Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse: Community Fellows Program

As the state’s land grant university, Penn State’s mission includes improving the well-being and health of individuals and communities across the Commonwealth. Integral to that goal is close ties with our constituents. The Community Fellows Program, a funding mechanism of Penn State’s Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse and the Social Science Research Institute, provides support for faculty seeking to develop university-community collaborations that address substance abuse and its spillover effects to families and communities. These collaborations are intended to be aimed at building sustainable, evidence-based or evidence-informed programs, policies and/or practices that can effectively address substance misuse/abuse issues within a targeted community. Another goal of this initiative is to build the faculty member’s applied/translational research expertise. Toward this end, fellows will participate in webinars and workshops aimed at developing competencies in domains such as community engagement, program development, implementation and evaluation, partnering with government officials to promote evidence-based policy, and grant-writing.

Interested in becoming a 2020-2021 Community Fellow?

Fellowships will provide funding for full-time faculty members for up to two course releases (or the equivalent time for non-teaching faculty) across one or two academic years (up to $7,500 per course release for a total of $15,000).  Fellows are also eligible to apply for Community Collaboration funds (up to $5,000 for community activities, described below).  Faculty teams of two can divide the course release funds between them. Commonwealth campus faculty are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications should first be submitted for approval to the faculty member’s department/program head. Once the Head’s approval is obtained, the application should be forwarded to the candidate’s Chancellor/Dean. The Community Fellows Call will be yearly, and for each call, Chancellors/Deans may submit two Community Fellows proposals.

  • December 2, 2019: Chancellors/Deans forward up to two Community Fellowship proposals, along with their and the Department Head’s statements of support to ssri-seed-grant@psu.edu;
  • The CCSA’s Executive Committee will review proposals;
  • December 20, 2019: Faculty members will be notified of funding for the 2020-2021 academic year. Fellows should work directly with their Department Heads to schedule course releases.

You can find out about the application process here.

2019-2020 Community Fellows

Three community fellows proposals were selected for support in 2019:

Enhancing overdose awareness and prevention training within the Penn State Greater Allegheny and McKeesport communities- Katherine McLean and Sandra Trappen, administration of justice, Penn State Greater Allegheny, will work with Prevention Point Pittsburgh to expand the population of individuals trained to prevent, and equipped to reverse, opioid overdose.

Understanding the needs of Pennsylvania’s recovery community- H. H. (Bo) Cleveland, human development and family studies, University Park, will partner with the Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance to work with patients in substance use recovery.

Youth participatory action research as best practice: Empowering, healing, and learning with youth affected by the opioid and overdose crisis- Kristen Goessling, human development and family studies, Penn State Brandywine, will work with the Saving Our Lives Collective and the Penn State Center in Philadelphia to focus on Philadelphia youth who have been adversely affected by the opioid and overdose crisis and the emerging communities of care responding to the crisis.