Edward M. Gramlich Fellowship in Community and Economic Development (for Harvard Graduate Students)

The Edward M. Gramlich Fellowship in Community and Economic Development is co-sponsored by the Center and NeighborWorks®America. The fellowship is named for Edward “Ned” Gramlich, a former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and former chairman of NeighborWorks® America, who was a strong and consistent advocate for consumer protection in the financial arena.

Gramlich Fellows spend a summer investigating a policy or practice challenge faced by organizations in the NeighborWorks America network, with a particular emphasis on identifying and examining efforts to address those challenges.


$9,000 compensation, plus travel and research expenses, enrollment in the NeighborWorks America Training Institute with all expenses paid (tuition, travel/lodging and related expenses), project mentoring by faculty of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, potential for publication of project as part of our Working Paper Series, the opportunity to present findings to a group of practitioners at the NeighborWorks Training Institute in Washington, D.C., and also present the findings to leading policy makers, researchers, and advocacy groups at a separate policy briefing also in Washington, DC, and 10 weeks use of office space at a NeighborWorks® America location.


Harvard graduate students not in their graduating year who are in planning, public policy, law, business, economics, administration, sociology, education, or related fields who have commitment to and knowledge of the community and economic development fields. Must be entrepreneurial and committed to co-developing, leading, and completing a minimum 10-week analytical project (full-time) that is suitable for publication as a working paper.


While applicants can propose research on topics that especially interest them, NeighborWorks® America and the Center are especially interested in projects related to how community-based organizations might address one of the following challenges: 

  • Aging in place 
  • Broadband access in rural areas 
  • Community Development Finance Institutions' (CDFI's) ability to serve minority and hard-to-reach populations
  • Credit building for renters
  • Evictions and rental arrears
  • Health Equity
  • Homelessness and informal encampments 
  • Housing market trends in middle-income neighborhoods
  • Leadership changes and key staff transitions 
  • Racial and ethnic disparities in wealth and/or homeownership 
  • Resident leadership on nonprofit boards 
  • Role of single-family development in revitalizing legacy neighborhoods
  • The use of data and evaluation in directing nonprofit activities 



  • The Gramlich Fellowship was a highlight of my time at Harvard. It enabled me to explore my potential as a researcher and meaningfully collaborate with community development practitioners as well as JCHS staff. The mentorship that I received and the connections that I made continue to guide my career.
    - Susanna Pho, 2018 Gramlich Fellow, Co-Founder & COO, Forerunner
  • The Gramlich Fellowship was an unparalleled opportunity to explore the world of academic research while making meaningful professional connections with practitioners. I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to engage with community based organizations, hone my writing skills, and build a collaborative relationship with my mentor, who continued to be a major source of support long after finishing the fellowship. 
    Caroline Lauer, 2017 Gramlich Fellow, Resiliency Director, Climate Smart Missoula
  • An unparalleled opportunity that connects curious researchers to a network of experienced practitioners and renowned experts. The support and guidance provided by the staff of JCHS and NeighborWorks ensured that my research findings would be relevant to a broad audience of policymakers and industry professionals.
    – Matthew Schreiber, 2017 Gramlich Fellow, Project Manager, Community Housing Partnership

How to Apply

Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume or cv, a transcript of courses they have taken in graduate school, and contact information for two references.  

In the cover letter, please answer the following questions:

  • How have your past professional and educational experiences prepared you for this fellowship opportunity?
  • What interests you most about this opportunity and what do you hope to learn?
  • Why does the field of community and economic development interest you?

Applicants should submit their materials via Harvard's Centralized Application for Research and Travel (CARAT) system

The 2022 application deadline has passed.