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Eligibility Requirements

The Taconic Fellowship, made possible by a grant from the Taconic Foundation, supports projects that align with Pratt Center’s urban planning and policy work in support of sustainable and equitable community development. Pratt Institute faculty, staff, and students working on community development projects throughout New York City are encouraged to apply. The goals of the Fellowship are to connect Pratt Institute's diverse disciplines to community development practices while supporting Pratt’s commitment to collaboration, interdisciplinary projects, and service learning.

Pratt Institute Affiliation

All projects must be led by current Pratt Institute faculty, staff, or students. Partnerships between faculty and students and between different departments are strongly encouraged. Student-led projects are welcome to apply; however, a faculty advisor must agree to act in a supervisory capacity for their project. All students must be enrolled for the entire 2020-2021 academic year. IMPORTANT: All project members must be available for all dates listed under the mandatory dates section. Please Note: Former Taconic Fellows must wait one academic year before re-applying.

Community Partner

All projects must partner with a community-based organization in New York City. In keeping with Pratt Center’s approach to community development, Taconic Fellows use a ground-up, community-based approach to tackling issues of urban sustainability and socioeconomic inequity. As such, the community partner should be invested in the project, and the project should be in alignment with the community partner’s existing projects or initiatives.

Issue Area

Projects must address one or more of the following areas and be grounded in principles of socioeconomic and/or racial equity:

  • Affordable housing preservation or development
  • Climate change/resiliency
  • Commercial corridor revitalization
  • Community design
  • Community history
  • Community organizing
  • Community planning
  • Economic development
  • Energy efficiency and the built environment
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Land use
  • Open space
  • Public art
  • Racial justice
  • Social architecture
  • Transportation planning/public transportation
  • Urban design

Community Impact

Proposals should demonstrate the capacity to make a tangible impact on a community, whether it is a placed based (or geographic) community or an affinity community of people with similar backgrounds and/or interests. Taconic Fellowship projects should have a significant community engagement component, and strive to have a meaningful, measurable impact on the community and/or community partner. While consciousness-raising is important, Taconic Fellowship projects should be outcome-orientated and endeavor to make a tangible impact.


All project activities must take place during the 2020-2021 academic year. Project activities occurring before the fall 2020 semester will be considered preparatory and discrete from fellowship activities.

Evaluation Criteria

A review committee consisting of Pratt Center Staff, Pratt Institute faculty and staff from various departments, and former Taconic Fellows will evaluate all proposals. The committee will evaluate proposals for feasibility, capacity, and commitment to equitable community development principles. Specifically, the review committee will make decisions based on:

  1. Significance and Relevance: Does the proposal use a community development framework to address a problem or question in the areas of community resiliency, urban planning equity, and/or socioeconomic equity?
  2. Community Impact: How will the project tangibly impact a community? Does the proposal reflect a deep community engagement process and mutually beneficial relationship between the fellows and the community partner?
  3. Capacity for Success: Are the fellows qualified to realize the proposed project? Is the community partner invested in the success of the project?
  4. Approach and Method: Is the project proposal adequately developed for the purpose of the project and commensurate with the stated project goal? Does the proposal allow for adequate collaboration and communication with the community partner to ensure feasible outcomes?

Mandatory Dates

Before beginning your application, please make sure that you are available for all dates listed below. These dates are a mandatory prerequisite for the program; there are no exceptions.
March 1st, 2020: Intent to Apply due
March 14th, 2020: Completed proposals due. No late submissions will be accepted.
May 1st, 2020: Finalist Interviews. Project leads must be available for a brief 30 minute interview on this day. Interviews will not be rescheduled.
August 29th, 2020: Fellowship Orientation. This day-long orientation is mandatory for all fellows: failure to attend the orientation will result in a withdrawal of the fellowship offer.

Additional meeting dates in the fall & spring semester to be announced.