COBI Fellowship in Social Innovation


The COBI Fellowship in Social Innovation is a transformative learning opportunity open to MSW students interested in understanding and creating social change. Those selected for the program spend three semesters participating in an intimate, hands-on learning process designed to strengthen their professional skills, innovative thinking, and leadership capabilities. Fellows attend workshops and seminars, engage with the community, collaborate with peers, create team projects focusing on social innovation, and apply these skills in full-time field placements (block placements) in their final semester. Upon graduation, fellows join a network of social innovators committed to building capacity for innovation within organizations. Fellows also receive a $15,000 stipend from the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, which will be disbursed in three installments of $5,000 for each semester.

2017-2018 Schedule
Semester 1 – (January 2017 to May 2017) Fellows will meet on a Saturday in January, February, April and May from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on the University Park campus in Los Angeles as part of their immersion. Participants convene in Washington, D.C. the week of March 13-20, 2017.

Semester 2 – (August 2017 to December 2017) Fellows will meet on a Saturday in August, September, October and December from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on the University Park campus in Los Angeles to work on team projects.

Semester 3 – (January 2018 to April 2018) Fellows will complete a four-month full-time field placement with a local, national or international community organization to gain real-life, on-the-job experience using the innovation model they have learned.

Applicants must be MSW students enrolled in the Department of Community, Organization, and Business Innovation (COBI). We seek students with high leadership potential who have experience in policy, research or teaching with interests in bold ideas and creatively using science, technology and social media.

How to Apply
For consideration, please submit your application online by October 15, 2016. Qualified candidates will be contacted for online interviews upon receipt of application. Fellows will be selected and notified no later than November 15, 2016.

Contact Us
For more information, please email


Faculty Mentors
Devon Brooks
Stephanie George
Harry Hunter
Stacy Kratz
Cheryl Macon-Oliver
Murali Nair
Richard Newmyer​
Jennifer Parga
Sara Schwartz
Ruth White