Call for Proposals: Community-Engaged First-Year Seminars from Mellon Public Scholars (Winter 2021)

Mike Erskine, let's love our community

Event Date

This opportunity is open to current and former Mellon Public Scholars to propose a first-year seminar with their faculty mentor and community partner.

Application Deadline: Friday October 16, 2020

The First-Year Seminar program invites proposals for courses co-taught by (current and former) Mellon Public Scholars and their faculty mentors in Winter 2021. Importantly, we seek proposals with extensive community input in the development and delivery of the seminar. 

All proposals will be considered for the First-Year Seminar program; however, those who submit a “statement of collaboration” will be eligible for a supplemental $500 grant for their community partners. These additional funds are available as part of a research program to improve practices of reciprocity in community-engaged research at UC Davis. A review committee representing the Mellon Public Scholars Program, the First-Year Seminar Program, and Public Scholarship and Engagement will select five proposals to receive the supplemental grant and individualized consultation.

Application Process 

  1. Instructor of Record (faculty member) applies directly to the First-Year Seminar Program. Preview application questions here.
  2. To be considered for the supplemental $500 grant for your community partner, email a PDF statement of collaboration (details below) to Mellon Public Scholars Program Manager, Stephanie Maroney (

Statement of Collaboration

  1. Please describe the roles you anticipate your community partner will play in the First-Year Seminar course you are developing (approximately 250 words).
  2. Please describe how you anticipate this opportunity will benefit the instructor of record, the graduate student co-instructor, and the community partner (approximately 250 words).
  3. Community partner’s name (individual)
  4. If relevant, the name of the organization or initiative the community partner represents
  5. Community partner’s signature


About the First-Year Seminar Program:

First-Year Seminars are an exciting program of small, innovative classes that tap into the shared curiosity of UC Davis students and their instructors to create communities of people excited to learn. Limited to 19 undergraduate students each, these once-in-a-lifetime courses promote intellectual exchange, critical thinking, and community. Co-instruction teams must consist of an instructor of record (IOR) with a current teaching appointment and a co-instructor from within the UC Davis community. The IOR for each seminar is eligible for an Academic Enrichment Fund (AEF) allocation of $2,500 for a one-unit course or $3,000 for a two-unit course. Instructors may also request support funds of up to $500 to cover direct course-related expenses for each seminar offering. Please visit the FYS website for additional information about the application process and the curricular and financial support available to FYS instructors.

About the supplemental community partner funding: 

An individual representing the community partner (not employed by UC Davis) will be given the $500 grant as an honorarium for their contribution. The additional funds for community partners are the result of a collaboration between the UC Davis Mellon Public Scholars Program, the First-Year Seminar Program/Undergraduate Education, and Public Scholarship and Engagement. Funded through the Interdisciplinary Collaboration Consortium, this program identifies barriers to access for full collaboration from partners beyond the university in community-engaged research at UC Davis. The five awardees (faculty, graduate students, and community members) will be invited to share their experiences to help improve practices of reciprocity between UC Davis and the communities it serves.


Mellon Public Scholars and their faculty co-instructors should email Program Manager Stephanie Maroney ( with proposal development questions.


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