Student Fellowship

Food takes a complex journey from farms, forests, and waterways to our plates. A food system involves all the people, processes, and infrastructure involved in keeping us fed, such as growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, and disposing food. Food systems are deeply tied to global challenges including social inequality, climate change, and human health. Food policy councils have emerged in communities across the world to provide a space for representatives from across the food system to collectively devise place-based strategies to create a food system that, from farm to table, prioritizes equitable access, sustainability and resiliency.

The 2020-2022 Lender Fellowship project will be led by Professor Jonnell Robinson. Five Lender Student Fellows will engage in research, community engagement, dialogue and reflection to inform local efforts to create a more equitable, sustainable and inclusive food system in Central New York. Working in partnership with the Syracuse Onondaga Food Systems Alliance (SOFSA)—a newly created food policy council—and Faculty Fellow designee Prof. Robinson, student fellows will conduct participatory action research to promote community-driven food policies and practices.

Students from any discipline are encouraged to apply to serve as a Lender Student Fellow. We welcome students from all academic disciplines who are passionate about finding solutions to complex problems and want to sustain and encourage diversity and inclusion at Syracuse University. The Fellowships last for two years and will allow students to engage in collaborative research led by a faculty member.

During the two-year fellowship, students from any academic discipline will conduct secondary research on food policy councils and food justice initiatives, and collaborate with SOFSA to conduct primary research on the strengths and weaknesses of the local food system. The goal of our research will be to provide a model for how local food policy councils can address structural inequalities in food systems.

Selected fellows will:

  • Work closely with the faculty fellow in developing the collaborative research project
  • Work with students from various disciplines in a dynamic research environment
  • Participate in public discussions and presentations of the research project

In addition to support for the collaborative research project, student fellows will receive $500 of support for each of the two years.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, student fellows have the option to participate remotely or in-person. Students working in-person will be provided workspace in the Syracuse Community Geography Program office in 215 Lyman Hall.

The deadline for 2020-2022 applications has passed and student fellows have been selected. 

Application requirements:

Questions? Email