CONNECT Frequently Asked Questions - Community Organizations

Which organizations are eligible to apply to CONNECT?

Any community organization that is a 501(c)(3) or a public entity (e.g. school district, local, state or federal government) is eligible to submit a project profile. Additionally, due to increasing demand, the CONNECT program will utilize the following criteria to prioritize project matching for the upcoming Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 cohorts - project type, organizational need, organizational readiness, and financial support.

When can my organization apply to be matched with a graduate student?

There are three upcoming opportunities to submit projects to be matched with graduate students. 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 2021: March 19

Fall 2021: July 16

Spring 2022: November 5

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. 

Which graduate programs do the CONNECT students come from?

The CONNECT program is open to any graduate student currently enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin.

What is the timeline for a typical project engagement?

Click the upcoming project cohorts to view timeline details: Summer 2021 Cohort, Fall 2021 Cohort, Spring 2022 Cohort

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 gain clarity on project goal and deliverables (if necessary), share important dates and logistical information, and provide the organization with their project fellowship estimate(s).  

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 online project profile form? 

Click here for an overview of the information required to match your project with a student. Please note, we provide assistance to any organization that needs additional help with scoping their project. 

Can my organization interview the student(s) that match with our project(s)?

Organizations do not have the opportunity to interview the student(s) that match with their project(s). To verify that CONNECT suggests the optimal match for your project, your organization is encouraged to include additional information (when asked to do so while completing the project profile form) regarding “non-negotiable” skills/qualities, you would like your graduate student to have. When your organization is notified of its suggested student match, you will be provided with the graduate student’s resume and any applicable work samples to review prior to accepting or declining your match suggestion.

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

There is no cost for organizations to apply. Organizations that choose to participate in the program will be asked to consider making a gift in support of the CONNECT program. Due to the generous philanthropic support of individuals and foundations, an inability to make a gift does not preclude participation in the CONNECT program.

How do I make my gift in support of the CONNECT program?

Gifts to UT are tax exempt under Section 170(c)(1). Gifts can be accepted online here (with "RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service" listed in the second line and adding "CONNECT" in the notes). 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