This year marks the 24th year that the Wisconsin Idea Fellowship (WIF) has been supporting students projects to solve community challenges. As the application process for the 2022-23 Wisconsin Idea Fellowship opens, Laura Livingston, the community-engaged scholarship graduate at the Morgridge Center for Public Service, explains further about the Wisconsin Idea Fellowship. This article was updated on October 12, 2021.
What is the Wisconsin Idea Fellowship?
The Wisconsin Idea Fellowship is a funding opportunity for semester or yearlong projects designed by an undergraduate or a group of undergraduates in collaboration with a community organization and a UW–Madison faculty or staff member. On average, 5 to 10 fellowships are awarded every year.
What type of outreach projects do WIF participants work on?
WIF projects can take any form. Past project topics include health, engineering, art, education and many more. When selecting WIF awardees, we look for projects that both benefit a community partner and provide intellectual growth for the student.
Where do WIF projects take place?
Anywhere you find community partners! WIF recipients have done global projects in Africa, Latin America, and Asia as well as localized projects in the Madison Metropolitan School District and Madison Technical Colleges. Amid COVID-19, WIF advisors are working with current recipients and future applicants on virtual and hybrid options of engagement.
How can the money be utilized in WIF projects?
WIF provides up to $7,000 for group projects and $5,000 for individual projects. Funding can be used for supplies and expenses to implement the project. Additionally, some of the WIF awards can be designated as a tuition scholarship. The amount of scholarship varies based on the length of the WIF project.
When do WIF projects get implemented?
WIF recipients can have a semester-long project or a project that spans multiple semesters. Projects may start in the summer and must be completed by summer 2023.
Who can partake in WIF?
Any undergraduate student with sophomore standing and a GPA of 2.0 or higher can apply for a WIF. Students must be enrolled and maintain undergraduate status through the duration of project implementation. Each student can only receive a single WIF award.
How has COVID-19 impacted WIF projects?
There is no “one size fits all” approach to adapting WIF projects due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. WIF recipients are listening to their community partners and following University guidelines to create virtual and no-contact activities to meet their WIF project goals.
Where and when can you learn more about WIF?
The Morgridge Center for Public Service, located in the Red Gym, will be holding in-person information sessions on Oct. 19 from 3-4 p.m. and Nov. 3 from 1-2 p.m. in the Round Room. A virtual information session will be held via Zoom on Oct. 25 from 5-6 p.m. For any further questions or information, contact Laura Livingston.