Byron Hanke Fellowship

The deadline for Fall 2016 has passed. The application for the fall 2017 scholarship will be available starting January 31.

The Byron Hanke Fellowship is available to graduate students working on topics related to community associations. Community associations govern common-interest communities of any kind—condominiums, cooperatives, townhouse developments, planned unit developments, and other developments where homeowners support an association with mandatory financial assessments, and are subject to use and aesthetic restrictions. Find out more about Byron Hanke.

Prior to sending in an application please read information below regarding the eligibility requirements, areas and topics of study, evaluation and selection, and stipends and payments. All information on eligibility and deadlines is up to date.

Eligibility Requirements

Hanke Fellowship applicants must be enrolled at the time of application, and through the period of research, in an accredited master's, doctoral, or law program in the United States of America or Canada. Students of all disciplines are welcome to apply for the Hanke Fellowship, provided their studies relate to community associations/ common interest communities generally and to the topic of the candidate's proposed community associations research project.

Areas and Topics of Study

Fellows are expected to prepare a research paper on community associations on one of the topics listed below. The Foundation recognizes and rewards outstanding achievement in the academic study of community associations. Papers submitted for the Byron Hanke Fellowship have come from a wide range of academic disciplines, including law, economics, sociology, and urban planning. These disciplines are appropriate areas of graduate studies for a Hanke Fellowship, along with any others which the Foundation may be persuaded are relevant to community associations. Before applying, please review the definition of a community association/common interest community.

Within the field of community associations and common-interest communities, Hanke Fellowship projects are accepted for the following topics:

Projects may focus on either applied or theoretical research. The Foundation is especially interested in substantive papers from the social sciences, which place community association housing within political or economic organizational models. In all cases, the topic must have the approval of the graduate student's general academic advisor, or of another full-time faculty member who will supervise the Hanke Fellow's project. The project topic must have potential of furthering understanding of residential community associations.

Evaluation and Selection

A selection committee administers the Hanke Fellowship program, including the screening and initial evaluation of applicants. Evaluation of applicants is on the basis of appropriateness of academic achievements, faculty recommendations, demonstrated research and writing ability, and the nature of the proposed topic and its benefit to the study and understanding of community associations. The Board of Directors of the Foundation makes the final selection. All awards will be based on merit, without regard to race, gender, or religion. Fellows are expected to prepare a research paper on community associations. Review our style guide for specific program details (MS Word).

Stipends and Payments

Stipends and payments come from the Foundation for Community Association Research and are sent to recipients in three equal payments.

The Hanke Fellowship stipends range from $3,000-$5,000 over one year, or as determined by the Foundation. The Foundation Executive Committee maintains the right to determine the amount of the stipend.

Application Process

The application for Fall 2017 will be available January 21.

Project abstracts and applications for Fall 2016 should be sent directly to the Foundation for Community Association Research at or to 6402 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 500, Falls Church, VA 22042, attn: Hanke Fellowship. For more information, contact the Foundation at (888) 224-4321 or .

Recent Fellowship Recipients

Leslie Valencia (.pdf) of Brooklyn, NY, is the 2015-2016 recipient of the Byron Hanke Fellowship. Valencia is currently enrolled in the University of California at Berkeley Graduate Program for City + Regional Planning. Leslie’s research as part of the Foundation’s Byron Hanke Fellowship addresses the suburbanization of poverty and explores the ways in which community associations can be used as a tool in creating sustainable communities in low-income suburbs. In 2005, the American Community Survey revealed that for the first time, more families under the poverty line lived in the suburbs of major metropolitan areas than in central cities.  This research has inspired dialogue among planners in topics surrounding transportation and job sprawl, and Leslie’s research aspires to expand on the topic of affordable housing, multi-family housing, and the many forms of homeownership that may or may not benefit working class suburbs.

Courtney L. Feldscher (MS Word), of Boston, MA, is the 2010-2011 recipient of the Byron Hanke Fellowship. Feldscher is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Boston University. Feldscher investigated the scope and scale of intra-organizational conflict in approximately 300 Boston-area community associations. How often does conflict occur? What types of conflict occur? Between whom does conflict most often occur? What are the sources and trends of conflict?

By identifying the trends of intra-organizational conflict in associations, this research promotes cooperation among community members. Feldscher's study (PDF) helps board members, homeowners, and management companies address potential sources of conflict, limit instances of conflict within community associations and identify the social, economic, and political interests of community members.