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Letter of Intent Guidelines

To be eligible to submit a final application, all applicants must submit a brief letter of intent for review. Successful applicants must also attend a mandatory grant workshop before submitting a final application.

Program Overview

Public Scholarship Grants support mutually beneficial projects between Rackham students and a broad spectrum of community partner organizations. These have included civic organizations, cultural institutions, government agencies, K-12 schools, and community groups. Grant projects are collaboratively-designed and result in products that advance new knowledge, enrich civic life, or address a pressing social issue. Rackham students may apply for up to $8,000 to develop and implement mutually-beneficial projects designed in collaboration with non-academic partners. Grants may be awarded to individual students working with a community partner organization or those working as part of teams.


Rackham graduate students from any department may apply.

Letter of Intent Guidelines

A letter of intent is an initial sketch of your project idea. Your audience is program in public scholarship faculty and staff, who are not experts in your specific field. You should clearly and briefly explain any technical terms or methods.

Your letter of intent (no more than two-pages) 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 criteria and provide you with feedback to strengthen it. You don’t need to have all the details fully articulated for an initial letter, but it should include:

Description of Your Project Idea

Description of your mutually-beneficial project idea, including how the project you propose will advance your scholarly (broadly-defined) goals and interests. You should also indicate how the project either intersects with or is distinct from your dissertation research or Master’s thesis research/project.

Public Impact

A discussion of how the project will have a public impact and address community-identified needs.


A summary of how will this project draw on the strengths of participants to achieve mutually-beneficial goals.

Public Good(s)

An initial description of what results from the project (exhibit, tool kit, curriculum, design, etc.) and benefits both your work and the communities and/or organization you are working with.


Send the letter of intent as an attachment to by September 30, 2019.


Please contact Program Manager Joe Cialdella 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.