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Deep Dives, Urban Sabbaticals, and Urban Graduate Fellowships are designed to enhance the impact of Extension, and the broader land-grant university system, in metropolitan communities. Learn more or meet our past fellows at

Application deadline (11:59 PDT): July 31, 2022

Fellowship Programs

DEEP DIVES:  Deep Dives were created to spur innovation within Extension, address complex issues facing metropolitan areas, and support the organizational needs of urban Extension programs, while providing opportunities for academic and community-based professionals to lead multi-state or national projects. Each WCMER Deep Dive is led by a WCMER Applied Research Fellow.

Anyone may apply. Only participants from WCMER platinum member institutions are eligible for funding which may be up to $10,000 annually for up to two years. See the WCMER member page to find out if your institution is a platinum member.

URBAN SABBATICALS: Urban Sabbaticals allow community-engaged scholars to work with the WCMER and faculty from member institutions to conduct applied research, develop or sharpen skills related to working in metropolitan communities, develop and/or pilot new programs, conduct feasibility studies for new programmatic areas, or co-author scholarly products.

Sabbaticals may range from 2-12 months. Anyone is eligible to apply. Only participants from WCMER member institutions will be eligible for stipends of up to $5,000 for platinum members and $2,000 for silver members. See the WCMER member page to find out if your institution is a member.

URBAN GRAD STUDENT FELLOWSHIP: Urban Graduate Fellowships will allow post-graduate students pursuing Master’s or Doctoral degrees to work with the WCMER and faculty from member institutions to conduct applied research, develop new or sharpen existing skills related to working in metropolitan communities, develop and / or pilot new programs, conduct feasibility studies for new programmatic areas, or co-author scholarly products.

Graduate fellowships may range from one quarter up to a full academic year including summer terms. Anyone is eligible to apply. Only participants from WCMER platinum member institutions will be eligible for stipends of up to $2,500. See the WCMER member page to find out if your institution is a member.

2022-23 Topics of Interest

The WCMER will accept applications on any topic of interest that addressed the goals and mission of WCMER, However, for the current round of funding, WCMER is especially interested in applications that address or relate to the intersection of diversity, equity and inclusion and the following topics: 

  1. Climate Change
  2. Workforce Development 
  3. Health Equity 


  • June 15, 2022: Application period opens
  • July 31, 2022: Application deadline (11:59 PDT)
  • August 31, 2022: Awardees notified
  • January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2023: Period of performance
  • June 30, 2023: Final report detailing accomplishments and use of funds due.

View / Download the Application Instructions 

For additional information, contact Brad Gaolach, Director WCMER
425-405-1734 |

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces significant investments to support urban agriculture, including $43.1 million for grants and cooperative agreements as well as six new urban county committees to help deliver key USDA programs to urban producers. These actions support USDA’s efforts to strengthen the food supply chain and transform the food system to be fairer, more competitive and more resilient. Read more.

Sourced from Morning Ag Clips

A recent report and executive summary on regional food systems entitled A Regional Imperative: The Case for Regional Food Systems has been published by the Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems which is a project of the Center for Transformative Action. Read the report and summary.

Sourced from the Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems.

There is an exciting resurgence in critical public scholarship: a push for universities to reach beyond their academic audiences and build stronger partnerships with community-based organizations and others to address pressing social issues (Burawoy 2006, Hartmann 2017). A particularly rich vein of engaged scholarship is the involvement of students and community partners as equal knowledge producers. The special issue brings together university scholars, community-based practitioners and researchers, and undergraduate and graduate students to highlight new trends in community-based research. The articles in this special issue of Social Sciences center community-engaged work on justice-related issues such as: immigrant rights, housing, labor, education, and schools - magnifying the multiple assets and collective power that diverse scholars and community-based practitioners bring to collective approaches, particularly in growing urban spaces. The special issue is split into two sections: articles about the *process* of conducting community-engaged scholarship – it's theory, methods, epistemology, ethics; and articles drawing *from* community engaged research projects. Explore this special Social Sciences issue.

