Community-Engaged Learning Awards


Application Schedule

Undergraduate students, graduate students, researchers, staff and faculty from all UAF-affiliated campuses are invited to apply for an URSA Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) Award of up to $5,000.

This award is an opportunity for undergraduate students to work with a community partner to explore a community need or problem through research or scholarly activity. Awarded proposals will clearly describe a project with a desire to collaborate with a community partner (leader, organization, or population) who is willing to support undergraduate student involvement.





Poster from the Justice Department at URSA's Research and Creative Activity Day.

Theater students perform for school children

Benjamin Anderson, Madeline Andriesen, Grace Farrell, Ellie Martinson, Mari Ana Beks, Ariana Lopez, Taylor Hendricks, & Arianna Carroll

Mentor: Jaunelle Celaire

During the 2021-2022 school year, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Opera Workshop program received CEL funding to complete an outreach opportunity with a collection of Musical Theater and Operetta pieces for  local Elementary, Middle, and High Schools. where support for local music programs are being drastically reduced.

"URSA has helped me reach goals through their funding and ongoing support. We were able to reach out into a community of younger students, and a community of educators, in an effort to make connections and to share our art. That is always the goal of us as performers and to have had that chance is in itself, wonderful." - Grace Farrell


Seed packets and seed give away table.

Mel Durrett

Institute of Arctic Biology (IAB)

Students: Lillian Nelson & Ashlyn Squier

Alaska’s food security has been an ongoing challenge since the days of Russian America, yet the agricultural industry in the United States has little reason to develop plant varieties specifically for Alaska. Heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits, and flowers are a significant source of agricultural diversity and may be bred by local gardeners into Alaska-hardy strains, because anyone can save their seeds and replant them.  A “seed library” is where a stock of seeds is “loaned” to local gardeners to be grown in local conditions. Ideally, after harvest, gardeners save some seed from their bounty to “return” to the library. A seed library grows over time, in the number of seed stewards using seed as well as the abundance and variety of seeds available. A healthy local seed library can safeguard local agricultural biodiversity and give gardeners more control over local food production (aka food sovereignty).