Morgridge Center

Wisconsin Idea Undergraduate Fellowships (WIF)

Photo of WIF students presenting at Undergraduate Syposium.

Matt Carlson and Emily Burris's project improved food security in Rwanda by experimenting with alternative low-cost agricultural techniques. Photo by Beth Tryon.

What is the Wisconsin Idea Fellowship Program?

In the tradition of the Wisconsin Idea - which declares that education should improve people’s lives beyond the university classroom - fellowships are awarded to projects that enhance student learning while working to solve issues identified by a community.

To see project ideas from community partners, check the Wisconsin Idea Exchange.

Fellowships are awarded annually to semester- or year-long projects designed by a UW-Madison undergraduate (or a group of undergraduates) in collaboration with a community organization (whether local, national or international) and a UW-Madison faculty or academic staff mentor. All WIF students are invited to present their work at the Undergraduate Symposium in the spring.

For Students & Faculty Advisors

Applications for the 2014-2015 WIF will have an "initial pre-review" deadline of Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 at 5:00pm for students wishing to have their proposal reviewed and commented on by our staff and returned for revision. The final deadline will be Friday, February 14th, 2014 at 5:00pm. Applications will not be accepted after the final deadline. If you submitted a project for review by Jan. 29, you will receive feedback and then are still responsible for submitting a final version by Feb. 14. Pre-review does not guarantee priority for funding; in other words you will not be penalized just for not having your proposal reviewed in advance. Please follow the links below for more information about the application process.

Announcing the WIF Competition in Social Entrepreneurship!

We are excited to announce, with the support of American Family Insurance, that there will be a special competition in this application cycle for 2014-2015 WIF projects that focus on social entrepreurship.

Funding for this competition will support WIF projects that are chosen for exemplary proposals of a social entrepreneurship project. All eligibility and evaluation criteria for general WIF projects will still apply. There are no geographic limitations for this competition. Please see here for more information.

Community Partners:

  • To 'advertise' a project idea that students can browse in searching for partners, please go to our Wisconsin Idea Exchange database and enter your information. We will promote your submissions to students.
  • You can also see a list of faculty research interests on this page. If any match your current issue areas, please contact them to start a conversation.

WIF Information Sessions

Two information sessions were held in October 2013 at the Morgridge Center for Public Service. Morgridge Center staff discussed details about the fellowship program, tips for writing grant proposals, and ideas of potential projects with nonprofits and community partners.

If you are an individual, organization, or department that would like to get more information about the WIF, please contact Elizabeth Tryon ( or Graduate Fellow, Malika Taalbi ( to set up a one-on-one or a group presentation.


Highlights from some recent projects:

Click here to see video footage of the "Health by Motorbike" project that Sarah Marie Donohue and Megan Kleber participated in, by distributing mosquito nets in Kenya:

Click here to see Michele Coleman's blog on her project on infant mortality in Uganda:


2013-2014: Year of Innovation Competition

(Applications Closed)   

As part of the "Year of Innovation" Celebration at UW-Madison, American Family Insurance has contributed $10,000 to the Wisconsin Idea Undergraduate Fellowships for a special competition in social innovation.

Funding from the special competition will augment two projects that demonstrate a plan to sustain themselves after the student graduates. They will each be awarded an extra $5,000 each in addition to the existing stipend and project implementation funds annually given by the WIF grant program.

For more information, go to

For the Year of Innovation guidelines, see here.



Contact Elizabeth Tryon, 608-890-3334; or Graduate Fellow Malika Taalbi, at


Meet with an advisor

Local volunteer opportunities

National & international volunteering

Volunteer by major

Explore by issue

Fall Volunteer Fair

Spring Public Service Fair

Schools of Hope


Badger Volunteers

Advisory Boards

Fall Volunteer Fair

Volunteer Transportation Program

Wisconsin Idea Fellowships

Service-Learning Courses

Community-University Exchange


morgridge mail icon Morgridge Mail
facebook icon Facebook
twitter icon Twitter
YouTube Icon YouTube


Weekdays 8:30am-5:00pm
Red Gym, Room 154
716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706
Fax: 608-262-0542
Copyright © 2012 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
Feedback, questions or accessibility issues:
Last updated: