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For more information about this program please contact:

Maya Bauer
Schweitzer Fellows Program Director

Karen Loda
Administrative Assistant & Schweitzer Fellows Program Coordinator

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Application Process

Apply Now! Attend an info session!

Each spring, 30 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 underserved communities. In addition to the individual service projects, 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 $2,500 (paid in four installments) both to underscore the seriousness of their work and to ensure that students who are already struggling financially are not discouraged from participating.

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 an underserved population. Interested students should investigate and reflect on the unmet health-related needs that exist in Chicago and its surrounding communities and on the ways in which their own energies and talents might contribute, even in small ways, to ameliorating one or more of these problems. In proposing a project, applications should keep in mind how their idea addresses those unmet health needs and might be of enduring value to the community. For guidance on national and local health priorities as established by Healthy People 2020, please visit:

Application Guidelines: Applications must include:

The Application Form includes a project proposal and essays on the applicant’s interest in the Fellowship program. Applicants should be creative in developing their proposal. They may choose to develop an original project proposal that reflects Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s ethic of Reverence for Life, or they may propose the continuation of a project initiated by a previous Schweitzer Fellow. No prescribed setting is essential for a successful application, in the spirit of Dr. Schweitzer’s teaching to find your own special place or way to serve and to make your life your argument. However, 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, and a Community Site Guide of over 150 Chicago-area community-based organizations that would welcome a Fellow is available upon request. Applicants are encouraged to identify potential Site Mentors at the agencies where they propose to conduct their projects and Academic Mentors at their schools.

Deadline: The application deadline for the 2021-22 Fellowship year is Friday, February 1st, 2021. Finalists will be interviewed in mid-March, and the Fellows will be announced in early April.

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 a recording of an info session webinar which provides and overview of the Fellowship and how to apply.

For further information, please contact:

Maya Bauer, Program Director,, 312 372-4292 ext. 31

Angela Eastlund, Program Associate,, 312 372-4292 ext. 24

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