Ginsberg Graduate Consultant Program

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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 leadership development opportunity for University of Michigan doctoral students and candidates called the Ginsberg Graduate Consultant Program (formerly Graduate Academic Liaisons).

Graduate Consultants deepen their knowledge and application of community-engaged scholarship, education, and practice, and provide perspectives on their home departments and fields. Open to PhD students across disciplines, our program trains you for one of two roles: Engaged Learning Consultants and Community Partnership Consultants.

All Graduate Consultants help broaden the Ginsberg Center’s capacity to support our academic partners (faculty, staff, and GSIs) and our community partners. In return, they are part of a community of practice centered around equitable community engagement. Graduate Consultants learn and apply best practices, cultivate their leadership skills, form relationships with other students, academic, 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 Consultant program begain in 2017 and 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 Graduate Consultant program will help you to gain skills and knowledge of the following competencies: Building RelationshipsEmpathyFacilitationFeedbackMeaning-Making, and Self-Awareness

We have 2 roles available for the 2024-2025 Academic Year:

  • Facilitate workshops on topics including foundations of community engagement, anti-racist community engagement, and appreciative interviewing
  • Contribute to the development of new curriculum and materials for Ginsberg Center workshops and trainings

  • Develop and practice skills including leadership, communication, workshop facilitation, consultation, curriculum development, public speaking, research, and equitable community engagement practice

  • Engage in trainings and professional development with other consultants in a collaborative community of practice, in order to develop a professional identity as a community engagement consultant and educator

  • Have the opportunity to participate in other aspects of Ginsberg Center’s work, including data analysis, creating and analyzing surveys, program evaluation, and research.

  • Support Ginsberg’s relationships with Community Partners by consulting with partner organizations in check-in meetings, scoping new potential partnership projects, and updating Community Partner priorities in our campus-wide database
  • Translate and advocate for Community Partner priorities through the matchmaking process

  • Attend community-based meetings to build deeper knowledge of community relations and to expand community access to the Ginsberg Center

  • Engage in training and professional development with other consultants in a collaborative community of practice

  • Develop and practice skills including communication and networking, data and relationship management, community consulting, organizational research, and equitable community engagement practice

  • Have the opportunity to participate in other aspects of Ginsberg Center’s work, including data analysis, creating and analyzing surveys, program evaluation, and research. 

Who is Eligible:

  • Doctoral students and candidates from any discipline are welcome to apply.

  • International students are welcome to apply. Ginsberg is subject to the same visa rules and limitations for international students as the rest of campus. We're happy to talk with you if you're not sure whether you can work for Ginsberg.

  • Unfortunately we do not have Graduate Consultant positions available for Master's students at this time - check out our Graduate Professional Student Opportunities page for other ways to work with Ginsberg.

Time Commitment & Pay:

  • Each Graduate Consultant commits to 5 hours a week for both Fall and Winter semester, including regular meetings with Ginsberg Center staff and cohort meetings. We expect 50-70 hours of work per year.

  • Postions are hybrid.

  • Depending on availability and project needs, there is also the possibility of working with us over the summer.

  • Graduate Consultants begin at $20/hr.

How to Apply:   

  • Applications for the 2024-2025 Ginsberg Graduate Consultant Program are now open! Applications are due March 6, 2024 by 11:59pm. Apply here.
  • You can also learn more about the program and talk to Ginsberg staff and GradCons at an Info Session on Wednesday, February 21 from noon-1p.

Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each Graduate Consultant is expected to commit roughly 5 hours a week.

For Engaged Learning Consultants, 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 Consultants' other commitments.

For Community Partnership Consultants this includes preparing for, conducting, and entering notes from community partner meetings into Salesforce; joining a Match team account review meeting to discuss last month’s partner meetings; attending community meetings and sharing notes with the Community Engagement team; meeting with Community Engagement staff as needed; and working on independent projects.

Engaged Learning Consultants facilitate workshops for students from diverse fields and backgrounds to prepare them to engage ethically with communities. This preparation leads to more equitable community engagement and helps students develop long-term habits of working towards social justice. These workshops are offered as part of courses and programs and are tailored to their particular contexts. In this role, Engaged Learning Consultants are trained in facilitation techniques, and receive ongoing professional development in pedagogy, anti-racist facilitation, group dynamics, and leadership. Engaged Learning Consultants also have the opportunity to assist with curriculum development and research, if they wish.

Community Partnership Consultants will work with our community engagement team to support our partnerships work by conducting regular check-in meetings with partners, identifying common trends and concerns across community partners, and assisting with data management and reporting. 

We have learned that building strong partnerships between academic and community partners involves close communication with organizations. As Ginberg’s network continues to grow, we need more support to foster the close stewardship and communication that yields the strong relationships that benefit students, faculty, and communities. This track is designed to allow graduate students the opportunity to support and learn from this effort.

Graduate Consultants have contributed significantly to a wide range of efforts at the Ginsberg Center. Many Graduate Consultants 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.

As Graduate Consultants begin their role, they meet with the program advisor to decide which project(s) the Graduate Consultant will work on.  The project(s) will be informed by each Consultants’ 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.

Yes. Many Graduate Consultants hold other positions, such as with CRLT or Rackham, while being part of the Ginsberg Graduate Consultant Program. The only thing to consider is if there are limits in your funding or through your department on the number of hours you may work in a given week. As mentioned above, since Graduate Consultant hours are flexible, this has not been an issue. 

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2023-2024 Graduate Consultants