The CUMU–Collaboratory Research Fellowship program explores campus-community partnerships on a national scale by leveraging Collaboratory Data to advance knowledge around campus-community partnerships, with a focus on larger, more quantitative methodologies that challenge assumptions, clarify anecdotal evidence, and examine larger trends and patterns. Fellowships are designed to give practitioner-scholars a national platform to pursue research and programmatic ideas that correlate with ongoing CUMU and Collaboratory initiatives.

2023 CUMU–Collaboratory Fellow

Paul Kuttner, Ed.D., formerly associate director of University Neighborhood Partners at the University of Utah, was named the 2023 CUMU-Collaboratory Research Fellow. During his fellowship, Kuttner collaborated with his colleague Erin Clouse, director of strategy and alignment for University of Utah Medical Group, to leverage Collaboratory data to conduct a mixed methods study examining outcomes and impacts of community engagement in higher education and how they are ​​conceptualized, measured, and facilitated across institutions.

Using institutional data to understand the impacts of community engagement across the country

Paul Kuttner shares research outcomes from his 2023 CUMU-Collaboratory Research Fellowship in this webinar.



paul kuttner headshot

More about the CUMU–Collaboratory Fellowship

Collaboratory’s Open Dataset is the largest dataset of its kind, representing data on community engagement and public service from 43 institutions across the United States. Collaboratory is not a survey; it is a dynamic software tool designed to facilitate comprehensive, longitudinal data collection on community engagement and public service activities conducted by faculty, staff, and students in higher education. Collaboratory utilizes a standard questionnaire developed by its co-founders (Janke, Medlin, and Holland, 2021) in the Institute for Community and Economic Engagement at UNC Greensboro, which continues to be closely monitored and adapted by Collaboratory’s staff and academic colleagues. It includes descriptive characteristics (what, where, when, with whom, to what end) of activities and invites participants to periodically update their information in accordance with activity progress over time. Examples of individual questions include the focus areas addressed, populations served, on- and off-campus collaborators, connections to teaching and research, pedagogies and student learning outcomes, the role community partners play in activities, and location of activities, among others.

  • Collaboratory’s Open Dataset is publicly available online in the CivicLeads repository. Review the codebook to understand the data structure and full scope of variables provided.
  • Researchers also have access to identifiable data from Collaboratory beyond what is openly available. Examples of such data include locations, funding, and activity descriptions. Proposals using identifiable data will be subject to full review in collaboration with UNC Greensboro’s Institute for Community and Economic Engagement.

Fellows will leverage Collaboratory data to establish and examine the research question(s) under consideration. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Examining common characteristics of community-based activities that involve multiple faculty, multiple disciplines, and multiple community partners
  • Comparing data across institutional subsets via IPEDS characteristics or other publicly available datasets
  • Exploring partnership quality throughout connections to teaching and research
  • Refining understanding of the relationships among activity types, foci, populations served, and/or outcomes

Submissions must be from a faculty member, staff, post-doc or graduate student from a CUMU member institution. Fellows should have the ability to synthesize findings from complex datasets.

Fellows will receive an award of $5,000. $2,500 at the initiation of the project and an additional $2,500 upon submission of the research brief. Funds may be used for any expense judged supportive of the fellow’s research including staffing or subcontracting analyses, transcription, or other services; professional travel; project expenses; equipment; or salary support.

CUMU and Collaboratory will support the research fellow through ongoing consultation and technical assistance to support the research project.