How often is the Rose Service Learning Fellowship offered?
Twice per year, with deadlines in the spring and fall. Typically, the Fall Cycle funds students in service learning projects over the Fall-Spring and the Spring cycle funds students in service learning projects over the Summer.
How many awards will be made?
There is no fixed number of awards that will be made during each of the two funding cycles. Since the program’s inception, the program has awarded approximately 30 Fellows per year.
Can I get an extension on the application deadline?
No. Complete applications are due by the deadline. The application mailbox will automatically close at that time.
Can I apply to both the Rose Service Learning Fellowship and the Rose Traveling Fellowship?
The Rose Traveling Fellowship is available to Epidemiology and Biostatistics students only. If you are a student in either of these departments, you may apply to both funding streams. However, you will only be funded through one of these funding streams, depending on which is more appropriate. If your project is NOT a service learning project, the Rose Traveling Fellowship is more appropriate.
Who is reviewing my application?
A committee comprised of faculty from several departments will review applications and select fellowship recipients.
I am an MPH student and we have to write a Learning Agreement for our project. Do I need to include that in my application?
No. However, the project information you need to write your Rose application will be needed for your Learning Agreement as well, which will require approval in Spring 2 by your practice course faculty for MPH-65 (Spring cycle) or approval in Fall 2 by practice course faculty for MPH-45 (Fall cycle). You should consider drafting your Learning Agreement as well to share with your practice course faculty to make sure they are on board with your project in general before submitting your Rose application. If selected as a Rose Service Learning Fellow, you must also submit your Learning Agreement through your class and meet any assignments for your practicum course. The Rose Service Learning Fellowship does not replace assignments for other courses and programs.
Can I submit more than one application for funding to support separate projects and increase my chances of receiving funding?
No. Only one application per student/postdoctoral fellow is allowed.
I’d like to submit a letter of recommendation from my partner organization as well as the required faculty recommendation. How can I do this?
Currently, there is not a way to include this with your application. This will be updated in the application itself if anything changes.
If I receive a Rose Service Learning Fellowship this year, am I eligible to reapply later in my program?
No. However, if you applied previously but were unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply again in the future funding cycles.
Can students work as a team on a service learning project and apply for this fellowship?
Yes. In this case, each student should submit a separate application and include the names of their team members. Each student should submit their own budget, so team members will need to decide how to allocate project costs among team members. Team proposals are encouraged.
If I will be taking a Leave of Absence, can I still apply?
Only applications from students or post-docs who are currently enrolled and planning to be enrolled over the course of their project should apply. If you plan to return to Harvard Chan at a later date, you should apply during that funding cycle.
What is the maximum amount of funding offered?
The maximum award is $10,000 and typically involves significant travel expenses. Most fellowships that take place in the Boston area are capped at $5,000, although it depends on the project.
If I receive a fellowship, will I receive the full amount I requested?
In some cases, a student may receive less than the amount requested in their budget and this is not a reflection of the quality of the project. The committee allocates funds to qualified students in a holistic manner based on the applicant pool.
Will funding awards be different during coronavirus?
As of February 2022, the Harvard Covid-19 Travel Policy currently permits travel within the U.S. and to international destinations rated Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 for Covid-19 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please refer to the policy for destinations rated Level 4 or Level Unknown. The maximum award for Rose Service Learning Fellows for the Fall 2021 application cycle is $10,000.
Can I do a project in another country even though there are University travel restrictions?
The Harvard Covid-19 Travel Policy currently permits travel to U.S. and international destinations (please review the guidance and limitations in the link).
I need financial support in general. Can this Fellowship be used to support my general financial needs?
Rose Service Learning Fellowship awards are not based on financial need. The Fellowship itself is a community of learners, with reflection and discussion, and it is suitable for students who wish to work on community-identified projects and who will benefit from and contribute to this cohort experience.
How will I receive the funding?
You will enroll in the University’s Buy-to-Pay system in order to receive your funds and you will be provided with instructions for enrolling.
Will my funding be taxed?
Funding awards are considered a “non-qualified (taxable) fellowship payment” which would be treated as income to the student. More information is available at: Fellowships and Reimbursements for Students; Fellowship Payments Frequently Asked Questions; Fellowship Payments FAQs.
How does the tax payment work for international and domestic students?
Each student’s tax obligations are different and applicants should include a tax allowance in their budget based on their own situation. For payments, the check that a domestic student receives will be the full amount of their award, and the student is responsible for paying taxes at the appropriate time. In contrast, an international student will have taxes deducted before the check is issued.
When will I receive the funding?
Fellows will receive 75% of their award at the beginning of the Fellowship, typically 4-6 weeks after the award announcement. The balance of funding will be issued upon conclusion of the program, with receipt of the final report.
I am enrolled in a travel course for the winter session. Can I apply for a Rose Service Learning Fellowship to supplement my trip?
No. The Rose Service Learning Fellowship cannot be applied to winter session travel courses.
