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Development Finance Initiative Graduate Student Fellowship

The Development Finance Initiative (DFI) at the UNC School of Government is seeking

Community Revitalization Fellows

DFI partners with local governments in North Carolina to attract private investment for transformative projects by providing specialized finance and development expertise. DFI partners with communities on projects including master-planned developments, urban infill redevelopment, downtown revitalization, and neighborhood redevelopment. Examples of our active projects include:


  • Site control and master development to create a town center in a fast-growing community
  • Pre-development of a large urban riverfront mixed-use project on city-owned land
  • Fund design and development for acquisition and adaptive reuse of historic commercial corridor


To support our work, DFI offers graduate student fellowships in real estate and community economic development. Applicants should have an interest and experience in real estate development, finance, community economic development, and/or downtown revitalization. Fellows will join multi-disciplinary teams that work with faculty, staff, and local government clients on development projects in North Carolina communities.

Under the guidance and supervision of staff, fellows will develop revitalization plans for distressed buildings, neighborhoods, or targeted redevelopment from work that includes touring local projects; meeting stakeholders; conducting market research; researching and performing due diligence on projects; developing strategies, plans, pro formas; researching best practices; writing blog posts and preparing presentations. Fellows may have the opportunity to present findings to local officials, faculty, staff and other stakeholders. Some in-state travel will be required with possible occasional overnight trips.

Qualifications: Graduate students in planning, business, public administration and/or related disciplines. Experience in real estate development, finance, and/or community economic development preferred. GIS skills helpful.

Compensation: Generous stipend

Intangibles: Mentorship from private real estate development experts, practical project-based experience, exposure to real challenges and opportunities in real communities, opportunity to make a difference.

Term: 15 – 20 hours per week throughout the academic year. Successful applicants hired this fall may have an opportunity to work in the spring and over the summer.

Hiring Timeline: DFI typically conducts the hiring process in February (for summer), August (for fall semester), and November (for spring semester). Contact Rory Dowling at for more information. Note: The fall hiring process has ended. DFI will be accepting applications again for Fellows in February 2020.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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