Community-Engaged Independent Work

Your junior paper or senior thesis research can provide useful information to nonprofits and the communities they serve. Through the Barfield Fund for Community-Engaged Independent Work and other resources, ProCES grants funding to facilitate senior thesis research conducted in partnership with communities and nonprofit organizations.

Apply for Funding

If you plan to conduct community-based research for your junior paper or senior thesis, you may apply for Barfield funding to cover research-related expenses like housing, transportation, and food. Applications for summer funding are available in the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE) and are usually due in March of the same year.  The summer 2020 deadline was moved to April 20, 2020.

Successful applications will describe the community partner’s participation in the design and/or implementation of the research project. The partner organization should be more than a site for research; the results of the project should inform the organization's work. The community partner may be based domestically or internationally and does not need to be a current or past ProCES partner.

Explore Ideas

ProCES staff are happy to meet with you to discuss your community-based research ideas, to introduce you to a local organization whose work is related to your interests, or to provide advice as you develop community partnerships of your own. You can schedule an advising appointment through WASE (search for ProCES).

To give you an idea of the possibilities for community-engaged independent work, you can browse the research questions posed by our community partners  or review prize-winning, community-engaged student theses

Nominate Your Thesis for a Prize 

If you complete community-engaged independent work, consider submitting your junior paper or senior thesis to the Dean Hank Dobin Prize in Community-Based Independent Work. Students in all disciplines are welcome to apply; you do not need to have received ProCES funding or support to be eligible for the Dobin Thesis Prize.