Application Process - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Application Process

For more information about this program please contact:

Karol Dean
Program Director, Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship

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Application Process

  • Overview


Applications for 2024-2025 Fellows are now closed. Check back this fall for information on the 2025-2026 cycle.

Each spring, 28 Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows are selected from applications submitted by students in a diversity of fields, including but not limited to medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, social work, psychology, pharmacy, physical therapy, law, nutrition, art therapy, dance/movement therapy, and acupuncture.

Program Elements and Requirements: Working in collaboration with an existing local community agency, each Fellow designs and implements a service project that addresses an unmet community health need. Fellowship projects include the following:

  • A minimum of 200 hours of service (including 130 hours conducting a community service project that is focused on direct, face-to-face contact with the population being served)
  • Guidance from mentors, including a Site Mentor at the hosting community agency, an Academic Mentor at the student’s academic institution, and Program mentors
  • Monthly progress reports on the Fellow’s project
  • A written report at the conclusion of the project, including recommendations for ways in which the most valuable aspects of the Fellow’s project and experiences can be replicated or sustained

The Fellowship is an opportunity to be part of an interdisciplinary group of students committed to working in divested communities. In addition to the individual service projects, Fellows work in interdisciplinary learning collaborative groups, expanding their knowledge and capacities. Fellows are required to attend a weekend orientation, monthly meetings, service days, and the annual celebration event at the conclusion of the program year. Fellows receive a stipend of $2,750 (paid in four installments).

Eligibility: Any student who will be enrolled at least part-time in a health-related, graduate-level-degree-granting program during the Fellowship year is welcome to apply. Please note that two exceptions to this are medical and podiatry students who will be entering their third year of medical school. Medical and podiatry students who will be in their first, second, or fourth year during the Fellowship year are eligible.

Prior to Applying: Prospective Fellows should be prepared to partner with an existing community agency to design and implement a community service project that provides a direct service to a divested population. Interested students should investigate and reflect on the strengths and assets of the community they hope to partner with, and the unmet health-related needs that exist in Chicago and its surrounding communities. Applicants might reflect on ways their own energies and talents might contribute to change. In proposing a project, applications should keep in mind how their idea leverages the community’s strengths, addresses unmet health needs, and might be of enduring value to the community.

Application Guidelines: Applicants should be creative in developing their application. They may choose to develop an original project proposal or they may propose the continuation of a project initiated by a previous Schweitzer Fellow. Keep in mind that research, administrative, fundraising, and policy-based projects are not considered eligible projects. Applicants may find inspiration in reviewing past Fellows’ projects and partnering agencies. A Community Site Guide of over 150 Chicago-area community-based organizations that would welcome a Fellow is available upon request.

For more information, please refer to the application rubric used to review all Fellowship applications.

Information Sessions: Learn more about the 2024-2025 Schweitzer Fellowship by attending one of our upcoming information sessions! Register here.

What to learn more? This video produced by UIC College of Dentistry lays out the Fellowship and introduces you to two of our Program alumni. We’re also pleased to share an info session recording which provides and overview of the Fellowship and application process.

For further information, please contact Karol Dean, Program Director at or 312 372-4292 ext. 31.