Graduate Engagement Opportunities
Exploring the link between active citizenship and academic knowledge

The Center for Civic Engagement offers programs aimed specifically at graduate students designed to enhance the quality of their engagement now and as they go on to pursue their careers. We thank The Graduate School for supporting this endeavor and look forward to working with graduate students to create more opportunities to help them be productive and engaged citizens.

GEO Community Practicum

Spend a quarter working for a community organization in the Chicago area while learning about the role of public intellectuals in civic life. Opportunities are available at the Chicago History Museum, the Field Museum, the Newberry Library, Friends of the Bloomingdale Trail, City of Evanston Department of Health among others. We work with each student to find the placement that suits his or her individual needs. The program is open to all PhD students, and through the support of The Graduate School students can use one quarter of their NU Fellowship funding to participate in the program. More.

Community Engagement Workshop

The Center for Civic Engagement has organized two Community Engagement Workshops. The workshops were half-day learning and networking events planned and executed for graduate students by graduate students with the purpose of providing participants direction and resources for developing strong, mutually-beneficial relationships with communities and community organizations. CCE will continue to work with graduate students to organize activities and workshops that focus on community-engagement activities. More.

Graduate Assistantship

The Center for Civic Engagement has two openings for graduate assistants each year. The two positions work closely with one another as well as with Center staff and faculty to promote and develop graduate student programing at CCE and to promote engaged scholarship at Northwestern University. The positions are open to any student in good standing in their 2nd through 5th year. Students from humanities and social sciences programs may "bank" up to 4 quarters of University funding to be used during their sixth year at the discretion of their home departments. 

The Graduate Assistants' main work areas are listed below. Both assistants will be involved in all of these areas, but each area will have a designated assistant assigned to take the lead.

The assistantships come with a standard stipend and tuition scholarship.

GEO Community Practicum Job Duties

  • Marketing to and recruiting graduate students for the program
  • Maintaining and developing community partnerships
  • Assisting in the placement of students
  • Assuring regular communication with site supervisors
  • Supporting instructor and occasionally attending class sessions

CCE Faculty Fellows Duties

  • Organizing quarterly faculty fellows meetings
  • Assuring regular communication with faculty fellows
  • Assisting in faculty fellows events

Special Events and Programs Job Duties

  • Developing programing ideas that further civic engagement or engaged scholarship among graduate students in all fields
  • Organizing, planning, and marketing events
  • Developing campus partnerships
  • Acting as liaison with Civically Engaged Grads student group to ensure complementary programming

Research and Assessment Job Duties

  • Assisting with research design and data collection to assess CCE programs
  • Quantitative and qualitative analysis of data
  • Writing reports for variety of audience and publication

General Job Duties

  • Participating in Center-wide events
  • Other duties as assigned, such as developing content and design for CCE's website; photographing events


  • Enrolled in a Northwestern University doctoral program, in their 2nd through 5th year
  • Experience working with community partners
  • Ability to plan, organize and schedule in an efficient, productive manner to accomplish projects or initiatives while managing competing priorities
  • Ability to analyze data using quantitative or qualitative methods (knowledge and skills in both preferred, for one candidate)
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively one-to-one and in small groups
  • Ability to write precise, well-organized emails, letters, proposals and reports
  • Web/graphic design skills a plus

Contact Ruth Curry ( with any questions.