2023-2024 Sponsor Timeline

  • Application Deadline: Friday, February 17, 2023 
  • Project Selection Notification: Monday, February 27, 2023
  • Student Application Period: March 3-March 24, 2023
  • Student Selection Period: March 27-April 28, 2023

What is the Zankel Fellowship?

The Zankel Fellowship is an $12,000 financial aid award for Teachers College students to work with disadvantaged inner-city youth in New York City. Fellows are required to spend ten hours a week during the academic year on an approved faculty/staff project. Projects may include a research component, as long as the primary service requirements for the fellowship are met. Students’ eligibility for a Zankel Fellowship is determined by financial need and fit to faculty projects.  

How to Sponsor a Project

TC departments, centers, programs, and individual faculty members are encouraged to apply to sponsor a project that can be supported by one or more Zankel Fellows. Projects are approved for one year; faculty sponsors have the option to re-apply in subsequent years. 

Sponsor Responsibilities

Fellows are selected by faculty sponsors from among the students who apply each year. Sponsors place their Zankel Fellows in a New York City school, agency, or community organization, where the students are engaged in at least five hours a week of in-person direct service to disadvantaged inner-city youth. Fellows are expected to provide up to five additional hours a week in service, planning, and/or other activities related to the project.  Because the Zankel Urban Fellowship is primarily a service award, preference is given to projects that entail more than the minimum number of hours of direct service to young people.

The sponsor serves as a liaison with the schools or agencies where students provide service and with the OSCP. The sponsor mentors her/his fellow(s), provides updates and reports as requested by the OSCP, and troubleshoots placement issues.

It is a requirement of the fellowship that students and faculty working directly with children complete any fingerprinting and/or background checks that are mandated by the Department of Education and/or Department of Health policy. The OSCP is able to assist students and faculty members with the fingerprinting process. 

Furthermore, sponsors are responsible for securing Institutional Review Board approval for any human subjects research undertaken in association with the Zankel Fellowship project.  

Project Selection

Proposals are reviewed by a committee composed of representatives from the President’s Office, TC faculty, and the Office of Development. The Zankel Fellowship Committee also determines the number of fellows to be allocated to each project. It is typically one or two, but a special request may be made for more. Every effort is made to approve projects from as many TC departments as possible. 

Preference will be given to projects that engage Zankel Fellows in direct service (such as tutoring, instruction, mentoring, etc.) to New York City youth for more than the minimum requirement of five hours per week. While faculty sponsors may ask fellows to devote time to other tasks (such as curriculum and professional development, data collection, etc.), these tasks are not considered direct service to youth. Projects focused on research, professional development of teachers, or other activities that do not engage the fellows in direct service to New York City youth are not a good fit to the mission of the program. 

In addition, as per terms of the fellowship, a minimum of 50% plus one of the total number of Zankel Fellows awarded each year must provide direct service in reading/literacy or math. For example, if there are 60 fellows awarded, 31 of them must be engaged in reading/literacy or math support. The Committee carefully reviews projects to ensure that this requirement is met. 

Faculty should have an established partnership with a school, or be in the process of establishing one, when they submit a project for consideration.

Finally, please note that those projects which are awarded more than two fellows must choose at least 1-2 fellows from outside the academic program the project is in. 

Full-time faculty are eligible to apply provided they do not plan to take sabbatical leave during the academic year for which they are submitting an application. Though adjunct faculty and lecturers may also apply, preference will be given to applications submitted by tenured or tenure-track faculty.

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