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Summer of Maps

Fellowships to USA University and Graduate Students
to Solve Challenges through GIS Technology

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Deadline Date:



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Fellowships of $6,000 to USA and territories university and graduate students to work on challenging GIS-related projects. Students will be placed with participating nonprofits to work on geospatial datasets. Projects may address topics such as public safety, public health and food, transportation, and community and economic development.

Summer of Maps is a 12-week program that provides competitive fellowships to students and matches them with challenging spatial analysis projects with nonprofit organizations. Azavea is a B Corporation, a social enterprise that applies the power of business to effect change. Azavea’s mission is to apply geospatial technology for positive social and civic impact as well as to advance the state-of-the-art through research.

Azavea is convinced that much of the potential of geospatial technology is not being realized, particularly in the nonprofit sector. Summer of Maps is a program launched in 2012 to address this. The program offers stipends to student spatial data analysts to apply their skills on projects for nonprofit organizations. Each year Azavea matches talented students of GIS with nonprofit organizations that have high-quality geospatial data sets and interesting spatial analysis questions. The students work with the Summer of Maps team to implement the projects over a three-month period during the summer.

The program has several objectives:
-Provide a high quality first professional experience for students with advanced geospatial analysis skills in order to prepare them to become the next generation of GIS professionals.
-Develop useful geospatial analysis deliverables that can be used to improve the operations of nonprofit organizations that would otherwise not be able to do so.
-Demonstrate the potential for use of geospatial data science to improve the impact and operations in the nonprofit sector.
-Grow the nonprofit GIS marketplace by encouraging sophisticated projects and delivering significant and useful results.

A few qualities that help applications stand out are:
- Additional geospatial technical skills beyond ArcMap. For example, experience with web tools such as CARTO, Leaflet or MapBox; experience with open source tools like QGIS, GeoDa and R; or experience with SQL or Python.
- The inclusion of an online portfolio that highlights technical and cartographic capabilities of the applicant. (These are often shared via Google/Dropbox/S3 link or a web page).
- A demonstrated interest in learning new skills on their own (either through online courses or other resources).
- Interest from applicants in pursuing spatial analysis in the professional career.

Fellows are provided a stipend and one-on-one mentoring by staff on Azavea’s Summer of Maps team during their 12-week fellowship while the nonprofit organizations receive sophisticated analysis and visualization of their data. Each fellow works with two nonprofit organizations as part of the Summer of Maps team in Azavea’s Philadelphia office.

Fellows are expected to adhere to a consistent weekly schedule. Responsibilities are listed below:
- Work directly with their nonprofit clients to determine project requirements and conduct a scope of work
- Research and assemble geospatial data from their clients and public data sources
- Coordinate with their mentors to provide regular status updates to their clients
- Develop map-based analyses for nonprofit clients
- Design cartography for analysis projects
- Write a minimum of two blog posts about the project work completed
- Perform other data analysis and cartography tasks as directed by the Project Manager
- Participate in Azavea company activities
- Conduct final presentations to their clients
- Participate in kick off and culminating program events
- Prepare short presentations on projects for the culminating event
- Produce a final deliverable packages for each project including documentation, data, maps, a report and other necessary client deliverables
- Complete all program work to satisfaction by the final day of the program without exception

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182873

Estimated Size of Grant:

Fellows are provided a $6,000 stipend and one-on-one mentoring. Fellows will be paid $2,000 each month.

Term of Contract:

Summer of Maps is a 12-week program.

The fellowship starts in June 2018 and concludes in August 2018.

Students that accept the offer to participate in the program are expected to work 12 weeks of time and 40 hours per week out of Azavea’s Philadelphia office. Fellows are expected to adhere to a consistent weekly schedule.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This is a paid fellowship program opened to full-time or part-time students. The Summer of Maps program defines a student as an individual accepted into or enrolled in an accredited post-secondary institution located in the United States, including community colleges, universities, masters, PhD and undergraduate programs. Alternatively, applicants may be enrolled in an accredited non-U.S. university, but must have a valid work visa that enables work in the United States (students are not able to sponsored for a visa or provide travel expenses for travel to the U.S.). If students are accepted into or enrolled in a college or university program as of April 2018, they are eligible to participate in the program, even if they will graduate during the program. Applicants must be available to work at the Azavea office in Philadelphia beginning June 4, 2018.

Applicants may be asked to provide transcripts or other documentation from their accredited institution as proof of enrollment or admission status. Applicants do not need to be in a Geography or GIS program in order to apply, but they should have experience performing analysis using desktop GIS software.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for students open in February for the program beginning in June. Students apply online using the link in Contact Information below. The application asks for information regarding their academic qualifications, detail their interest in the program and provide supporting information including a Summer of Maps portfolio and resume. Most importantly, students review a list of the projects proposed by nonprofit organizations that have been preselected for that summer and discuss their interest in those projects.

In March, after the submission due date has passed; the Summer of Maps team will review applications and select about 12 finalists to interview. Interviews will be conducted via Google Hangout, Skype, or phone.

A homework assignment will be provided and reviewed to make a final decision. Fellows will be selected and invited to the program in early April. Fellows will have 3 business days to accept or decline the fellowship. Once all acceptances are official, a public announcement will be made.

-December 4, 2017: Organization application opens
-January 28, 2018: Organization application closes
-February 16, 2018: Student application opens
-March 11, 2018: Student application closes
-April 2018: Student Fellows and Organizations Announced
-June 2018: Fellowship starts
-August 2018: Fellowship ends, projects delivered to Organizations

An additional funding cycle with a deadline of January 28, 2019 is anticipated.

Application Information:

Eligibility Requirements:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Azavea Data Analytics Team
990 Spring Garden Street, 5th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19123

P: 215-925-2600
F: 215-925-2663

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

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USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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