GRCC, University of Michigan team up to provide students with cutting edge research fellowship opportunities

Three students in a lecture.

Grand Rapids Community College is teaming up with the University of Michigan to provide students with cutting edge research opportunities.

GRCC students have until Feb. 10 to apply for the 2023 statewide Community College Summer Fellowship Program, a 10-week, paid fellowship at U-M. 

The program runs May 30 to Aug. 4 and offers research projects with mentors representing all 19 colleges/schools at U-M. The fellowship is offered by the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program at U-M and is open to any currently enrolled community college student interested in transferring in the future to any four-year university, not just Michigan.

The fellowship is a great chance to do research at U-M, gain professional networks and opportunities, and attend professional training workshops teaching the latest research techniques, said Michelle Ferrez, director of U-M’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.

“We see the real-world assets that community college students bring to the program, which is invaluable,” Ferrez said.

Many GRCC students have taken part in the research program through the years.

“The summer program has strengthened not just their academic skills, but their confidence as scholars and prepared them for a more successful transfer experience,” said Leanne Challa, GRCC program manager for the Transfer Bridges partnership between GRCC and U-M.

Student access to these programs removes barriers to learning which often exist between the two- and four-year institute experience, she said. 

“By encouraging and supporting the exploration of fields of study, connecting students to professionals in these fields, and providing the ability to engage first-hand with the four-year institute experience, these partnerships help build the bridge for successful transfer,” Challa said.

Research fellows receive a $3,000-$6,000 stipend for their part- or full-time participation in the program, and there are both in-person and virtual opportunities.

CCSFP seeks to attract a diverse student population, including women and historically underrepresented students, first generation college students, students from low-income backgrounds, and veterans.

Applicants must have:

  • Completed at least 18 credits (or two semesters) at the community college level and must have already graduated from high school or earned a GED
  • Completed 30 credits at the community college if you are a dual enrolled in high school
  • Enrolled and in attendance at a community college in Michigan

The CCSRP is one of many opportunities available to GRCC students available through the Transfer Bridges U-M grant relationship.

For more information, GRCC students can visit the U-M Community College Summer Fellowship Program page here, or reach out to Leanne Challa, program manager, Transfer Bridges to the Humanities U-M, via email at

This story was reported by Beth McKenna.

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