Maine Policy Scholars Program
The Maine Policy Scholars program is a year-long research scholarship in which an undergraduate student from each of the seven University of Maine System campuses, working closely with a faculty advisor, examines an issue of public policy relevance to Maine and proposes a solution in the form of a final report and presentation.
The program runs from May 2022 – April 2023. Applications are due in March on each UMS campus for the following year.
Student Scholarship funding: $5000 toward tuition, $1000 research expense reimbursement
Faculty advisor stipend: $1500
Each scholar focuses on a topic of their own choosing. Topics can be local (energy conservation strategies for campus buildings) or of statewide significance (strategies to keep Maine university graduates in state). In all cases, the topics are expected to be well-defined, subject to research, and of real concern to Maine or a segment of its people. Past student topics have included addiction prevention, wind power, forestry regulation, school nutrition programs, civic education, habitat conservation, the nursing shortage, and housing for seniors.
After conducting research—which can be from the literature, data analysis, or interviews (or all three)—the scholar produces a final policy memo which outlines the problem, the data, and recommended solutions. Each scholar presents their final policy recommendations before a panel at the end of the program.
Faculty advisors meet regularly with the student throughout the year-long program. All scholars and faculty advisors from the seven UMS campuses convene on at least four occasions. Scholars also identify community practitioners who serve as mentors and as a “reality check” on the scholars’ work.
The Maine Policy Scholars program is a collaboration between the MCS Policy Center and the Maine Community Foundation. The program was conceived by the late Peter Cox as a means of engaging students in the public policy process.