The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

Graduate Liaisons

Do you want to deepen your understanding of community engagement while connecting with other doctoral students from across the university?

Through a generous gift from Bill and Inger Ginsberg, the Ginsberg Center offers a year-long leadership development opportunity for University of Michigan doctoral students. Ginsberg Graduate Academic Liaisons serve as connectors to their home departments, while deepening their knowledge and application of community engaged scholarship and practice. Graduate Academic Liaisons make a one-year commitment, renewable upon mutual agreement.  

Liaisons help broaden the Ginsberg Center’s capacity to support faculty in preparing students for community engagement through leading curricular and co-curricular workshops, developing curriculum, and integrating current research into Ginsberg Center materials and resources. In return, they are part of a community of practice centered around equitable community engagement. Liaisons learn and apply best practices, cultivate their leadership skills, form relationships with other students, faculty and community partners, and contribute to the Center's mission to support equitable campus-community partnerships in service to the public good.

The Ginsberg Graduate Academic Liaison program is part of part of the M-LEAD collaborative of leadership programs for students, and it is connected to M-LEAD's Collective Impact Framework and competencies. Participating in the Liaison program will help you to gain skills and knowledge of the following competencies: Building RelationshipsEmpathyFacilitationFeedbackMeaning-Making, and Self-Awareness



Who: Doctoral students interested in applying and expanding their knowledge and experience with community engagement. 

International students are welcome to apply. We will work with you to accomodate requirements of your visa.

Time Commitment & Pay: Each liaison commits to 5 hours a week for both the Fall and Winter semesters, including regular meetings with Ginsberg Center staff and cohort meetings. Depending on availability and project needs, there is also the possibility of working with us over the summer. Liaisons are typically paid $18/hour. 

Applications for the 2020-2021 program are now closed. Applications for the next program cycle are typically due in early May. 

Please contact us at with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a typical week look like for a Graduate Liaison?

Each Liaison is expected to commit roughly 5 hours a week as a Liaison. This includes workshop preparation and facilitation, independent project work (on or off-site), monthly cohort meetings, and meetings with the program advisor, as needed. Schedules vary, based on workshop requests, project needs, and Liaisons' other commitments.

How are Graduate Liaisons involved in Ginsberg workshops?

Most liaisons help facilitate workshops to prepare students for community engagement. Liaisons are trained to facilitate, and receive ongoing professional development in facilitation, group dynamics, and leadership.  Graduate Liaisons are matched with community-engaged courses and academic programs to offer offer an initial session to prepare students for their community engagement, targeted to the particular program or course context. Liaisons can also offer additional support by observing a class or community site visit to then offer a follow-up session, tailored to participants' needs.

What are some examples of projects to which Liaisons have contributed?

Liaisons have contributed significantly to a wide range of efforts at the Ginsberg Center. Many liaisons have contributed to workshop curriculum development, including conducting research, developing facilitation guides and integrating supplemental resources, such as the Community Engagement MOOC. Some have provided administrative support to our faculty grants and other programming, and supported website development and content creation. Others have supported our research and evaluation efforts by conducting literature reviews, analyzing data, developing reports, creating surveys, conducting interviews and contributing to program evaluation.

How are Liaisons assigned to projects? 

As Liaisons begin their role, they meet with the program advisor to decide which project(s) the Liaison will work on.  The project(s) will be informed by liaisons’ interests, skills and experiences as well as the Center's needs and priorities. Each project is student-led and will require some comfort with ambiguity, taking initiative, and ability to be flexible with changing priorities.