Each year a new cohort of passionate individuals from the university and community apply and are brought together to develop knowledge to strengthen community resilience.
Fellows focus on four main resilience themes (FUSE) and collaborate closely with community stakeholders.
Meet our fellows and learn about their resilience projects such as heat-resilience strategies beyond handing out water; exploring the potential for more natural play spaces; discovering how data visualization improves mobile food pantry outreach; finding resources to grow your own food - and many more!
Meet Our Fellows
Lauren Withycombe Keeler
Natalia Ronceria Ceballos
Marta Berbes Blazquez
Overview and Benefits
Building capacity and connections
Through a 12-month fellowship program, representatives from both the community and university come together to share knowledge, discover gaps or opportunities, and respond to challenges.
Working in community–university pairs, fellows conduct collaborative research focused on FUSE themes. To encourage collaboration and knowledge exchange, fellows meet weekly for six months and transition to monthly meetings for the fellowship's remainder.
Applications for the 2023 cohort are now closed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified about future calls for applications.
$15,000 stipend to support research project
Training in media and communications
Rich opportunities to develop cross-sector partnerships and networking
Access to collaboration spaces within ASU upon request
Support from data visualization and analysis experts
Time Commitment and Expectations
The 12-month program design features a six-month phase for discovery and knowledge exchange, followed by another six months for project implementation.
January – June: Fellows will attend weekly cohort meetings during the first six months, where they'll receive guidance from the KER Executive Director and team to develop, revise and establish driving project questions.
July – December: Fellows will attend monthly cohort meetings. During this period, fellows will test, refine and implement projects within the community and university.
COVID-19 Update: The meetings' format may be in person or virtual based on university guidance and specific health-related contexts.
Fellows will produce and present three deliverables by the end of the fellowship period:
An analysis of their community resilience question.
A creative deliverable, such as a data dashboard, an organization roadmap or a manuscript draft intended for submission to an academic journal or community practitioner white paper.
Comprehensive summary submitted to KER staff that includes data, insights, outcomes and contributions for public distribution.
How is funding allocated?
The $15,000 award for research can be used to support project needs in many ways. Examples of funding allocation for academic and community fellows is below.
Academic – Funding support type will be determined in coordination with the department:
- Pay for summer salary.
- Employ a research assistant for one semester.
- Cover costs of data acquisition.
- Coordinate local travel, supplies, open access publication fees or a combination of those.
- The funds are proposed by the fellow and agreed upon by their director or chair.
Community – Fellows can work with KER up to 19.5 hours per week. Their home institutions will agree to allow for a reduction in workload to accommodate the fellowship.
- Their home institution will receive up to 49% of their current salary to permit time release to the project, allowing the fellow to keep the full salary and fringe benefits of their present employer.
- Funding may also cover operating expenses for data acquisition, local travel, supplies or open access publication fees.
Please carefully review all materials below.
Send final applications to email@example.com. Applicants must include full names, contact information, and email addresses for both themselves and their supervisor or employer.
Candidates applying as a pair may submit a joint project and intent statement but must send resumes and agreement documentation for each partner. Candidates who have not yet identified a partner should indicate this in their submission email.
A brief 2-page resume highlighting experience and qualifications and any special skills relating to community resilience and/or exchanging knowledge.
2 Project and Intent Statement
Concise statement explaining (a) the reason the applicant desires to participate in the fellowship, including (b) identification of the project idea and how it builds community resilience at a systems level, under one or more of the FUSE themes, (c) how the funding support would be used, and (d) one personal learning or professional development objective.
3 Agreement Documentation
A letter or email from the department level supervisor indicating agreement with the use of the fellowship stipend in the applicant’s submission.
Notifications of selection – early November
Public announcement – December
Fellowship begins – late January
Project implementation begins – no later than July
Project showcase – November
Fellowship ends – December 31
Resilience fellows participate in a diverse cohort of academic and community fellows. Candidates will need to meet either the academic or community fellowship classification requirements to be eligible for the program.
Successful academic fellow applicants may be tenure-track or non-tenure-track professors at any level (assistant, associate or full), scholars with instructor or research appointments, or post-doctoral research associates in any discipline.
Graduate or undergraduate students are not eligible.
Eligible applicants may be affiliated with any department, school or research center across all Arizona State University campuses in Maricopa County.
