The Wisconsin Idea Fellowship (WIF) is a grant funding opportunity awarded annually to undergraduate student projects working toward addressing a challenge identified along with a local or global community partner.
In the past five years, over 20 undergraduate projects have been funded. Example projects implemented have ranged from addressing food insecurity to providing accessible art education for children. Projects can receive up to $7,000 in total funding and students receive 3 academic credits toward their degree.
Grant proposals drafted and submitted by students should have a focus on community partnership. The grant allows for anywhere between 5 to 10 student projects per year to dive into a topic of their own interest that serves a community without having to worry about where funding is completely going to come from.
Anusha Ray Day, a recipient of the 2021 Wisconsin Idea Fellowship, recalls writing the grant proposal with her group based on personal motivations — providing mental health resources to Asian Americans and communities of color.
“I definitely think that being very concise in your words, and very articulate, and what you want out of a goal for the project helped us a lot because we were very explicit in what we wanted the project to be,” Ray Day says.
Students who are interested in applying for the fellowship will also have to seek out a faculty advisor who will oversee the project and provide support during the grant application process.
“I was thankful enough to have a mentor — the director of the Multicultural Student Center was willing to donate her time and help us with this project,” Ray Day says.
If you are having a difficult time finding a faculty advisor, Ray Day says that a good way to reach out to one is through sending various emails even if it means making cold calls or visiting the Wisconsin Discovery Portal.
No matter your idea, the most important aspect of the grant is finding ways for students to implement change beyond campus borders and give them opportunities to interact and learn more from the surrounding and global communities.
Interested students should attend an information session. Sessions will be held in the Red Gym in room 154 in the Morgridge Center for Public Service, with one session on Zoom.
Tuesday, Oct. 11 from 3:45 – 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 4 – 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 8 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. via Zoom
Applications for the Wisconsin Idea Fellowships open each year in late fall with selections to be made in mid-spring for the coming year.
Any questions about the information sessions, past projects or the grant application process should be directed to Julia Schiller at email@example.com.