Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership

Loewenstern Fellowship in International Service and Civic Research

Through a generous donation by Walter Loewenstern (’58), the Loewenstern Fellowship provides a yearlong experience for students to conduct service and civic research abroad. Past Loewensterns have been placed in Latin America (Central and South America), Asia (China and India), Africa (Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya), and Europe (Bulgaria).  Through classroom and experiential learning students engage with cultures, people, and problems different than their own and may acquire the skills, insight, and values that will enable them to become principled, civic-minded leaders in the 21st century.

The Loewenstern Fellowship is rooted in the following four goals:

    1. To develop civic and global-minded service and leadership opportunities for Rice University undergraduates.
    2. To encourage and support undergraduate service and civic research abroad.
    3. To enrich students' understanding of complex global issues.
    4. To foster campus-wide discussion of global issues.

The Loewenstern Fellowship program aims to develop student capacity for research, service, and leadership while also providing value to partners and communities where students are placed. Consistent with the structure of the Center for Civic Leadership, Loewenstern Fellowships will be supported in:


  • Direct or indirect service work with non-profit organizations, governmental entities, or NGOs.
  • Opportunities in this track can range from capacity-building, advocacy, or direct service. Examples include community-building construction work, curriculum development for a domestic violence prevention program, implementing grassroots educational campaigns, or meal service to the homeless. This direct service is the foundation upon which many non-profit organizations are built and frequently involves direct client contact, allowing participants to connect with other individuals at a personal level.

Civic Research  

  •  Civic Research refers to a community-based collaborative partnership of researchers (academic or professional), students, and community organizations working together to expand information and knowledge on a critical issue or challenge, which will inform and effect social action and change. Civic research values local knowledge as the key source and devises research methods appropriate to the sociocultural context so that knowledge generated will be used and applied to address the focal issues.

All Service and Civic Research Fellowships must be through an Approved Third-Party Provider. To see opportunities for the 2018 Fellowship Year, visit the Approved Third-Party Provider page. Providers and proposals for this academic cycle are subject to change through October 15th, 2017.

To learn more about the present and past Loewenstern Fellows, please click here.

To hear from past participants firsthand, please click here.

To view a tentatitive list of partner organizations and providers, please click here. 

To view the 2018 Fellowship cycle information sheet, please click here. 

Dates Held: January 2018-December 2018. Only non-graduating undergraduates able to complete the full-year fellowship term are eligible to apply.

Funding: Funding up to $7000 is provided for placements in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe to cover round-trip travel to host country from the continental U.S., living expenses, and program fees.  Registration fees and airfares are paid on behalf of students to the approved providers listed below. Students receive a TAXABLE stipend to cover the costs of other related expenses. Please see Covered Expenses for eligible uses of the Loewenstern funds.

Contacts: All inquiries regarding the fellowship and placements should be directed to Fatima Raza, Assistant Director, by e-mail (fatima.raza@rice.edu).