activists, artists and cultural producers in St. Louis, MO.

Up to five Harvard undergraduate students will be part of a community-engaged, multidisciplinary, ongoing inquiry-based collaboration in St. Louis. In this immersive experience, students will work on a variety of projects in the public arts, oral history, environmental health and justice, historic preservation, and urban/rural organizing. Students selected for this project will be placed with organizations and initiatives in St. Louis, and will work directly with local community members, community organizers, civil rights activists and attorneys, environmental groups, legislators, social workers, and environmental scientists. Students will work independently within their host organizations on projects to support community and organizational priorities and action areas. Some local travel in St. Louis will be necessary.

Both projects:
PCER supports ten weeks of full-time research with Harvard faculty and includes a requirement of active participation in the program. PCER eligibility is limited to continuing students in good standing who can commit to the FULL, TEN CONTIGUOUS WEEKS OF THE SUMMER PROGRAM (beginning of June through early August 2023; specific dates to be decided with PCER faculty). Participants are provided with a stipend, as well as additional funds for housing and local travel.

The deadline for receipt of COMPLETE application materials for all projects is 11:59pm EST on March 1, 2023.

Please submit by this deadline for full consideration of your application.

Download URAF Applications

HSURV Abstract Books

Interested in learning more about projects that past fellows in the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village (HSURV) have worked on? Check out our achive HSURV Abstract Books!