My service learning project is based in Boston. Can some funding be used to supplement living expenses here in Boston?
You may include some living expenses in your budget, using the form provided. Please refer to FAQ above regarding budgets which are not funded in full.
Can I receive funding from other sources within the University as well as the Rose Fellowship?
Yes, but “double dipping” to fund the same expense is not allowed. If you have applied for funding for one project expense (such as travel) from one source, you cannot receive a Rose Fellowship that will also cover that project expense. On the application, students or postdocs must identify any additional sources of funding within the University to ensure that the final award amount of the Rose Fellowship does not result in “double dipping”.
Example: You applied to one University funding source to cover travel, and in your Rose Fellowship budget, you include both travel and project costs. If you receive both fellowships, the finance department will coordinate your payment so that you receive travel funding from one of the two sources, and the project expenses from the Rose Fellowship; or your final funding award may be completely from the Rose Fellowship.
What should I do if I don’t know all the costs of my project?
Similar to developing a grant proposal, it is your responsibility to develop a budget that includes your projected expenses. Use estimates as needed. Discuss materials, supplies, and related costs with your partner organization.
What should I do if my anticipated costs are more than $10,000?
This situation is more typical of doctoral students due to the scope of projects, however situations vary. The maximum award during the Fall 2021 cycle is $10,000. Consider whether a portion of your project fits within that budget and applying to fund that portion of your work. Include any details about how this portion of your work fits into a larger project, if applicable.
Is it advantageous to apply for less than the maximum funding?
A strong proposal includes a budget that clearly corresponds with what you are proposing to do. However, budget needs vary depending on individual projects, so this is up to the applicant.
If there are some additional, unanticipated expenses while I am in the field, can I apply for additional funding?
No. Awards are made twice a year and ad hoc requests for additional funding are not accepted. Therefore, discuss projected project costs and living expenses with your partner organization as needed, in order to request sufficient funding for your work. Fellowships are taxable so be sure to use the tax line to ensure that your take-home amount of funding after taxes will be sufficient.
If my project changes, due to circumstances outside my control, what happens with my funding?
The Fellowship program recognizes that extraordinary circumstances can impact a plan, and in this case, the goal is to work together to find an appropriate alternative plan. If a Fellow experiences a change which substantively changes the nature of the funded project, they must bring this to the attention of the Fellowship staff immediately to discuss adjusting the plan. Additional review and approvals are sometimes needed from review committee.
Will I need to submit receipts?
No. Fellowship awards do not require receipts from funding.
I’m not sure if my project is service learning and would qualify for this Fellowship. How do I know if it is an appropriate project?
Projects should meet the spirit of service learning, even though service learning is broadly defined. Consider:
- Is the project meeting a community-identified need?
- Is the project planned alongside your community partner/host organization?
- Will you be interacting directly with community members who benefit from this project to learn from their input and lived experience?
- Will you be building in time to share your findings with your community partner/host organization?
- Will there be an opportunity when you return to campus or in your coursework to share reflections about what you have learned?
Are there project types which are NOT service learning?
It is helpful to consider what service learning is NOT. Many field-based projects in public health, while valuable, are not service learning, in that they are not directly serving or driven by a community at the request of a host organization. Hackathons, projects that focus on conferences with other professionals and students, and piloting evaluation tools for research purposes not generated by the community are examples of proposals that would not be funded. While valuable work, these are not service learning.
What types of projects have been funded in the past?
The fellowship has supported projects in various regions of the world, around the United States and locally in the Boston area. Funded projects enable the student to apply principles and practices of community-engaged learning – where fellows engage in activities that benefit the partnering organization and meet their academic learning objectives. See the Rose Fellows page and Fellowship News for examples of funded projects.
Do I need Harvard Longwood Campus Institutional Review Board approval for my project?
Most Rose Service Learning projects do not require IRB approval, unless they meet the regulatory definition of human subjects research. This is more typical of a doctoral research project or research work being conducted by a post-doc, or a Master of Science research student. MPH student projects for practicum rarely require IRB approval. Please review information on this page, including examples of types of work that do NOT require IRB approval. Contact the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Research Compliance with any specific questions.
I am interested in a Boston-based service learning project, but I’m not sure where to start.
Contact Ra’Shaun Nalls, Director of Community Engagement. Mr. Nalls has ongoing relationships with area organizations and can help you connect with a community-identified project and host organization, as well as the context that you would need to have the most productive conversation.
The application asks me to describe my interactions with community members or stakeholders in learning about the need. Can I talk with people at the nonprofit I want to work with to gauge this need?
Yes. It depends on your proposed project. In some cases, the organization staff is very well connected with the community it serves. A strong application will demonstrate active effort to gain authentic insight into the experience and needs of the population or community.
Will the host organization have access to faculty at Harvard Chan?
Faculty have many academic obligations and generally are not expected to provide direct consultation to the host organization. Fellows should feel free to consult informally with faculty mentors if there is mutual interest on questions related to their project.
For other questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.