Enhance your data capacity.

The Applied Research Fellowship application is currently closed.

The Applied Research Fellowship Program places DIP-trained graduate students from the University of Southern Maine in community organizations to support their applied research and evaluation efforts. Through this program, community organizations are able to enhance their data capacity with a fully-funded graduate student who can focus exclusively on the organization’s research/evaluation work. Graduate students get the opportunity to work with an outside partner, receive professional development and mentorship with the DIP, and develop applied research and program evaluation skills in the social sector.

The fellowship program is now open to all Maine-based organizations. Applying organizations will need to submit proposals that outline research or evaluation work that can be performed remotely by a fellow. Details on what to include in a proposal are below.

How does this work?

  • Interested community organizations apply to have a fellow placed at their organization. Interested graduate students apply to receive a fellowship. For more information about the application process, go to the “Community Organizations” or “Students” boxes below.
  • The DIP selects a final number of student and community organization applicants and pairs them based on their application’s merit, interests, and skills/experience.
  • With DIP support, the selected host site and fellow establish a project(s) that will be the primary focus of their work for the year.
  • To finish the year, fellows present on the results of their work and submit all agreed upon deliverables to their host site and the DIP.


Timing and Investment

  • The placement spans the academic year (September-May; 30 weeks in total)
  • Fellows work 10 hours each week and receive a $4,800 stipend for the academic year plus a $3,000 scholarship.
  • The stipend and scholarship costs are covered by the Data Innovation Project thanks to generous funding from the Maine Economic Improvement Fund.


DIP Support and Resources

Throughout the program, DIP staff will:

  • Function as liaison between the fellow and community organization and offer technical assistance and supervision when needed.
  • Facilitate monthly peer group meetings for fellows.
  • Deliver 3-4 workshops for fellows to support their project work.
  • Invite host sites to attend any DIP workshops and events free of charge while they are hosting a fellow.


Successful Project Examples

  • Evaluation plan and data collection systems improvement for a Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Program.
  • Analysis of existing program surveys and the redevelopment of the survey tools to better align with the programs’ needs and outcomes.
  • Facilitation of aligned performance measurement across multiple programs and data dashboards to support continuous quality improvement and external reporting of a health access organization.
  • A data development plan to better understand the racial disparities of Native youth in the foster care system.
  • Primary research on the relationship between client supports and number of episodes of care at a community detoxification program.
  • Analysis of data from a help desk ticket management system to understand the needs of multilingual learners and their families accessing interpretation support.


Past Sites

Milestone Recovery   ·   Center for Grieving Children   ·   Youth & Community Engagement   ·   Access to Care – MaineHealth   ·  Operation HOPE   ·   Maine Access Immigrant Network   ·   Portland Adult Education   ·   Sea Change Yoga   ·   Portland Downtown & Amistad   ·   Southern Maine Agency on Aging   ·   Gateway Community Services of Maine   ·   Healthy Communities of the Capital Area   ·   Maine School Garden Network   ·   Multilingual and Multicultural Center of the Portland Public Schools

It gave us the opportunity to look at things we haven’t for a long time and it gave us an ability to do a little bit of a deeper dive…this pushed us to a new level.


– Host Site