Guest Editors: Dr. Steven McKay & Dr. Claudia Lopez

In Columbus, Ohio a group of high school students exchanged dialogue, documented their experiences, and developed calls to action to improve conditions in society. Based on the prototype from Metro High School, and previous work with teens in Marion, Ohio, Project DREAMS was born. Watch the 8-minute video here.

Sumitted by Whitney Gherman


National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) invites you to visit the updated NUEL website ( At this site you will find resources for Extension professionals working in and/or supporting urban communities and audiences. At the website you’ll also find information on how to further engage in NUEL through regional NUEL Networks, Action Teams, and connecting with the NUEL Steering Committee.

Additionally, NUEL has launched a new Connect Extension NUEL Subgroup to connect urban based Extension professionals across the country. We invite you to join this new NUEL Connect Extension Subgroup. A tab to join the subgroup can also be found at the top of the NUEL website. The Connect Extension NUEL Subgroup will serve as NUEL’s new main communications platform, and will be retiring the email listserv.

As a member of the NUEL subgroup you will receive access to:

  • Blog posts from NUEL executive and steering committee members
  • Urban Extension job description templates
  • Urban Extension journal articles and research briefs
  • Information on upcoming NUEL events, both national and regional
  • Opportunities to communicate virtually with urban Extension professionals
  • Virtual Chats-Interactive communication with other Extension professionals working in urban areas or those affiliated with urban audiences

The National Urban Extension Leaders Award recognizes Extension leaders who have made exceptional contributions to urban programming. This year's NUEL Award winner is Nicole Debose, Area Leader and Program Director for Ohio State Extension in Cuyahoga County.

Photo of Nicole Debose

Nicole Debose has over 15 years of experience working with nonprofit and public organizations to meet the needs of Cuyahoga County residents. With a strong knowledge of program development, project management and fund management she promotes the strengthening of families, enhancement of agriculture systems and the expansion of local business opportunities.

Nicole serves communities in the Cleveland area, creating an innovative interdisciplinary program and raising $1.2 million to support this work. She chaired the NUEL North Central Regional Network from 2018-2021.

Prior to joining OSU Extension, Nicole worked for Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services, where she developed and managed many community-based programs and initiatives. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning, Design and Development, a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management, and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration with a concentration in Informatics. Learn more about Nicole's Award. Learn more about NUEL.

The National Urban Extension Leaders (NUEL) Professional Development Action Team is focused on enhancing and supporting the professional growth of urban Extension professionals by focusing on opportunities to improve recruiting and retention. NUEL is currently seeking input from Extension professionals working in urban and metropolitan communities about their professional development needs and thoughts on how Extension can improve employee recruitment and retention. It will take less than 5 minutes to complete NUEL’s survey:

Additionally, NUEL is moving its communications to a new closed social media site through the Extension Foundation’s Connect Extension platform.  If you haven’t joined this group, please join today: Home | National Urban Extension Leaders | Connect Extension.  The NUEL Connect Extension group is open to all Extension professionals interested in news, resources, professional development, calendar events and networking around urban Extension topics.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new statistics from the 2016–2020 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates. Following pandemic-related data collection disruptions, the Census Bureau revised its methodology to reduce nonresponse bias in data collected in 2020. After evaluating the effectiveness of this methodology, the Census Bureau determined the standard, full suite of 2016–2020 ACS 5-year data are fit for public release, government, and business uses. These statistics boost the understanding of the social and economic characteristics of the U.S. population.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges for the 2020 ACS data collection, we have worked tirelessly over the last few months to refine our methodology and reduce the impact of nonresponse bias in the 2016–2020 ACS 5-year data products,” said Donna Daily, division chief of the ACS Office.

Read highlights from this release on income and poverty.

Sourced from

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Education and Workforce Development (EWD) focuses on developing the next generation of research, education, and Extension professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. In 2022, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for the AFRI’s Education and Workforce Development program areas to support

  • professional development opportunities for K-14 educational professionals;
  • non-formal education that cultivates food and agricultural interest in youth;
  • workforce training at community, junior, and technical colleges;
  • training of undergraduate students in research and Extension;
  • fellowships for predoctoral candidates and postdoctoral scholars; and
  • special workforce development topics.

Follow this link to learn more about the opportunity and application deadlines.