Isao Fujimoto Research Award

The Center for Regional Change (CRC) is thrilled to invite you to apply for the inaugural Isao Fujimoto Student Engaged Research Award. This new award provides undergraduate students the opportunity to partner with a faculty member to engage in justice-oriented, community-engaged research in order to deepen their participation and learning in community development. This year’s fellowship will run during spring quarter 2024 with the option to extend the work through the summer and/or fall quarter.


This award is given in memory of Isao Fujimoto who joined UC Davis in 1967 and spent over 50 years as a faculty member where he helped establish and sustain the Community Development and Asian American Studies departments. Beyond the university, Isao cultivated rural and social justice movements in California and internationally and served on the boards of the Global Exchange, Food First, The Data Center, American Friends Service Committee, California Institute for Rural Studies and Rural America. Isao was firmly committed to providing students with applied, community-engaged learning experiences. He taught a UCD summer abroad course titled Community and Everyday Life in Japan in Kyoto where students met with community activist in the Kyoto-Osaka area; chaired a UC Berkeley delegation making contact with the student movement in Indonesia; led a Cornell student team on a literacy project in Honduras; and conducted field research on village development in the Philippines and advising Micronesian Occupational College in Palau, Micronesia. Throughout his teaching, he charged students to look for root problems underlying the complex problems communities face.


Isao’s irrepressible joy and determination stemmed from his lived experiences. His research interests included strategies for community empowerment, rural revitalization, celebrations and symbols for building community solidarity, sustainable agriculture and appropriate technology, Japanese American history and communities, the San Joaquin Valley, Third World, Pacific Rim, Japan, and Micronesia. This award was established by his colleagues, collaborators, and mentees when he passed away in February 2022. The CRC is delighted to accept research proposals that carry Isao’s legacy in community development.


To apply, current undergraduate students at UC Davis must please submit:

  • Online application form
  • Your resume or CV
  • 2 page proposal that includes:
    • Your name, major, year in school (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)
    • A description of your planned project or research including the timeline, partners (including community members), academic mentors, and key outcomes.
    • Barriers you anticipate during the project/research and how you plan to overcome them.
    • How will this experience expand your understanding of community development?
    • How does your work address or explore root problems to complex problems?
    • Your future professional or learning goals and how they relate to community engagement and development.
  • 2 references (name, email, phone) - including your faculty mentor for this project and one community or academic reference.

Award Amount: $2500  

Application Deadline: CLOSED. Reopens fall 2024

Awardee will be asked to submit a 1-page report along with a photo or other visual artifact at the completion of their project.