Summer Field School Fellows work with a community, government, or non-profit partners to create and complete projects that will have a positive impact on the Upstate region.

A student fellow and a community partner sitting together at a computer terminal.

Field School Fellows

As an Upstate Institute Field School Fellow, students are responsible for building relationships in the local community while completing independent research work on innovative projects that provide a community benefit. Through a Field School Fellowship, students strengthen their skills while building the capacity of the community organization with which they are working. The Field School allows students to develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing Upstate New York and a stronger appreciation for what the region has to offer.


Field School Fellowships are paid, full time research projects for Colgate students in the Central New York region, as well as in the Adirondack Park. Field School Fellows work 35 hours per week for up to ten weeks, and this work often takes place at the organization’s office, under the supervision of the organization’s staff. The Upstate Institute works with students to coordinate transportation. In addition, students meet weekly with Upstate Institute staff, and participate in an eight-week seminar on not-for-profit management and organization, and on the resources and needs of the Upstate New York region. Student researchers receive a stipend of $475 per week. 

Community Partner Application Process

The Upstate Institute will solicit preliminary project proposals from community organizations, nonprofit organizations, and municipalities for the 2021 Summer Field School through the Upstate Institute in December of 2020 and January of 2021. We are hoping to place 25 students in the Central New York region, and 5 students in the Adirondack region, to conduct research identified by the organization, if the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't prevent us from doing so. 

Our 2021 Field School application process for community partners is outlined in a document that is available below. 

Application Procedures for Community Partners

Student Application Process

The student application process for Summer 2021 projects in Central New York and the Adirondack Park will be available in February 2021. 

Stages Deadline
Students applications are due to the Upstate Institute Early March 2021
Decisions will be announced to students via email April 2021
Students reply to accept position and indicate start/end dates May 2021
Summer Housing TBD


The student application for the Summer Field School consists of a Google Form and three attachments: 

  1. an updated copy of your resume
  2. a copy of your Colgate transcript. 
  3. a letter that demonstrates your interest in the Summer Field School

As a part of the application process, students will identify which projects are most appropriate for their skills and interests. 

Please feel free to contact Project Director Julie Dudrick with any questions about this process.