Research and Experiential Learning

Apply for a Fellowship

  • The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service and committment to issues related to Native American nations or to the environment.  Contact Tanya Hayes for additional information.
  • The Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate fellowship in the United States for those pursuing careers as public service leaders.
  • The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to recent graduates.
  • the Public Policy and International Affairs Program helps students achieve a Master’s or joint degree, typically in public policy, public administration, international affairs or a related field.
  • The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management offers a fellowship that supports the travel and participation of up to 40 students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds at the APPAM Fall Research Conference. 
  • The Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) brings ten (10) undergraduates from underrepresented groups to the ARNOVA annual conference to attend a workshop on paths to higher education, ideally in the field of nonprofit, philanthropic and voluntary action studies.  
  • Challenge Detroit is a competitive leadership and professional development program that invites tomorrow's leaders to live, work, play, give and lead in and around the greater Detroit area.
  • Learn about additional fellowships and receive application support at the SU Office of Fellowships

Exciting News for Student Research

The Office of Fellowships would like to announce an exciting addition to its structure and programs. Programs related to student research that were formerly housed in the Office of Sponsored Research will now be included in a combined service for students. Dr. Theresa Earenfight will continue in her role as director and will be assisted with these programs by Dr. Molly Clark Hillard. Moving forward, the disbursement of student travel funding and the Seattle University Undergraduate Research Association annual conference (SUURA) will be administered by Dr. Clark Hillard from this office.

This partnership will allow us to better mentor students as they engage in undergraduate and graduate research and explore post-graduate fellowships and grants. The re-organization will strengthen the existing structure in the following ways:

  • Networking and showcasing existing research initiatives across campus: we aim to support and foster the suite of research activities on campus that form a pipeline (from research practice and writing, to conference presentation or community partnerships, to publication, and finally to grants and fellowships).
  • Sharing faculty resources: we will highlight the natural link between faculty who work with students on research and scholarship and faculty who will mentor them as they apply for grants and fellowships to support that research.
  • Collaborating with other offices: we will work to engage students more closely with the centers and departments that focus on writing and editing, to help them complete grant applications, personal statements, and project proposals.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Dr. Theresa Earenfight at or Melissa Schade at    

Connect with Faculty Research

  •  Wong Community Design Workshop

Professor Marie Wong teaches an annual service learning Community Design Workshop where students integrate planning methods and community building through a quarter-long project. Students analyze and develop strategies and recommendations in an urban development or design plan which is presented to the client.

Engage in Unique Student Research

Senior Capstone Project

As a Public Affairs Senior, you will investigate an identifiable public or social problem about which you are capable of gathering information.  The problem you choose should:  

  • have social, policy or organizational dimensions
  • be of broad theoretical and practical importance
  • be of local, state, national or international concern
  • be related to your concentration    

You will use empirical data (often a mix of published studies, archival data and existant databases) to answer the research question.

Recent Capstone Projects include:

  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Rapid Rehousing in Reducing Family Homelessness
  • Food Literacy for the Future: Impact of School-Based Food Education on Youth
  • Bridging the Value-Action Gap for Reducing, Reusing, Recycling through Environmental Communication Best Practices
  • The Efficacy of Community Based and Restorative Justice Programs in Lowering Juvenile Recidivism Rates
  • Alternative Discipline: A National Review and Recommendations for Program Implementation
  • Syringe Services Program as HIV Prevention: Addressing Critiques and Geographic Disparity of Coverage
  • Effective Methods of Arts Advocacy and Funding for Seattle’s Creative Advantage Initiative

Present your work

You may choose to present your research at the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research. Through this annual conference, NCUR creates a unique environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement, provides models of exemplary research and scholarship and helps to improve the state of undergrate education.

The Seattle University Undergraduate Research Journal highlights the research achievements of SU undergraduates through a peer-reviewed on-line publication.  Research includes any original quantitative or qualitative work that a student has conducted during their academic studies including theoretical works, policy analyses, research-based editorial pieces, Core writing and others. 

Volunteer in the Local Community


Public Policy and International Affairs Program Undergraduate Fellowship Opportunity 

The goal of the PPIA Fellowship Program is to help students achieve a Master’s or joint degree, typically in public policy, public administration, international affairs or a related field. The organization does this through the intensive study provided by participation in a Junior Summer Institute (JSI), through partnerships with universities across the country, and through an alumni network that provides opportunities to connect with nearly 4000 individuals who share the same interest in public service.

Each year, PPIA seeks out high-potential undergraduate students from universities across the country to participate in an intensive seven-week Junior Summer Institute (JSI) before their senior year. During their program, fellows are equipped with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in graduate school and ultimately, in influential roles serving the public good.

Once a student has successfully completed their JSI, they join an alumni network of nearly 4,000 leaders. In addition to the opportunities that this network provides for mentoring and career development, our alumni network has the opportunity to receive financial support for their graduate school education if they attend one of the programs in our Graduate School Consortium.

The deadline to apply for summer 2019 is November 1, 2018.  For More Information visit the PPIA website.

SU Undergraduate Research Award

The Lemieux Library and McGoldrick Learning Commons is excited to announce the creation of a new Undergraduate Research Award.

To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled at Seattle University as an undergraduate student in any class level and have completed and submitted an original research project for an SU credit course.

The first place prize winner will receive $500 and the second and third place winners will receive $250.

Full details can be found at the Undergraduate Research Award site:

Undergraduate research is a key "high-impact" educational practice and is a growing part of undergraduate education programs at colleges and universities nationwide. We look forward to this opportunity to recognize, encourage and celebrate undergraduate student scholarship at SU, and are equally delighted to join the efforts of other initiatives on campus like SUURJ in the Office of Fellowships and Student Research, which is also a sponsor for this award.


Engage with the Local Community

The Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI) unites the University and the wider Seattle community to develop successful youth, thriving communities and an engaged neighborhood. The Initiative strives to strengthen education and support systems for 1,000 neighborhood youth and their families while enhancing the University by providing service, learning and research experience to students, faculty, and staff. 

Launched in February 2011, the Youth Initiative has quickly become the largest community engagement project in the institution’s history and a signature element of the University. 

The SUYI is staffed by the University’s Center for Community Engagement, the main entry point for students, faculty, and staff for all forms of community engagement, including direct service, community-based research, social entrepreneurship, and advocacy.