GSB Fellowship Program Details

2013 Global Social Benefit Fellows


This is an action research fellowship

This program integrates leadership development with action research to address the needs of the poor. Action research is practical research that can be used by social enterprises to further their mission fostering economic and sustainable development. Applicants should be prepared for a sustained effort in research and personal reflection across all nine months of the fellowship. Fellows develop their research skills on campus in the spring, conduct field research in the summer, and report their research in the fall.

View 2014 Course Syllabus for ELSJ 134 and for ELSJ 135.

Fellows provide enterprise-specific research reports; see "fellow profiles" and the 2012 projects for examples. Fellows also research cross-cutting themes in the social entrepreneurship field; listen to the 2013 Social Entrepreneurship Action Research Roundtables.

Action research projects for 2014

The Center anticipates awarding about 15 fellowships for students to work with about 6 GSBI social enterprises. Applicants should read these project proposals carefully, since they will be asked to rank them according to their interest in their application. Candidates will be selected for specific action research projects. The Center is proposing these projects, but is has not confirmed them. Projects will not be confirmed until we interview applicants and award the fellowships. 

Banapads: Provide a quantitative economic analysis of the different components of a new manufacturing process, and develop a training manual for ongoing growth of its women micro-entrepreneur sales force.

Rags2Riches: Analyze the social impact reporting of an enterprise that trains marginalized women to create artisanal products, and develop a strategy for expanding services in the Philippines.

Anudip/iMerit: Analyzing and enhancing the marketing tools andstrategies, and integrated IT and lifeskills training program for marginalized youth and women in India.

Good World Solutions: Social impact documentation, monitoring & evaluation, and possibly videography, supporting fair labor practices in India, and perhaps Bangladesh.

Ilumexico: Enhancing marketing strategies for selling solar lighting technologies in Indigenous communities of rural Mexico; this placement requires Spanish fluency.

Nazava Water Filters: Research to enhance the marketing and distribution of drinking water filters across the Indonesian archipelago.

Prior action research projects

Teams of fellows have undertaken the following action research activities: 

  1. Social Impact Monitoring and Evaluation
  2. Social Documentation and Videography
  3. Market Assessment 
  4. Mobile Applications and SMS Development
  5. Technology Evaluation

Learn more > Student profiles and examples of prior action research

Sample action research projects - for the 2013 cohort - can be found below and by clicking on the enterprise icons.

anudip action Research Equal Access_AR_badge Solar Ear_AR_badge Lifeline Action Reseach Proposal Comming Soon Solar Sister_AR_badge Angaza AR_badge

  1. Solar Ear Foundation
  2. Anudip/iMerit
  3. Equal Access
  4. Lifeline Energy
  5. Solar Sister
  6. Angaza Design

Fellowship Timeline

January: Application deadline

February: Finalists interviewed

March: Fellowships announced

Spring Quarter - ELSJ 134 "Social Entrepreneurship Seminar" We use the following text book: John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan. The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets that Change the World

June – August Six week field placement with social enterprise

Participation at the Global Social Benefit Incubator (several days in August)

Fall Quarter - ELSJ 135 "Research in Social Entrepreneurship" We use the following textbook: Christopher Lowney. Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World

The GSBF Field Placement Experience

All Fellowship placement sites are chosen from the GSBI Alumni network which spans over 160 organizations worldwide. GSBI Alumni apply to be host sites for the program and are vetted by Center staff on the following criteria:

  • Safety of the geographic region of the site
  • Feasibility and quality of the research proposed by the enterprise
  • Ability of fellows to gather research data at placement
  • Opportunities for the fellows to learn from the communities served by the enterprise

Participation as a fellowship placement site is not a requirement for GSBI Alumni, and 25% of each class will work at an enterprise domestically.

Matching Applicants with Field Sites

Beginning in November 2012, we will post detailed information about the social enterprises hosting fellows and the action research projects they wish fellows to complete. This will include specific information on countries, enterprises, action research projects and skill requirements. In 2013, fellows will serve in India, Uganda, and other countries.

Flights and Travel Logistics

All travel bookings for fellows are made directly by Center staff. This ensures that your costs are covered and that fellows will be able to travel together for what can by up to a day depending on the placement location. The Center will also be responsible for arranging your lodging accommodations during your placement. Any additional travel and sight-seeing are the responsibility of the fellows.

Safety and Communication

Santa Clara University holds paramount the health and safety of our students. This fellowship program follows all university international safety policies, which is closely tied to the US Department of State travel information. Each GSBF placement is thoroughly evaluated for safety from known environmental, disease, or political concerns. While fellows are abroad we require weekly communication via text or email. We also track regional news online so we are equipped with the latest developments in the placement region and can act quickly in case of an emergency. No international travel is without risk. Every applicant should have a conversation about international field work with their family and loved ones prior to submitting an application.





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