FAQs for Community Organizations

Which organizations are eligible to apply to the CONNECT Program?

Any community organization or public entity (e.g. school district, local, state or federal government) is eligible to participate in the CONNECT Program. 

When can my organization apply to be matched with a CONNECT Fellow?

There are three upcoming opportunities to submit projects to be matched with CONNECT Fellows. These opportunities are concurrent to the University of Texas at Austin schedule - Summer, Fall and Spring semesters. See below for project submission deadlines for each cohort.

- Summer 2023: March 17

- Fall 2023: July 14

- Spring 2024: November 3

Can my organization participate in the CONNECT Program more than one time? 

Definitely. In fact, many of the projects we help organizations to source take place in phases over more than one project cohort.

What is the difference between a CONNECT Fellow and an intern?

CONNECT Fellows are specialized consultants for community organizations. They have expertise in data evaluation and measurement, produce specific deliverables and work tied to an agreed upon scope of work, and provide services on a limited time basis (typically 12 - 16 weeks, unless a project spans multiple semesters). CONNECT Fellows are always awarded a fellowship to recognize their participation in the program and can also receive academic credit as well, on occasion. 

Interns act as temporary staff members of an organization and are (usually) much more embedded within an organization than a CONNECT Fellow. They often perform a variety of tasks throughout their time with an organization. Typically, they receive on-the-job training that is often tied to their career goal(s) or area of study and as a result, benefit from regular guidance and/or coaching from the organization they are placed with. Interns often receive academic credit for fulfilling an internship requirement. Internships are commonly viewed as learn-first opportunities and are not always compensated. 

For a more detailed explanation about the difference between a CONNECT Fellow and an intern, click here.

Which graduate programs do CONNECT Fellows come from?

The CONNECT program is open to any graduate student (Master's or doctoral candidates) currently enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin.

What is the timeline for a typical project engagement?

Use the following links to view timeline details for upcoming project cohorts: Spring 2023Summer 2023, and Fall 2023

How does the matching process work?

Step 1: Organizations submit their project requests via an online form.

Step 2: CONNECT follows-up with organizations to collaboratively develop a project scope, share important dates and logistical information, and provide the organization with information about our program participation fee.  

Step 3: Students tell us about themselves via a short, online form.

Step 4: Matches are then determined based on project requirements and students’ availability, skillset, experience, and interests.

Step 5: Organization notifications are sent out via email to all matched organizations. Organizations receive information on the student they have been matched to and have the choice to accept or deny their match.

Step 6: Official match notifications are then sent out to the students. CONNECT then begins coordinating the initial project kick-off meeting.

What types of information is my organization required to submit through the CONNECT Program's online intake form? 

Click here to preview the information requested in our online intake form. Please note, you do not need to have your project fully fleshed out prior to completing the intake form. Just be sure to submit your project idea(s) by the corresponding deadline of the cohort you would like to be a part of.    

Can my organization interview the CONNECT Fellow that is matched with our project?

Organizations do not have the opportunity to interview the CONNECT Fellow(s) matched with their project(s). To ensure that CONNECT suggests the optimal match for your project, we encourage you to provide us with as much detailed information as possible regarding “non-negotiable” skills and qualities you would like your CONNECT Fellow to have. When your organization is notified of its suggested CONNECT Fellow match, you will be provided with the Fellow's profileand  resume to review prior to accepting or declining your match suggestion.

How much does it cost to participate in the CONNECT program? 

An administrative fee is calculated to include three, key components of the CONNECT program experience: consultation and project management, student recruitment, and student fellowships. An administrative fee is likely to be in the $2,000 - $6,000 range, depending on complexity/student skill required and how many phases (i.e. number of semesters) needed to complete a project request. The RGK Center recognizes there will be organizations for which this fee may be prohibitive. In these cases, the fee may be adjusted to reflect the resources available to each organization.

How does my organization pay the administrative fee?

Participating organizations will be sent one invoice after their project kick-off meeting and will be given 60 days to pay.

How can my organization support the CONNECT program?

The RGK Center accepts gifts in support of the CONNECT program. Gifts to UT are tax exempt under Section 170(c)(1). Gifts can be accepted online here. Or checks made payable to the University of Texas at Austin may be mailed to the following address: 

The University of Texas at Austin
LBJ School of Public Affairs
Attn: Development Office
PO Box Y
Austin, TX 78713