Program Overview

The OCHE Research Fellows Program is designed to give graduate students a system-level view of public higher education in Montana, the opportunity to research an area of interest under the mentorship of an ARSA team member, and complement their classroom experience with real-world application of the skills and competencies learned in their program. OCHE Research Fellows support ARSA initiatives that promote student and employee success throughout the MUS. Fellows are mentored by ARSA leadership and participate in project development, data analysis (both qualitative and quantitative), basic research in key initiative areas, policy design & implementation, and general campus outreach. This is a tremendous opportunity for current graduate students to receive academic credit and a $1,000 stipend while also gaining valuable experience and exposure at the highest administrative level of the Montana University System (MUS). Fellows begin their fellowship term with a virtual Orientation session with ARSA leadership. OCHE Fellows have many opportunities for professional development including presenting what they’ve learned at the end of the Fellowship term, attending a Board of Regents meeting, and connecting with MUS professionals in the student’s field.

OCHE Research Fellows Fall 2020 Announcement

How to Apply for the Fall 2020 Cohort

Applications for the Fall 2020 Cohort should be emailed to Rebecca Power ( by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 28. All candidates will be notified of the selection committee’s decision by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.

Please include the following application requirements in a single PDF:

  1. A cover letter (maximum two pages):
    1. Outlining your interest and qualifications
    2. identifying 3 project areas from the list below that interest you and a few sentence about how you’d address each in a research paper/project
  2. A comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae
  3. A letter of support from a faculty mentor who can confirm your qualifications for the Fellowship and commit to working with you and ARSA staff to award appropriate academic credit for the OCHE Research Fellowship

Fall 2020 Project Areas

The following projects have been identified by ARSA mentors for the Fall 2020 cohort. Applicants should choose 1-2 areas from this list to include in their cover letter.

  • Montana 10 Communications
  • Developmental/Remedial Education
  • State Higher Education Funding Policy Analysis
  • Resident Student Access to Resident Student Success Pathway
  • Post COVID Economy./Workforce Demands and MUS Response
  • Credentials of Value with Connection to Industry Needs
  • Upskilling Opportunities for Workers Impacted by Pandemic Economy
  • Montana University System (MUS) Transfer Policy
  • Impact of COVID-19 on Marginalized Communities and MUS Response

Selection Criteria

Candidates’ applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Academic experience (B.A./B.S. required; progress toward master’s/doctoral degree preferred)
  • Data analysis (coursework in statistics and/or data analysis preferred) or research skills
  • Outstanding written and oral communication, and the ability to collaborate with a diverse team
  • Demonstrated initiative and ability to conduct research with minimal supervision
  • Knowledge of and appreciation for the mission of public higher education in Montana
  • Applicant must be a current graduate student at a Montana University System institution

Program Contact

Please contact Rebecca Power, Academic Initiatives Analyst, at or (406) 449-9143 with any questions about the program.