The MSU Graduate Student Award for Community Engagement Scholarship is conferred upon one graduate or graduate professional student each year for exemplary community-engaged scholarship. This award program is jointly sponsored by the offices of the Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement and the Associate Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School.


To be eligible for this award, nominees must meet all of the following criteria. Nominees are expected to:

  • Be enrolled as a Master’s or Doctoral student in any one of Michigan State University’s 14 graduate degree-granting colleges, including the medical schools and law school. Individuals in post-doctoral training at MSU are not eligible for this award.
  • Conduct community-engaged scholarship activities while enrolled in graduate study at Michigan State University, though the community engagement activities may occur any place geographically. This may include international community engagement activities.  While it is common that the community engagement activities are related to thesis or dissertation work, it is not a requirement. Community engagement conducted as part of research or teaching assistantships, field studies or practicums, work activities, or volunteering are eligible, as long as those activities meet the requirements for this award.
  • Collaborate with off-campus community partners (e.g., K-12 schools, nonprofit organizations, industry, government) in one of the following types of community-engaged scholarship:
    • Community-Engaged Research — the discovery and generation of new knowledge, understanding, or insights made in collaboration with community partners, including community-based research, program evaluation, demonstration projects, and asset or needs assessments
    • Community-Engaged Creative Activity — the creation of new artistic or literary performances or expressions made in collaboration with community partners, including works of art, documentaries, dance, sculpture, photography, poetry, etc.
    • Community-Engaged Teaching — sharing knowledge with audiences—either formally or informally, for credit or not for credit, including service-learning, civic engagement, summer camps, community workshops, museum displays or other interpretation, curated websites, or other curriculum developed when community partners have input
    • Community-Engaged Service — use of knowledge to address a specific short or long-term community need identified by an individual, organization, agency or community, including technical service, consulting, policy analysis, or clinical, patient, or diagnostic services


  • Extended nomination deadline: October 18, 2021
  • Nominees are informed of selection committee decision: December 1, 2021
  • Award is conferred at the University Outreach and Engagement Awards Ceremony: February 24, 2022

Nomination Instructions

Nominations may be initiated by students, faculty, administrators, or community partners. Self-nominations are welcome. Individuals nominating others for this award are encouraged to involve the prospective nominee in preparing the nomination.

Only complete nominations comprised of all of the following elements will be considered:

  1. Nomination cover page
  2. Nomination narrative (maximum of 5 pages)
    1-5 page text that describes the nominee’s community-engaged scholarship project/activity. It should address: 1) the theories, conceptual frameworks, or best practices that guided the nominee’s work; 2) who the community partners are, how the nominee met and collaborated with them throughout the project/activity; 3) what happened in the project/activity; 4) what impacts the project/activity has had on the community partners; and 5) what impacts the project/activity has had on the nominee personally and professionally.
  3. Nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae
  4. Nomination letter from the nominee’s major professor or faculty familiar with the nominee’s community-engaged scholarship (maximum of 2 pages)
    1-2 page letter that should address the student’s contributions to community-engaged scholarship, including connections the student has made to scholarly foundations; characterization of the student’s relationship with the community partner; impacts to the community or community partner; and impact on the student’s personal and professional learning.
  5. Appendices/Supporting materials (maximum of 3 pages)
    1-3 pages that illustrate the scope and impact of the work and/or provide evidence of the quality of the collaboration with partners. Could include such materials as: a list of links to newspaper articles, videos, blogposts, or podcasts that mention the work; infographics or other public audience pieces related to the project/activity; photographs from project/activity (taken with permission); an additional letter from a community partner; etc.

All nominations must be submitted through the online Graduate Student Award for Community Engagement Scholarship Nomination Form no later than October 18, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern).


Prospective nominees, major professors, department chairs, and interested others may direct questions about this recognition program to Julie Crowgey,