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Weingartner Global Initiative

A key part of the Weingartner Global Initiative is the Weingartner Professor working with students on research projects that investigate topics on deliberative democracy. The initiative is funded through the generosity of Werner and Mary Anne Weingartner.

Weingartner Professor

The Weingartner Professor is a W&M faculty appointed for a two-year term, receiving a $5,000 stipend each term and an additional $2,000 per year available for research-related expenses. The professor convenes a yearly cohort of Student Fellows chosen from the applicant pool. Together, the professor and students are introduced to the literature on deliberative democracy; select a policy topic that will serve as the focus of multiple deliberations on campus and elsewhere to be held in the following fall term; identify the primary policy options for addressing the topic they have selected; and prepare an issue booklet that will be distributed to participants before they participate in a deliberation. Faculty Application

Weingartner Student Fellows

This select group of up to ten undergraduates develops specific proposals aimed at helping to address current issues of concern. Participants work independently of close faculty supervision, but on a collaborative basis, including with peers abroad. They are encouraged to consider how the United States and other societies can learn from each other in dealing with similar problems and in shaping concrete policy solutions.

In the Spring semester, the Fellows are enrolled in a 2-credit Interdisciplinary Seminar. Working as a team in the Spring semester and based on background reading, they identify specific policy options for further research, and select those in which they will develop concrete proposals.During most sessions of the course, participants work jointly (with general instructor assistance) on identifying and developing their proposals. Other meetings of the seminar include discussion with faculty or guest specialists, as well as instruction on preparing and presenting policy-relevant research.

In the Summer semester, three Fellows are eligible for Charles Center Scholarship support allowing them to conduct in-depth research on their respective teams' policy proposals. Each of the summer grants is $3,000.

In late Fall semester, the Seminar's final policy proposals will be presented (along with supporting materials) to a randomly selected panel/citizens jury of fellow students for deliberation and a decision. Student Application