Community Innovation Incubator Undergraduate Fellowship

The Community Innovation Incubator Undergraduate Fellowship is a community-engaged learning program designed for undergraduate student teams interested in influencing social impact in Charlotte communities. Fellows work with community leaders and faculty researchers who have agreed to co-produce an innovative solution that addresses a community-identified need along the I-85/Sugar Creek/Hidden Valley corridor. The fellowship goals are to:
  • Provide practical support to faculty, staff, and leaders of community organizations as they co-produce their innovation; 

  • Contribute insights, lived experiences, and ingenuity to the initiative; and

  • Be a part of a supportive cohort of students working together to create a positive social impact.

Specifically, the Incubator initiative along the I-85/Sugar Creek corridor. Fellows will work in collaboration with community partners and faculty mentors who are familiar with the geographic area and/or the focus area of the project. Fellows are responsible for assisting faculty, staff, and community partners with canvasing to identify and provide data about community needs, population, history, and best practices, recommending resources, and supporting the work of community organizations in the area. Fellowship recipients participate in a service-learning contract during the fall semester of the fellowship year and receive $12 an hour up to  $1,000.00. They also gain access to invaluable leadership training and personal development. 

Eligibility & Selection Criteria
Any full-time undergraduate student at UNC-Charlotte is eligible to apply. Candidates will be interviewed and evaluated based on their sense of social responsibility, critical thinking skills, curiosity, and discipline. The most qualified applicants for admission to the Community Innovation Incubator Undergraduate Fellowship are those with the aptitude, knowledge, and experience beneficial for engaging in the work of co-producing community solutions within the I-85 Sugar Creek Corridor.

Academic & Community Connections
The fellowship focuses on the knowledge, resources, and strategies for successfully supporting the launch and sustaining community-based project. Fellows will learn about techniques in applied research, team recruitment, project management, strategy, and planning. They will also gain connections to leading community leaders in the area through visits and personal introductions.

Sept. 29: Applications Due 

Oct. 3: Selected fellows selected and notified

Oct. – Jan. 2024: Fellowship begins with partner sites 

Mid-Feb. 2024: Canvassing for research 

Mid-March: Capacity building with community members

April: Evaluations completed by the Director of Community Impact \

Applications for the 2023 Community Innovation Incubator Undergraduate Fellowship will be open from September 1, 2023 to September 29, 2023. Apply here

For more information contact Toye Watson (, director of Community Impact at urbanCORE, and visit