The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

Zoom screenshot of 2020-21 Ginsberg 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 provide perspectives on 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 academic partners (faculty, staff and GSIs) in preparing students for community engagement through leading curricular and co-curricular workshops, developing curriculum, integrating current research into Ginsberg Center materials and resources, and supporting campus-community partnerships. 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 is Eligible:

  • 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. 

How to Apply:   

  • Applications for the 2021-2022 program are now closed. We will open applications for 2022-2023 during the winter 2022 term.

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 do Liaisons support Ginsberg workshops?

Most liaisons help 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, Liaisons are trained in facilitation techniques, and receive ongoing professional development in pedagogy, anti-racist facilitation, group dynamics, and leadership.  

How do Liaisons support campus-community partnerships? 

Starting in Fall 2021, some liaisons will work with our community engagement team to support our partnerships work by conducting follow-up phone calls with partners, identifying common trends and concerns across community partners, and assisting with data management and reporting. 

To build strong partnerships between academic and community partners, we have learned it 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 these strong relationships. This track is designed to allow graduate students the opportunity to support and learn from this effort.  

What are some examples of projects Liaisons have supported?

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.

Can Liaisons hold other positions while being a Liaison? 

Yes. Many Liaisons hold other positions, such as with CRLT or Rackham, while being a Liaison. 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 Liaison hours are flexible, this has not proven to be an issue.