Byron Hanke Fellowship

The deadline for applying for the fall 2017 scholarship has passed. Applications for the Fall 2018 scholarship will be be taken starting February 2018.

The Foundation for Community Association Research (FCAR) awards its Byron Hanke Fellowship to selected graduate students to implement research projects related to the development, management and governance of common interest communities and their community associations. 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

Applicants must be enrolled, at time of application and through the research period, in a graduate level program (masters, doctoral, legal) at an accredited higher education institution in the United States or Canada. Students from any relevant discipline may apply for the Hanke Fellowship, provided their research project relates to community associations and/or common interest communities.

Areas and Topics of Study

Projects may focus on applied or theoretical research and must be done in conjunction with the fellow’s graduate studies. The application should clearly explain the purpose and anticipated outcomes of the project and show how it will expand or enhance existing theory, knowledge, or data collection and help to advance the Foundation’s mission. 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:

Applicants may submit proposals on other relevant topics with the understanding that preference will be given to proposals that address priority 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.


Hanke Fellows conduct specific research activity and use results and analysis to produce a comprehensive paper or thesis that relates to one the Foundation’s priority research topics. The proposed project must be approved by the academic advisor who will supervise the Fellowship project. The research paper must be original, substantive and available for copyright and publication by the Foundation.

Evaluation and Selection

The Foundation appoints a committee of qualified community association experts to oversee the Hanke Fellowship program. The Committee reviews applications and identifies eligible candidates with projects of interest for phone or in-person interviews. Fellowship decisions are usually announced in the summer to facilitate implementation at the start of the fall term.

Evaluation of applications is based on the project description and its relevance to the Foundation’s mission, goals and constituent interests. Consideration is given to the applicant’s academic record and goals, research and writing skills, and personal recommendations. Awards are based on merit, without regard to gender, age, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs or disabilities.

Note that immediate family of current CAI trustees and Foundation board members are not eligible to receive a Hanke Fellowship.

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

Project abstracts and applications for Fall 2017 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. The deadline was May 1, 2017. For more information, contact the Foundation at (888) 224-4321 or .

Recent Fellowship Recipients

Leslie Valencia, 2015-2016 Hanke Fellow at University of California Berkeley
Valencia’s research paper, “Sharing Equity Project: Bringing Community Associations and Affordable Housing Organizations Together,” addresses the availability of affordable housing in suburban settings. She compiled a database of organizations that provide and promote affordable housing that could benefit from collaboration with established community associations. The goal is to increase awareness about residential community associations and identify community association professionals as a resource for residents and managers in affordable housing communities throughout the United States.

Courtney L. Feldscher, 2010-2011 Hanke Fellow at Boston University
Feldscher investigated the scope and scale of conflicts in 80 residential community associations. Her paper, “Intra-Organizational Conflict in Boston Area Community Associations,” (pdf ) provides useful models for association leaders and managers seeking effective methods for conflict resolution and increased community collaboration.

Daniel Scheller, 2009-2010 Hanke Fellow at Florida State University and currently Assistant Professor at University of Texas El Paso
At a time when many Americans choose to live in communities governed by associations Scheller analyzed the effects of Homeowner Associations (HOAs) and Neighborhood Associations (NAs) on residential community property values in Leon County, Florida. His findings, published as “Neighborhood Governments and Their Role in Property Values,” show that HOAs tend to increase property values, while NAs exert no measurable influence on property values.