Harpur Fellows Program

Program Overview

The Harpur Fellows Program provides Harpur College undergraduates an opportunity to receive up to $4,000 to design and conduct their own community service project anywhere in the world while school is not in session (typically over summer break).

Make a global impact

  • Harpur Fellows Background

    Made possible by the generous support of Harpur College alumni, the Harpur Fellows Program is a unique opportunity for highly motivated undergraduates.

    Modeled on the Burch Fellows Program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, it is designed to give talented, highly motivated, imaginative undergraduates the opportunity to pursue a self-designed project that will serve the community and contribute to their intellectual and personal growth.

  • What to expect

    The fellowship provides support that will enable up to four recipients to pursue a passionate interest in a manner not possible through a regular academic program. The qualities that the fellowship is designed to recognize include passion, imagination, self-reliance, and perseverance, as well as academic achievement and potential.

    Those selected will receive up to $4,000 to pursue their project and will be obligated to give a public presentation on their accomplishments when they return to campus at the conclusion of the fellowship. Harpur Fellows will pursue their project during a period when they are not enrolled at the University, normally during the summer. This will enable Fellows to devote their full attention to the project.

  • Eligibility
    Any undergraduate in Harpur College who has completed at least one year of college work (32 hours), has a GPA of 3.2 or higher, and will return to Binghamton University for at least one semester after completing the fellowship is eligible to apply.
  • How To Apply


    The application process is designed to allow students to demonstrate that they have the qualities that will make them a successful fellow.

    Harpur Fellows Application

    The first step is to develop your community service project idea.  Think about:

    • What you want to accomplish with your project
    • Who you can work with to ensure success
      • Do you have a professor or advisor who can give you guidance? 
      • Is there an existing organization or agency you can partner with?
    • Where your project will be done
      • Do you have a support network available in that location?
    • When you will complete your project
      • Projects typically occur over summer break
      • It can be any duration that makes sense for your project
    • How much money you will need
      • Itemize project expenses
      • Factor in cost of supplies, travel expenses, etc.

    If you want to flesh out your ideas, please schedule an appointment via Starfish.

    Complete the Harpur Fellows Application (Google form). The application requires uploading a 1,000-word essay describing the project to be pursued, plan and timeline, Excel spreadsheet containing proposed project budget and resume.

    Complete the Harpur Fellows Application (Google form). The application requires uploading a 1,000-word essay describing the project to be pursued, plan and timeline, Excel spreadsheet containing proposed project budget and resume.

    The following materials should be submitted via email to: erin.cody@binghamton.edu OR mailed to: Erin Cody, Harpur Edge, Binghamton University, PO Box 6000 Binghamton, NY 13902-6000

    • One letter of recommendation from someone who can assess student's ability to complete the project successfully.
    • If project will be conducted with the cooperation of, or under the auspices of an organization, group, or individual, the applicant must include a letter of sponsorship from the individual or organization with the application materials.


    Finalists will be contacted to schedule an interview with the selection committee.

  • Criteria for Selection

    Applications will be evaluated by the selection committee to determine whether they demonstrate that the applicant has the passion, intellectual ability, organizational skills, and experience necessary to complete the project.

    In evaluating applications, the committee will consider:

    • The clarity, thoughtfulness, and thoroughness of the essay describing the project
    • The feasibility of completing the project during the time allotted and with the budget proposed
    • Whether the budget is well planned and will enable the applicant to complete the project economically
    • How the project will benefit a particular community
    • Whether the project will significantly contribute to the applicant's personal and intellectual growth

    After completion of the project, Fellows are expected to present on their project and accomplishments.

    Note: Students who wish to participate in the Harpur Fellows program and who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that they will be asked about their prior criminal history. This may impede your ability to participate. Students who have concerns about such matters, or are looking for additional information, are advised to contact the dean's office of their intended academic program.

  • Harpur Fellows Applicant Materials (Samples)
  • The Nature of the Fellowship

    The purpose of the Harpur Fellows Program is to encourage student development by helping Harpur undergraduates pursue a passionate interest through a self-designed project that is not part of an academic program, internship, or study abroad program.

    • While projects may be related to a student's major, minor, or career interests, they need not be.
    • There is no set length of the fellowship experience; its duration will be determined by the applicant and dictated by the amount of time necessary to complete the project as described in the application.
    • While fellows may travel abroad to complete their projects, they need not do so. Projects can be undertaken locally, nationally, or internationally, depending on the nature of the project.
    • Projects supported by the fellowship must have the promise of contributing to the community, although that community may be local, in another part of the state or the United States, or in another country.
    • To allow students to focus their attention on their project, they may not be enrolled in any academic program or internship during the duration of their fellowship.
    • For most students, this means that they will complete their fellowship during summer or winter break. However, applicants may choose to take a semester leave from the University to complete their fellowship.
    • Harpur Fellows will receive up to $4,000 to defray expenses associated with their project. Students may supplement the award with personal funds or support from grants or other sources, and those amounts may be reflected in the project budget. 

See what Harpur Fellows are up to

From projects close to home and endeavors overseas, Harpur Fellows have made an impact on the entire globe.

Contact Information