This U.S. public policy research program supports student research projects focused on contemporary issues in U.S. economic, social, and/or environmental policy, including but not limited to community and regional development, regulation, inequality, and/or processes and powers of the American Government at any level. Students are encouraged to propose projects in which they engage in partnership with local community organizations. Sentinels Fellows are awarded research funding based primarily on their written project proposal.
Overview: The Sentinels Summer Fellowship supports student projects focused on contemporary issues in U.S. economic, social, and/or environmental policy, including but not limited to community and regional development, regulation, inequality, and/or processes and powers of the American government. Applicants are encouraged to propose projects in which they will engage in partnership with local community organizations.
Terms: This competitive fellowship provides a range of stipends from 4 weeks to 10 weeks along with a $500 field research expense budget to cover remote research during the summer. Projects must be guided by a Williams faculty member, who will commit to regular oversight of the Sentinel Fellow’s work throughout the research period.
Eligibility: Open to rising Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.
Applicants should submit the following information to the Center for Learning in Action via the online application form by Sunday, April 10th, 2022 at 11:59pm.
- Research proposal (not to exceed 3.5 pages)
- Letter of support from Williams Faculty Project Advisor confirming a) their willingness to confer at least weekly with you and b) your capacity to conduct the research remotely
- If relevant, an additional letter from a specialty advisor (need not be a Williams faculty member)
The research proposal should include the following:
- the topic and key questions that will be addressed in the investigation
- the nature of the research work involved (the means by which the questions will be addressed)
- description of how the research will be conducted remotely, if necessary (including key resources and how they'll be accessed)
- the timeframe for conducting the research
- the expected outcomes
- how the applicant’s background and prior studies helped prepare them for this project
Those receiving fellowships will be notified by early May.
Students awarded a Sentinels Fellowship will be expected to produce a report by August 19th, 2022 as well as an abstract to be posted on the Sentinels webpage.
Please note that Sentinels funding does not support unpaid internships, business planning projects, or non-U.S. policy research. Proposals involving fieldwork are strongly encouraged.
For more information, drop in on one of CLiA's weekly Open Office Hours (Thursdays, 11:30am - 1:15pm in Paresky) or contact Dr. Paula Consolini ([email protected]), Director of the Center for Learning in Action or one of the other Sentinels Selection Committee members: Professor Cathy Johnson ([email protected]), Professor Nicole Mellow ([email protected]), and Professor Stephen Sheppard ([email protected]).
Abstracts and samples of past Sentinels reports can be viewed below.
- Examples of Past Sentinels Proposals (PDF)
- The Administration of Refugee Resettlement in the United States: An Analysis of the Wilson-Fish Alternative Program (Austin Anderson '19)
- Evaluating the Arts in Berkshire County: A Sentinels Report (Anna DeLoi '18)
- Improving Transportation Access Among Seniors in Berkshire County: Problems and Potential Solutions (Robert Dulin '19)
- Food Insecurity and SNAP in the Berkshires: A Portrait (Coly Elhai '19)
- Reproductive Rights and Access: Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont (Madeleine Elyze '18)
- Structural Factors for Success in Berkshire County’s Public-Private Juvenile Alternative Sentencing Programs (Nicholas Goldrosen '20)
- Using Storytelling in the Public School Classroom: The StoryBridge Model -- A New Approach for Bridging Academics and Social and Emotional Learning (Louisa Kania '19)
- Assessing State and Federal Policies in the US: CAFOs, Transparency, and Bottlenecks in Livestock and Dairy Production (Jessica Muñoz '19)
- Policy and Parenting: An Ethnographic Study of Public Education and Religious Life (Michaela Smith '20)
- Depopulating NYC Jails in the Onset of the Coronavirus Outbreak An Analysis of Inmate Population Fluctuations in NYC Open Data (Eli Miller '21)
- Q-Side Institute Report: New York City Jails: COVID Discharge Policy, Data Transparency, and Reform (PDF Version)
- Citizens' CourtWatch, Berkshire County, MA (Mohammed Memfis '21)
- Abstract (PDF)
- Q-Side Institute Report: Making the criminal justice system transparent: Preliminary analysis of Berkshire County CourtWatch data
- CourtWatch Training Guide (PDF)
- CourtWatch Training Flyer (PDF)
- Media Coverage
- "Berkshire County legal system comes under the gaze of court watchers" (The Greylock Glass, 5/3/19)
- "Rhetoric, Not Reform" (CourtWatch MA, October 2019, PDF)
- "Massachusetts Prosecutors are Using ‘Dangerousness’ Holds to Keep People Incarcerated Pretrial" (The Appeal, 10/23/19)
- "Citizen Group Collecting Data On Berkshire Courts Releases Preliminary Report" (WAMC, 12/6/19)
- "Berkshire DA Responds To Citizen Collected Court Data" (WAMC, 12/11/19)
For more information, contact Paula Consolini ([email protected]), Director of the Center for Learning in Action or other Sentinels Selection Committee members: Professor Cathy Johnson ([email protected]), Professor Nicole Mellow ([email protected]), and Professor Stephen Sheppard ([email protected]).