Students sitting in lecture close to one another smiling

Public Scholars for the Future

About the Program

Applications are due on February 1, 2024

If you have any questions about the program, please email

Submit an Application

About Public Scholars for the Future

UC Davis’ Public Scholarship and Engagement and Graduate Studies have partnered to support doctoral students who are interested in developing their community engaged research with non-university partners. The aim of the program is to integrate community-centered theories, methods and techniques into the research and scholarship practices of the next generation of public scholars. Key to this is community engagement, which can be defined as a collaborative process with a specific community (i.e., place, practice, identity and/or interest) that centers on a common goal or outcome and is defined by reciprocal and mutually-beneficial relationships. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to incorporate community engagement into their disciplinary field of study, research design and methods. 

This is an interdisciplinary cohort-based program open to Ph.D. students in any UC Davis college or school who plan to register for in-person instruction in the 2024 spring quarter. 

The program requires participation in the following:

  • A two unit, 10-week seminar during the 2024 Spring quarter where students collectively engage in readings and discussions focused on theories, methodologies and practices of community-engaged research. 
  • One-on-one mentoring by UC Davis faculty public scholars during summer of 2024.

Students who successfully complete the program will be awarded $1,000 for research support via the transfer of funds to a university account.

Visit our participants page for information on previous Public Scholars for the Future cohorts.


Eligible individuals include doctoral students who are developing a research proposal that includes a community-engaged component or has an existing community-engaged research project associated with their field of study. Applications will be reviewed based upon the criteria below for acceptance into the program.

To qualify for the Public Scholars for the Future Program, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a current Ph.D. student at UC Davis, enrolled as a full time student in Spring 2024. 
  • Demonstrate a clear interest and dedication to community engaged scholarship, and a proposed community engaged project.
  • Able to commit to in-person class meetings on Wednesdays, from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.