Frequently Asked Questions

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What class years are eligible?

Any undergraduate Brandeis student who will be a sophomore, junior or senior during the award year.

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What is the GPA requirement?

The fellowship requires a 3.0 G.P.A. You can print out an unofficial transcript from your SAGE account or provide an official, updated resume to verify your GPA to the selection committee. Please do not contact the Registrar.

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Can I study abroad and be a fellow?

You can apply if you are abroad in the fall, but you must be on campus during the spring semester for the implementation of your project.

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How much funding can I receive for my project?

Projects can receive a range of $500 to $4,000 per academic year.

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What does a priority project include?

A priority application will:

  1. Make a significant, or measurable, impact upon society

  2. Raise awareness among the Brandeis community

  3. Foster leadership, engagement, and creativity among Brandeis students

  4. Provide a clear plan for continuation that indicates how the work will be sustained locally, or, if a time limited project with defined start and end dates, demonstrate how the project resolves a significant local issue during the project period.

  5. Provide a strong leadership structure

  6. Present a well-designed, effective budget

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Can more than one person submit an application for the same community impact project?

It is possible for more than one applicant to submit competing applications for the same community project; however, only one applicant project will be selected if the outcomes and community impact are the same.

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Can we create a team to submit an application?

Yes, with DCS staff permission, rare exceptions can be made and applicants can apply in teams of two. Students must appeal to the Department of Community Service to see if they are granted or denied that exception before applying. If a team of Fellows is selected, they both will each be held to the same standards and expectations as other Fellows.

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Does my resume have to be Hiatt approved?

We strongly encourage you to attend the scheduled Hiatt review event and submit a Hiatt-reviewed resume. If you cannot attend the special event, we encourage you to take advantage of the Hiatt drop in hours to have your resume reviewed.

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Do I have to attend an information session?

Yes, the intent is that you'll attend one info session. If there are conflicts with your schedule, you must schedule a one-to-one meeting with a member of the Department of Community Service.

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Who can serve as my staff mentor?

Any Brandeis faculty or staff member can serve as a mentor to a R/C CLIF fellow. While campus mentors are highly encouraged to make an applicant competitive, they are not mandatory beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

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If accepted, can I apply for funding on the same project for more than one year?

Yes, you can apply for a new project for the following year, but not for more than two years.

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If not selected, can I apply for funding for a second year?

Yes, a student may reapply with a new project or a revision of the original proposal.

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Can my project extend beyond the academic year?

No, your project must be completed before the close of the academic year unless you are granted a special exception by the Department of Community Service.

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Can I seek funding from additional sources?

If funds are already in hand, or committed (with documentation), and are included in the budget, then they can be used to implement the project. If you are also seeking additional funds necessary to complete your project and those funds are not secured at the time of your application, you will not be selected.

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Can I do a global project?

Eligible projects must serve the Waltham-Boston community (30 mile radius), with priority given to projects that serve the City of Waltham.

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Am I expected to participate beyond the academic year?

There is no formal expectations that you participate beyond your fellowship year; however, we hope that you will serve as an advocate for the program and consider joining the future selection committee. There will also be future annual events to connect current fellows with alums of the program.

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Can I partner with more than one community partner?

Your project must have one lead community partner (with letter of support), but you can absolutely engage with a variety of community partners. In fact, communities coming together often demonstrate a sustainable and impactful project that addresses an intentional need.

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How do I access funding for my project?

Fellows will have access to a university credit card that can be used for qualifying purchases in the Department of Community Service with staff support and supervision. If students wish to make purchases on their own, they can be reimbursed if reimbursement polices are followed.

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Is participation in the end of year symposium required?

Yes, part of this fellowship leadership program is that you share your impact project with the greater Brandeis community in an end of year presentation.

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Who is on the selection committee?

There are a variety of invested members of the committee. Folks are members of the faculty, staff, as well as students and community partners. A representative from the Rich and Rich/Collins families also sits on the committee.

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Should I put the R/C CLIF on my resume?

Yes, not only should you put it on your resume, but we'll provide a variety of resources and opportunities to ensure that you have reflected and can present your project in a professional and relevant way.

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Can funding support an existing club or program?

Clubs are discouraged from applying unless drastically enhancing or offering a one-time sustainable community impact project. If you have a question about this, please attend an info session and/or connect with a member of the Department of Community Service.

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Who do I contact for more information about R/C CLIF?

Please email rcclif@brandeis.edu and Samantha de Melim, the Community Service Specialist and fellowship advisor.

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What are the expectations of a R/C CLIF?

All fellows will be expected to:

  • Research unmet community needs  

  • Develop a realistic, sustainable program or event to address a significant need 

  • Establish a working group, engage others as needed, to run the program during the project period 

  • Define an evaluation process and measure the impact of the initiative 

  • Create a sustainability plan for the project's leadership and programming 

  • Actively participate in leadership training 

  • Educate our local community and the Brandeis community about their cause

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What does the leadership training of the fellowship look like?

Fellows will meet on a regular basis and work on:

  • Event planning

  • Grant writing and reporting

  • Community partner relationships

  • Student outreach and recruitment

  • Assessment and evaluation

  • Preparation of a Poster/Multi-media presentation

  • Creation and management of a project budget

  • Career development, including how to market and brand your Rich/Collins CLIF experience on your resume and in interviews.

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What happens to any extra money in my awarded grant?

All remaining unspent funds will be returned to the program and put towards future fellows.

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Do I have to be a current volunteer in the Waltham Group or another community service club to apply?

No, there is no previous example necessary, but you must ensure you are aware of the community needs to ensure your project is supported by your community partner.