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Letter of Intent

Students must submit a brief letter of intent (one to two pages) for review and feedback from program staff to be eligible to submit a final application. Those with a successful letter must also participate in a mandatory grant workshop before submitting a final application.


A letter of intent is an initial sketch of your project idea to help program staff understand if it is aligned with the goals of Rackham’s Public Scholarship Grants. Your audience is the program in public scholarship faculty and staff, who are experts in publicly engaged scholarly practice, but not likely to be experts in your specific field. You should clearly and briefly explain any technical terms or methods.

Your letter should begin to describe your publicly-engaged project idea, partners, and goals so that staff can assess how well the proposal aligns with the Public Scholarship Grants evaluation criteria.

You do not need to have all the details fully articulated for an initial letter, but it should include at least a short description of the items listed below.

Description of Your Project Idea

Describe your idea for a mutually-beneficial public scholarship project. You should include how the project will advance your scholarly (broadly-defined) goals and interests, and the extent to which it intersects with or is distinct from your area of research (i.e., your dissertation or master’s thesis).

Public and Community Impact

Briefly explain the type of public and/or community impact(s) you expect the project to have for the audiences you aim to engage and/or the people you are serving.

For example, you might describe how the project will address a topic or challenge of public importance and/or a specific community-identified need(s).

Collaboration and Partnership

What organization will you enter into a partnership with to co-create and implement this project? And which individual(s) will be your primary collaborators?

Please describe how you came to work with or select this organization. The organization does not need to include any information for the Letter of Intent, but they will need to submit a letter of support for your final application.

Public and Community Good(s)

Provide a description of what you and your partner expect the results of the project to be (i.e., an exhibit, tool kit, curriculum, white paper, design, etc.). How will the results of the project benefit both you and your partner?


Please contact with any questions or to discuss your proposal idea.

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.