Engagement Academy Scholars Program

Advance your knowledge about student engagement.

The Engagement Academy Scholars Program enables Penn State faculty and staff to spend a portion of their time during two academic years focusing on a comprehensive research project with the goal of advancing knowledge about student engagement. The project should advance the discourse of student engagement at Penn State and beyond through outreach, practical workshops, research posters, conference presentations, and/or peer-reviewed publications. Each year the Engagement Academy welcomes one Scholar.

Applications open in February and are due in late March, and terms begin and end with the University’s fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). A link to the application site is available below during the open application window.

Interested in the Academy Fellows Program instead? Learn More

Student doing field research at Dubois Campus.


Academy Scholars commit to the following activities.

  • Receive a summer stipend, project budget, and one-half release from courses (for faculty) or one-half release of overall work time (for staff)
  • Adopt a prominent role in regular meetings with Student Engagement Network leadership in an active community of scholarly practice
  • Document, present, and share project findings to the broader Penn State community, in addition to other scholarly venues as appropriate
  • Submit a final report at the end of term to summarize project and findings
  • Participate in the selection of future Academy Fellows and/or Academy Scholars


While all Penn State faculty and staff are eligible to apply to become Academy Fellows, successful candidates meet the following criteria.

  • Academy Scholars must have an interest in, or experience with, student engagement and/or engaged scholarship (for example, experience with programming in student life or leading engaged scholarship experiences).
  • Academy Scholars must be willing to serve as a campus leader or mentor for student engagement and engaged scholarship. They should have an interest in being an active member of a community of practice for student engagement and engaged scholarship.

Does the Academy Scholars Program sound like a fit? Submit your application today. 

Application Tip

The application for the Academy Scholars Program requires a project budget, which is used to determine the amount of funds awarded. Download the budget template to start planning your budget, even before the application opens in February. 

Selection Process

The Academy Advisory Group will use the following process to select Academy Scholars.

  • Each year, an Academy Scholar is selected to begin their two-year term starting in the summer of the year in which they are selected. Applications open in February and close in late March.
  • Interested Penn State faculty and staff should submit a letter of intent along with an application form and proposed budget. This will be reviewed by the Academy Advisory Group.

The Academy Advisory Group will select a slate of potential Scholars based on the following criteria:

  • The quality and relevance of the applicant’s past student engagement and engaged scholarship activities and those proposed in the application.
  • Demonstration of a desire to deepen the campus-wide discourse, practice, and recognition of student engagement and engaged scholarship at Penn State
  • Evidence of the candidate’s willingness and capacity to disseminate information about the project to the broad Penn State campus community
  • Ability to contribute as a University leader in student engagement and/or engaged scholarship

Application Tip

To gain a clear understanding of how your application will be evaluated, you can view the rubric the Academy Advisory Group uses to assess candidates. Download the rubric to plan your application strategy. 

Questions? Contact Michael Zeman, Student Engagement Network, Director

Our Past Scholars

These are the talented Penn State faculty and staff who have served as Academy Scholars in the past, and the projects they championed:

Related Resources

The following resources may be of interest to those exploring the Engagement Academy: