The Best of Both Worlds with the Community- Based Research Fellowship

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By Gabby McConnell


The Community-Based Research Fellows program (CBR Fellows) invites PhD students to work on diverse collaborative research projects and address public issues in partnership with communities within and beyond Colorado. Professor Vandna Sinha oversees CBR Fellows, which is part of CU Engage. At the heart of the program is the idea that scholars can have strong academic careers while working on public issues.  

Community-engaged scholarship nurtures careers and builds meaningful connections with the communities involved. The collaborative efforts among fellows, Sinha and community partners form the foundation of the CBR Fellows program and provide a supportive environment for exploration and growth.  

CBR Fellows maintain a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) sustained by CU Boulder’s mission to support “students, staff, faculty and community members and their sense of belonging.” By honoring community knowledge and addressing community members’ questions, the program creates an experience where everyone feels valued and contributes meaningfully to CU Boulder and its neighboring community—a commitment that can foster progressive change. The program intends to strengthen ties within Boulder and set an example for equitable community engagement.  

“The CBR Fellows are doing really exciting, interesting things that I think would surprise folks in Boulder and that they would be excited to hear about,” said Sinha.   

The Fellows’ projects cover a variety of topics. Examples range from supporting bilingual students in middle schools to addressing air quality issues in communities outside of Boulder. Projects also bring together colleagues from various disciplines, united by the shared desire to give back to their communities. See the 2023-24 CBR Fellows’ projects.  

If you would like to apply to be a 2024-25 CBR Fellow, visit CU Engage or contact Professor Vandna Sinha. Applications are due April 12.