- Northeastern: 12/16/2022
- Fellowship: 12/16/2022
Each year, CGI U hosts a meeting where students, youth organizations, topic experts, and celebrities come together to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. The meeting will bring together more than 1,100 students to make a difference in CGI U's five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.
As a prerequisite of attending the CGI U meeting, students develop their own Commitments to Action: new, specific, and measurable initiatives that address pressing challenges on campus, in local communities, or around the world. A small number of student Commitments to Action are selected for the conference each year. After attending the conference, students are invited to submit revised proposals, vying for small grants of seed funding. Generally, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships will fund one project in each of the five commitment areas.
Term Length: 1 year
Needs Institutional Endorsement
US Citizenship Not Required
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and currently enrolled at Northeastern as of the date of the CGI U meeting.
The process for earning funding from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships is competitive. Funding is not guaranteed.
Applicants for this award must already have been invited to attend CGI U.
The application consists of a few components: an online application, PDFs of a narrative proposal (see elements below), a field survey, a line-item budget, résumé(s). Each of these components is described in detail below and will be completed separately. Students should use our online application to submit their proposals and budgets. The elements of the application are:
The Online Application Form
This section will contain:
- Title of project.
- Name(s) of the student applicant(s).
- Major(s) and degree(s) sought.
- Year(s) of graduation.
- Project dates.
- Amount of funding requested.
- Brief project commitment summary that details for a general audience the purpose, significance, methods, and anticipated outcomes of your commitment.
- Other details.
- CGI U Attendance and Meeting Notes
DO NOT INCLUDE THIS INFORMATION OR A COVER PAGE IN THE PROJECT COMMITMENT PROPOSAL — we collect all of this information in the ONLINE APPLICATION.
The Narrative Project Proposal (2 pages)
The proposal should be both concise and written for an audience of educated non-specialists. This portion should be 2 pages. Do not include a cover page. The proposal must contain the following elements:
Purpose and Outcomes
This section should describe:
- A brief but specific statement of the original question or challenge that the student seeks to understand and address in their commitment to action.
- Relevant background information for the project, with proper citations, to contextualize the project within similar work done related to the commitment to action.
- A list of objectives for the proposed commitment to action.
- A list of expected outcomes from the proposed commitment to action.
Significance and Originality
This section should:
- Clearly and concisely convey why the project is important, to you and the relevant communities impacted by the issues you are addressing in your commitment.
- Address how the project is expected to contribute to the generation of new information, scholarship, knowledge, or creative work.
Methods and Project Design
This section should contain:
- A specific description of the methods being applied in the project.
- An assessment of resources required for project planning and implementation.
- A consideration of potential project challenges.
- An explanation of when and for how long the various stages of the project will take place.
- Human Subjects: If the project involves human subjects or personal data, there should be clear evidence of the Institutional Review Board’s approval, waiver or anticipated approval. Append the IRB approval documents or waiver to the end of your proposal. (IRB approval must occur before project begins.)
- Vertebrate Animals: If the project involves working with non-human vertebrates, there should be clear evidence of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee’s approval, waiver or anticipated approval. Append the IACUC approval documents to the end of your proposal. (IACUC approval must occur before project begins.)
This section should describe the communities or organizations with whom you plan to work and a rationale for engagement. We are particularly interested in how you plan to engage with the above and ensure that their needs and thinking are reasonably incorporated into your commitment. What structures do you have in place for communication throughout the project? What is your understanding of how to ethically engage with the communities impacted by your commitment?
This section should describe how you plan to evaluate the project’s progress and outcomes. This section should specify milestones, benchmarks, and criteria that will be used both to assess and, if necessary, adjust the project while it is in process, as well as to evaluate the final outcomes.
An Annotated Field Survey (1-2 pages)
Here, we ask that you locate and analyze at least five project-related articles, works, organizations, or data sources. We want to understand how you are locating your project within existing community of practitioners doing this work and your relationship to established best practices in the field of your endeavor.
Budget (1 page)
Students must include a detailed, itemized budget of estimated project expenses and available resources, prepared using the Award Budget Template. Only budgets prepared using the template will be accepted.
These awards do not fund travel to present completed research at conferences. Do not include conference travel in your budget.
These awards do not fund stipends or wages for undergraduate researchers. Please make sure that this is legible and print this to PDF sideways!
Résumé (1 page)
Include a current résumé for the applicant and for each group member (if applicable).
Students whose Commitments to Action are selected by CGI U will be invited to attend the annual CGI U Meeting, hosted by President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.
As a member of the CGI U Network, Northeastern has also committed to provide funding for selected students to begin putting their Commitments into practice. Funding is at the discretion of the university and is not guaranteed; awards range from $1,000 to $3,000. The application process involves submitting a Commitment to Action revised and enhanced through participation in CGI U. Further details are provided to CGI U invitees each year.
To be considered for admission to the conference, all applicants are required to make a Commitment to Action in one of CGI U’s five focus areas: Education, Environment and Climate Change, Peace and Human Rights, Poverty Alleviation, and Public Health.
Each year, Northeastern students who attended the CGI U Meeting are invited to apply for small grants to execute their Commitments to Action. Funding is limited, and the application process involves submitting a Commitment to Action revised and enhanced through participation in CGI U. Further details are provided to CGI U invitees each year.
To apply to attend the CGI U Meeting, and potentially qualify for seed funding from Northeastern, students must submit a Commitment to Action via the CGI U Website.
CGI U Commitments to Action are made in one of five focus areas, and each is assigned a more specific commitment keyword. Below are the basic criteria for CGI U commitments, along with steps that will get you started on developing your own commitment.
New: Each commitment must be a new initiative for the individual or group making the commitment. If your commitment is an expansion of an existing effort, consider focusing on a different geographic area, working with new partners, or shifting the focus or scope of the initiative.
Specific: Each commitment must address a specific challenge with a defined course of action and detailed objectives. Define your commitment’s goal, outline your planned activities, and identify how long it will realistically take you to complete your project.
Measurable: Each commitment should achieve results that are measurable and can be reported back to CGI U. The impact of your commitment can be determined in many ways, whether you’re measuring volunteers trained, houses built, children tutored, or hours of direct service provided.
Types of Commitments
Individual commitments begin with a single person or a single person representing a group, who chooses to take action to address a pressing global challenge. Although individual commitments might evolve into a larger group effort down the road, they are characterized by the initial enterprise of a single person.
Group commitments begin with a group of young people who decide to take action. Group commitments may be an original group effort, or they can arise from an existing student group that crafts a unique CGI U commitment within their larger mission. Up to four students may apply to attend CGI U with a group commitment, but many more may be involved in its implementation.