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

Application deadline: Academic Year 2022-23 Deadline TBA

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 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.

Project #2: Welcoming Refugees, Lowell, MA    DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 12noon on 8 April!

With Dan D’Oca, Associate Professor in Practice of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), Interboro Partners, an architecture, urban design, and planning firm, and the African Community Center in Lowell, MA.

Ten Harvard undergraduate students will work with the African Community Center to develop materials for refugees from the African continent who are settling in Lowell. The purpose of the materials is to help newly arrived refugees learn about their new community and support their adjustment to life in the US. Students will work closely with African Community Center leadership to understand the specific challenges in the community and develop materials collectively. Work will consist primarily of research and writing, but students will also create maps and other data visualizations. Students will research essential community services, local businesses, and community leaders; explore data on Lowell’s refugee communities; study best practices for welcoming refugees, and similar materials other organizations who work with refugees have developed; and study Lowell’s history, especially as it relates to immigration and refugee resettlement to develop engaging and youth friendly content. Students will learn skills such as mapping/GIS and graphic design. Students will work independently and in small groups, and will be expected to make weekly trips to Lowell.

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 2022; 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 both projects is 12noon EST on March 1, 2022.

The deadline for receipt of COMPLETE application materials for the D'Oca project has been extended to 12noon EST on April 8, 2022.

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!