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The Taconic Fellowship supports Pratt Institute faculty, staff, and students working on community development projects throughout New York City.

About the Fellowship

The Taconic Fellowship provides financial awards for projects that align with Pratt Center’s urban planning and policy work to advance racial, climate, and economic justice in New York City and its neighborhoods. The goals of the Fellowship are to facilitate “beyond the gates” community engagement projects and support Pratt Institute’s commitment to civic engagement and service learning. 

The Taconic Fellowship supports projects that use a ground-up, community-based approach to tackling intersecting issues of racial, social, economic, and climate justice in New York City. Fellowships are awarded to teams of Pratt Institute faculty and students working in close collaboration with a NYC community-based organization on a project that addresses a need faced by low-income, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and other traditionally disenfranchised groups. The maximum award per project is $12,000, and it is intended to allow Pratt teams to engage in a collaborative decision-making and implementation process with the community organization.

Fellows will be expected to engage in several gatherings and activities throughout the fellowship year to share their learnings and learn from other fellows toward creating a community of practice for community-engaged research at Pratt.

  1. Pratt Institute affiliation. All projects must be led by current Pratt Institute faculty, staff, or students. Student-led projects are welcome; however, a faculty advisor must agree to act in a supervisory capacity for their project. All students must be enrolled for the entire 2024-2025 academic year.
  2. Partnership with an organization that serves as a community-based client for the project. All projects must partner with a community-based organization in New York City whose mission is to advance racial, social, economic, and/or climate justice. This community partner should be invested in the project, and the project should be in alignment with the organization’s mission.
  3. Based in New York City. Only projects based in New York City will be considered. As such, the community-based organization must also be located within the five boroughs.
  4. Proposed activities occur during the school year. All project activities outlined in the proposal must take place during the period between August 2024 and June 2025. 

We are interested in projects that:

  1. Use a lens of socioeconomic and/or racial justice to address one or more of the following aspects of community development: affordable housing, climate change/resiliency/sustainability, economic development, environmental justice, land use, open space, transportation planning / public transportation.
  2. Work toward community impact. Proposals should demonstrate the capacity to make a tangible impact on a community, whether it is a place-based community or an affinity community made up of people with similar backgrounds and/or interests.
  3. Have a significant community engagement component. The stakeholders (or a subset thereof) who stand to benefit from the project should be meaningfully involved in it.
  4. Are proposed by people from different departments. Partnerships between faculty and students and between people in different departments are strongly encouraged.

An evaluation committee will review proposals for impact, capacity, and approach. More specifically, the review committee will make decisions based on:

  1. Significance and relevance. Does the proposed project address a problem or question in the arena of equitable community development as outlined in the aforementioned aspects of community development? (see Project Guideline #1)
  2. Community impact. How will the project tangibly impact a community? Does the proposal reflect a deep community engagement process and a mutually beneficial relationship between the fellows and the community partner?
  3. Capacity for success. Are the fellows qualified to realize the proposed project? Is the community partner invested in the success of the project?
  4. 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?

Proposals should be submitted no later than June 30, 2024. Please email the proposal as a single PDF to and type “Taconic Fellowship Application” in the subject line. A panel of reviewers from Pratt Center will evaluate proposals, and those who are selected will be notified.

The proposal must contain the following:

  • A cover page listing the following: Project Title, Community Partner, Applicant information for everyone involved in the project, including: Name, title (or degree level if student), department, email address
  • Project narrative (500 words max): A brief description of your project, including the issue the project addresses and the intended outcomes.
  • Methodology (500 words max): A description of how your project addresses the issue, including what types of community engagement activities will be undertaken and who will be engaged.
  • Scope of work (250 words max): A description of the proposed activities and deliverables for the project. Please include a proposed timeframe for all project components.
  • Letter of support (1-page max): A signed letter of support from the community partner organization 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 and a description of the partnership strategy/approach.
  • Budget: An itemized project budget detailing all project expenses, using the template provided in the budgetary requirements and considerations section below.
  • Budget narrative (250 words max): A brief explanation of your project expenses. If your project is receiving additional financial support, please provide that information here
  • Images (up to 5): 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

Budgets should be submitted using the following template: Project Budget Template

Total requested project expenses should not exceed $12,000. Eligible expenses include but are not limited to faculty and student stipends for time spent on the project, materials, supplies, space rental, and travel. All projects should allocate a portion of the budget towards a stipend for the community partner to ensure their active participation and that the community engagement process is robust.

Pratt Center reserves the right to offer partial funding to some applicants. 

Grant Disbursement Process & Considerations

Grant monies will not be disbursed in any other method than those listed below:

  • 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.


Posted 03/15/2024

Pratt Center is now accepting applications from Pratt Institute faculty, staff, and students for the 2024–2025 Taconic Fellowship. Apply by June 30, 2024.

2023-2024 Projects

Co-Designing the Flatbush Community Land Trust
Hudson Access Project, Research and Advocacy Roadmap
Classroom Prototype: A Design-Build Community Engaged Studio
Racial Impact Report Assessment
Riis Beach is the Peoples’ Beach: Envisioning Queer Health in and with Community
Equitable Access to Art High Schools
Equitable Economic Development through Creative Placemaking
Visioning Corona Plaza

2022-2023 Projects

Food Futures Food Justice Lab
A flooded street in The Hole neighborhood looks more like a marsh, with tall grasses growing along the side. A row of houses are seen in the background
The Hole
Long Memories of Material Injustices
Pratt Phenology Trail
Mujeres Atrevidas

2021-2022 Projects

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

2020-2021 Projects

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

2019-2020 Projects

Environmental Justice For Vendors By Vendors
Future Cities
Life of Benjamin Banneker
Migration Stories in Multiple Media
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
Designating Community Gardens as Critical Environmental Areas