Leadership in Action

Social Impact Fellowship

Have a great idea or project that can help you learn this summer while tackling a community issue head-on? Want to design and pursue your own independent project? Here’s how we can help you make it happen!


Funding is available for student-driven projects that integrate the following outcomes:

  • Community impact – makes a difference to a community (Yale-NUS or beyond), by raising awareness of an issue or advancing a solution to a community problem
  • “Real world” experiences – embeds reflection and interaction with practitioners and communities in the field
  • Learning – connects to personal passions and interests, academic pursuits, and/or career explorations

Initiatives that will be funded are those that have direct relevance to a particular community issue, problem, and solution; generate meaningful and sustainable impact for communities involved; reflect a high degree of student initiative, and seek to explore and answer an important question.

Types of projects
  • Community engagement/service projects
  • Creative projects including film or theatre projects
  • Research projects

More information on evaluation criteria can be accessed here.

Mentorship: Projects may be self-directed or created in partnership with an established organisation. In either case, applicants should have a faculty, staff, or mentor (from Yale-NUS or external) providing guidance on the proposal and project.

Duration: Project is at least 120 hours and 3 weeks in length. Duration may include time spent both in Singapore and abroad.

Location: Project may be domestic or international.

Participants: Projects may be carried out in groups or individually as long as it is within the proposed budget.

Grant amount: up to $2,000

Other Conditions:

  • The Social Impact Fellowship (SIF) prioritises projects not already funded by another department or external organisation.
  • It cannot be combined with other CIPE-funded opportunities.
  • Participants who receive a grant are required to submit a report and presentation in Fall.

Selection Process: Projects will be assessed by a review committee.

Timeline for Application:

  • January 1: Applications open
  • February 1: Application deadline
  • March 1: Applicants notified of decisions
    *Successful applicants have up to a week to accept the offer. Applicants may also be asked to revise and re-submit for consideration.

Items to Consider Before Applying:

  • Speak to your CIPE adviser
  • Think about your passions/interests
  • Think about possible organisations or individuals that you could connect with as part of your project

How to Apply:

Download application guidelines here and send your proposal to yocktheng.tan@yale-nus.edu.sg by Wednesday, February 1st, 2016 11:59 pm.

Acceptance into this fellowship is conditional upon your participation in a 2-day Pre-Departure Orientation in April 2016, and in a Post-Summer CIPE Symposium the first weekend after move-in, to share your reflections and learning


It is worth learning and thinking critically about international development and social justice as you consider and plan for your project. Here are some resources you may find helpful:

Upcoming Events: NA

Past Events

Doing Good Well
Saturday, 21 January 2017, 9 to 11AM [Venue TBD]

Join us to understand how to distil, articulate and assess impact for social impact efforts/projects. With a focus on enhancing effectiveness and sustainability, this session would be most useful for students who are currently involved in social impact efforts. Register here by 20 January 2017 2359 if you would like to attend.

Doing Good Well
Saturday, 22 October 2016, 1 to 3PM [Classroom 16]

Join us to understand how to distil, articulate and assess impact for social impact efforts/projects. With a focus on enhancing effectiveness and sustainability, this session would be most useful for students who are currently involved in social impact efforts. Register here by 20 October 2359 if you would like to attend.

Develop a Compelling Proposal
Wednesday, January 21st 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm [Classroom 16]

This workshop will cover important components of a proposal and help students craft a compelling case as they prepare to submit project proposals for Social Impact and Travel Fellowships, and Service in the City (SitC) grant. This workshop will go over formatting, identifying needs, and establishing a focus in your project ideas. Please RSVP here by 15 January 2016.

Brainstorming Ideas for Social Impact and Service
Saturday, November 21st 2015 10.30 am – 12:00 pm [Elm Rector’s Commons]

This panel event will feature past recipients of the Social Impact Fellowship who will share their experiences around ideation and execution of social impact or service projects. By attending this event, students will be able to understand the process of brainstorming and connecting project ideas to social impact, service and academic interest. Additionally, the panel will address important timelines to consider and resources they have tapped on.

For more information, please contact yocktheng.tan@yale-nus.edu.sg.

Report and Present Your Findings
April (Details TBD)

This workshop will give students the tools they need to document and synthesise their learning while in the field, to be able to share and present these reflections more widely upon their return.

Past Projects

Sustainability investigation in Scandinavia (here)

Community-Based Funding for Student Initiatives:

There are other sources of funding beyond Yale-NUS that you could tap on to support a great project idea. An updated list of funding sources for student initiatives in multiple fields from the arts to the environment can be found here.

Migrant Nation Speaker Series:

CIPE also supported the Migrant Nation Speaker Series from January to February 2014, an initiative led by students and faculty involved in “Migrant Nation”, one of the Week 7 projects. This three-part series hosted speakers from the public sector and local NGOs and screened several local short films to raise awareness and encourage action related to migrant workers in Singapore. Students and faculty from both Yale–NUS and the wider NUS community attended these sessions. In particular, this initiative reflects the ripple effects of Week 7; student ownership of their learning; and the potential for collaboration among CIPE, faculty, students, community partners, and the wider NUS community on co-curricular and extra-curricular programmes.

Have Questions?
Tan Yock Theng
Programme Manager, Leadership & Global Citizenship

Contact with questions about leadership development, civic engagement, NGO Bootcamp and social emotional learning.