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Graduate School

Graduate Civic Scholars Program

This program provides opportunities for interdisciplinary research, involvement in social justice initiatives and an enhanced understanding of the role of scholarship in addressing societal needs.

Apply to the Program

Deadline: February 17,  2020


What you'll need to apply and what your recommenders will need to send in.

Selection Announcement Date

March 6, 2020



Eligibility & Requirements

To be selected, you must:

  • Be a graduate student in an USC master's or doctoral program.
  • Have an interest in community and public engagement and action-based research.
  • Graduate in May 2021 or after.

Required Meetings

If selected, you must be available to attend the scheduled meeting times in May 2020 and during fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters as specified. 

May 2020 Meetings

May 11-22
Monday-Friday (Time to be announced)


Program Details

Number of Students Selected

12-15 graduate students.

Length of Program

A 50-hour interdisciplinary program running from May 2020 through April 2021. 

Compensation & Recognition

  • $500 stipend 
  • Transcript notations upon successful completion of the program


What Scholars Do

In a cohort of like-minded colleagues and mentors, participants gain first-hand experience with civic research and public engagement and familiarity with theories of engagement.

Students will:

  • Work intimately with experts, including USC faculty members and administrators, on research projects that will enhance quality of life in South Carolina and beyond.
  • Gain exposure to potential community partners and learn about some of the needs and opportunities present in the Midlands and across the state.
  • Develop and hone their own community-based research project, which they will present at the designated USC Research Day in 2021.


Program Timeline

Date Activity
January 24, 2020

Informational Webinar
Register for the webinar
10 a.m.  - 11 a.m.

February 7, 2020 In-Person Information Session
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Close-Hipp Room 584
February 17, 2020 Application Deadline
5:00 p.m.
March 1, 2020 2020 - 2021 Graduate Civic Scholars Announced
May 11 - 22, 2020 GSCP will meet Monday - Friday
Time to be announced
August, 2020 - April, 2021 20 Contact Hours Through In-Person Seminars
Dates and Times TBD
April 2021 Discover USC (or other presentation)
Present Project
Date and Time TBD


Common Questions

Yes, however, this is a residency program, so you must be present for all GCSP sessions.

Yes, you can apply with just the early stages of an idea for a project.

Every project will have a different life cycle. Some projects might have more long term, sustainable timeframes while others will be effective in the short term. However, all GCSP Fellows must showcase their projects at Discover UofSC.

We expect that your ideas will evolve and therefore your project might develop and change directions.

No. However, please note that there is no funding for travel.

Yes, but you must make a strong case for how your project affects the broader community.

Yes, as long as this is acceptable for your degree program.

Yes, however, scholars are expected to attend sessions in-person. If scholars do an international project they must be available to come back to Columbia for the meetings or consider allowing virtual meetings for those who are not local to their project.

If you don't intend to publish work that involves data from your project, IRB approval is not necessary. However, if at any point, you think you may want to publish material from your project, you will need to receive IRB approval. 

More About IRB Approval
Office of Research Compliance Site »
The Institutional Review Board at USC »


About the Graduate Civic Scholars Program

GCSP provides opportunities for interdisciplinary research, involvement in social justice initiatives, and an enhanced understanding of the role of scholarship in addressing societal needs.

The Graduate Civic Scholars Program is sponsored and supported by USC’s Graduate School in partnerships with USC’s Office of Community Engagement, Center for Teaching Excellence, Office of the Vice President for Research, Office of Student Engagement, and Career Center.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.