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Institute for Social Change

The Institute for Social Change (ISC) is an interactive summer experience that allows students to explore the conceptual and practical dimensions of public scholarship. Through an intensive, five-day institute, students are introduced to a wide array of publicly engaged scholarship, pedagogy, and practices. The ISC is composed of thematic panels and public engagement workshops with scholars, community members, and activists, visits to local community organizations, in addition to opportunities for structured reflection and personalized feedback.

Over the course of the weeklong ISC, students will have the opportunity to forge connections between their scholarly knowledge and pressing social issues; enhance their ability to develop and implement mutually beneficial projects in collaboration with community partners; explore opportunities for public scholarship and careers inside and outside the academy; and meet fellow graduate students who share a commitment to promoting social change.

Application Information

The 2020 Institute for Social Change will be May 13-15 and 18-19 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. Students may need to individually complete small assignments over the weekend between program dates.

Space is limited to 25 Rackham students and open to any field, discipline, and department. The application deadline is March 13, 2020.

Learning Goals

The Institute for Social Change aims to support students’ intellectual and professional development by helping them:

  1. Acquire working knowledge of key concepts and promising practices in public scholarship
  2. Communicate with multiple audiences about what public scholarship looks like inside and outside the academy
  3. Articulate personal motivations for engaging in public scholarship
  4. Increase confidence in the following two areas:
    • Applying their scholarly expertise in collaboration with community partners
    • Forging an identity as a scholar working across a range of professional settings
  5. Become more familiar with the resources and support available for graduate students in public scholarship at the University of Michigan and beyond

Contact the Program in Public Scholarship

1530 Rackham Building
915 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070


The Program in Public Scholarship is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The office is closed Saturdays and Sundays and on the following holidays: Thanksgiving (Thursday and the following Friday), Christmas through New Year's, Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), and Labor Day.

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