Get Involved

The Taconic Fellowship supports Pratt Institute faculty, staff, and students working on community development projects throughout New York City. The Fellowship connects Pratt Institute’s diverse disciplines to local community development initiatives while supporting the Institute’s commitment to collaboration, interdisciplinary projects, and civic engagement.

About the Fellowship

Fellowships are awarded to teams of Pratt Institute faculty and students working in close collaboration with community-based organizations on projects which address a community need. The fellowship provides faculty and students with an opportunity to engage in a collaborative design, decision-making and implementation processes with the community partner.

This is the eighth year of the Taconic Fellowship program. A high priority in the coming year will be new projects that address public health issues or contribute to positive health impacts in New York City’s communities. Public health is a broad category, but we are guided by the working definition proposed by the Centers for Disease Control Foundation:

“Public health is the science of protecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases...Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country or region of the world.”

Eligible projects may relate to providing targeted services to people and groups hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic; addressing the health impacts of poorly designed spaces, events or processes; or documenting how climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure shelter.

In addition, because of the challenges presented by the pandemic, we are allowing Taconic recipients in the 2020-2021 program year to apply for an extension for their projects and for a small amount of supplemental funding.



Pratt Institute Affiliation - All projects must be led by current Pratt Institute faculty, staff, or students. Student-led projects are welcome to apply; however, a faculty advisor must agree to act in a supervisory capacity for their project. All students must be enrolled for the entire 2021-2022 academic year.


We will award projects that can demonstrate the following:

Centers the Community Partner: All projects must partner with a community-based organization in New York City. In keeping with Pratt Center’s approach to community development, Taconic Fellows use a ground-up, community-based approach to tackling issues of urban sustainability and socioeconomic inequity. The community partner should be invested in the project, and the project should be in alignment with the community partner’s mission.Works towards Community Impact: Proposals should demonstrate the capacity to make a tangible impact on a community, whether it is a placed based (or geographic) community or an affinity community of people with similar backgrounds and/or interests. Projects should have a significant community engagement component, and strive to have a meaningful, measurable impact on the community and/or community partner. While consciousness-raising is important, Taconic Fellowship projects should be outcomes-orientated and endeavor to make a tangible impact.Proposed activities occur in Fellowship year: All project activities outlined in the application must take place during the 2021-2022 academic year. Projects can begin/end before/after the fellowship year, but proposed activities must be clearly situated in the project life cycle.


An evaluation committee will review proposals for feasibility, capacity, and commitment to equitable community development principles. Specifically, the review committee will make decisions based on:

  • Significance and Relevance: Does the proposal use a community development framework to address a problem or question in the areas of public health?
  • Community Impact: How will the project tangibly impact a community? Does the proposal reflect a deep community engagement process and mutually beneficial relationship between the fellows and the community partner?
  • Capacity for Success: Are the fellows qualified to realize the proposed project? Is the community partner invested in the success of the project?
  • Approach and Method: Is the project proposal adequately developed for the purpose of the project and commensurate with the stated project goal? Does the proposal allow for adequate collaboration and communication with the community partner to ensure feasible outcomes?


Applicants must email a completed proposal in the form of a PDF to no later than June 30, 2021. Please type “Taconic Fellowship Application” in the subject line.

The proposal must contain the following information:

  • A Cover Page listing the Project Title, Community Partner, AND Applicant information for everyone involved in the project, including Name, Title (or degree level if student), Department, and Email address.
  • Project Narrative (500 words max): a brief description of your project, including the issue the project addresses and the intended outcomes.
  • Methodology (300 words max): a description of how your project addresses the issue, including community engagement activities.
  • Scope of Work (250 words max): a description of the proposed activities and deliverables for the project. Please remember to include a proposed timeframe for all project components.
  • Letter of Support (1 page max): A signed letter of support from the community partner, on letterhead with contact information for the organization’s primary contact. This letter should explain how the proposed project aligns with the community partner’s mission as well as a clear partnership strategy.
  • Budget: An itemized project budget detailing all project expenses. Please carefully review the budgetary considerations section for more information.
  • Budget Narrative (250 words max): a brief explanation of your project expenses. If your project is receiving additional support, please provide that information here.
  • Up to five Images: If desired, you may include up to five images in support of your project.
  • CVs: Include a single page CV for each fellow associated with the project.The proposals will be reviewed by the evaluation committee, and selected finalists will be contacted for a follow-up interview.


  • Total project expenses requested as part of this opportunity should not exceed $12,000. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to faculty and student stipends for time spent on the project, materials and supplies, space rental, and travel.
  • Please identify other funding sources for the full project, whether they are committed or pending.
  • Up to $4,000 of the total project budget may be used for supplies and related project expenses.
  • Up to $3,000 of the total project budget may be used for community partner expenses.
  • Faculty and Staff stipends are distributed through payroll, which applies the same tax and withholding policies for the Taconic Fellowship stipend as it does for regular faculty payroll.
  • Student stipends are provided in the form of tuition remission applied to their tuition bill. If the student has fully paid their tuition and fees, they will receive a refund check from Pratt Institute.
  • Project Expenses are distributed via reimbursement, following Pratt Institute’s reimbursement protocols.Funding will not be disbursed in any other method than those listed above.

For more information, please contact Paula Crespo at


Posted 10/22/2021

Fellowship awards for 2021-2022 have been announced. Congratulations to this year’s fellows!

2021-2022 Projects

Enhancing Access to Healthy Food
Multigenerational Active Streets Jackson Heights
Reclaiming the Commons through Play
The Green Stitch: Knitting Communities Together One Garden at a Time
All Weather Garden Pavilions

2020-2021 Projects

Grassroots Women in Community Development & Climate Justice
Owning Our Narrative: From Victims to Victors
Minecraft x Youth Engagement
Blue City Blue Blocks Garden
Piloting Innovative Community Engagement Tools for Two Bridges
Connecting to the Archive of Weeksville

2019-2020 Projects

Environmental Justice For Vendors By Vendors
Future Cities
Migration Stories in Multiple Media
Life of Benjamin Banneker
Emancipatory Urban Futures
(Dis)placed in Sunset Park
Fear as Fuel

2018-2019 Projects

A Food Buying Club for East New York
Climate Resilience Leadership Lab
Community Photo Album
As Told

2017-2018 Projects

Stories in Clay
Truthworker Theater Trilogy