Successful community fellow applicants may be employed by any of the following types of institutions: non-profit organization, local and regional municipality, government agency, philanthropic, non-governmental or religious entities.
Private sector business applicants may be considered if the enterprise's primary mission relates to a proposed community resilience theme or solutions space.
Sole proprietors or unaffiliated entrepreneurs are not eligible.
Community partner applicants should have sufficient experience, stature or permissions in their home institution to enable substantive collaboration, whether through data exchange, access to institutional programming or relationships with beneficiaries. They should also have sufficient opportunity to implement what they learn during their fellowship at their home institution.
What is the difference?
The only difference between community and academic fellows is the classification based on their home organization. Both types of fellows receive program benefits and will be placed in the same fellowship cohort under the general name KER fellows.
Fellows will work in community-university pairs to complete collaborative projects. Candidates who already have a partner in mind can apply as a pair. Our team will help match candidates who applied as individuals with an appropriate partner.
A heavy emphasis is placed on the proposed project and the potential to contribute knowledge to strengthen community resilience and bridge academics, practitioners and the public. The project must focus on a topic within the FUSE framework (See Below).
Three additional criteria include:
- The individual applicant’s potential to contribute to insights, actions or solutions related to a specific social, economic and/or environmental resilience challenge, as proposed in the application.
- The merit of a proposed idea to advance understanding on community resilience broadly and systematically.
- The possibility for innovative creation and/or use of data, including participatory methods to support the synergetic exchange of knowledge within the cohort.
These factors are considered along with meeting the eligibility criteria for an academic or community fellow classification.
1. Food, energy and water transitions
Food and water systems in a resilient community are characterized by equitable distribution and reliable access to safe, healthy foods and adequate quantities of clean water for all residents everywhere. Assemblages engage a diverse set of productive actors such as local growers, urban farms and a robust sustainable heat-adapted agricultural industry. Supply chains are robust and resistant to disruption or scarcity.
The energy landscape of a resilient community consists of a diverse, integrated array of resources and infrastructure for obtaining sustainable and renewable fuel for cooling, heating, and mobilizing in our homes, businesses, and public spaces, as well as to fuel transportation systems that are available and accessible to all rural and urban residents across the county and beyond. Interruptions in the provision of power, whether due to economic or environmental drivers, are rare and short-lived.
2. Urban heat and healthy communities
Healthy, resilient communities create the necessary social and physical environments that promote good health for all, capable of thriving in the face of potential chronic stressors, such as heat exposure, and of withstanding shocks such as rapid-moving epidemics. Access to care and prevention facilities is equitable, and services are responsive to locally relevant threats to residents of all ages and backgrounds. Belonging to an inclusive place, enjoying a diverse community, exercising human rights, and developing social cohesion among neighbors and across organizations, are experiences that set apart the capacity of communities that are building resilience.
3. Shelter and the built environment
Shelter in resilient communities is ubiquitous, affordable, safe, and secure. Housing options are diverse and available in adequate quantities and at proper quality to every resident, providing relief from heat, floods, or other environmental threats. Periods of lack of shelter whether experienced by students, families, veterans, elderly or others, are infrequent and nonrecurring. A robust continuum of services is available to bridge needs for those suffering eviction or foreclosure, and is provided in equitable measure to all. Homes are constructed to be resilient to heat, and are free from domestic violence and crime.
4. Economic security and work
Resilient communities are economically secure, with organizations from private, public, and education sectors alike working in concert to meet present needs and prepare for future dynamics. Residents are able to generate consistent income or work for fair wages, salaries, or compensation in an integrated workforce and education system that provides equitable access to opportunities for generating resources for individuals and families of all backgrounds. A diversity of jobs and businesses lead to optimal productive capacity, able to transform challenges such as heat exposure to potential innovation. People participating in resilient economies are able to withstand downturns, confront changes from growth, and successfully face a dynamic future of work.
We emphasize across these themes that here in Maricopa County, heat is a major threat multiplier and underlies our understanding of all FUSE themes.
Furthermore, we recognize that pervasive to our understanding of these themes is the notion that community resilience relies upon attention to equity, including that shocks and stresses often disproportionately affect particular vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, requiring a proactive approach, and that solutions should strive for the equitable distribution of resources to withstand shock and stress according to exposure and risk.
Finally, we acknowledge that place-based understandings are critical and that these themes will play out differently depending on the place in which we are considering how to build resilience.