University Partners

Why collaborate with CRS?

As a faith-based international non-governmental organization with a presence in more than 100 countries, CRS offers many opportunities for universities to contribute to poverty alleviation. Our staff members have extensive expertise in agriculture, health, emergency response, water and sanitation, microfinance, peacebuilding and education. And we are one of the most efficient non-profit organizations in the world. In fiscal year 2015, 93 percent of the money we spent went directly to our relief and development programs. In addition to our private resources, we receive grants from the U.S. and other governments, foundations and corporate partners who recognize our ability to deliver results.

Engaging with CRS overseas

Research and evaluation

Partnering with CRS on research projects helps graduate students and faculty to validate concepts and theories in the real world of low resource settings. Such partnerships are mutually beneficial: CRS documents evidence of success and learns how to improve our programs, while academics gain access to field sites and data to test research hypotheses. These partnerships can also increase a university’s access to funding opportunities and networks of partners, while providing opportunities for joint scholarship, including publications, presentations and course materials. Academics help CRS to carry out baseline, midterm and final evaluations of our programs, contributing to the wider evidence base about what works.


Universities help CRS to design training modules and lead training workshops for our field staff, local partner staff, and civil servants from government ministries in the countries where we work. Universities provide CRS and partner staff with access to distance learning opportunities. Our staff members also serve universities as adjunct faculty and guest speakers, sharing field experiences and practitioner knowledge with faculty and students.


Universities can help us innovate in our work to deliver better services with greater efficiency in a more sustainable fashion. We seek to partner with universities to test game-changing new approaches that can be scaled up to bring about transformation in the lives of the poor. CRS is a cornerstone partner in USAID’s Global Development Lab which seeks to eradicate extreme poverty through breakthrough innovations developed in partnerships between non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector. 

Becoming a “CRS global campus”

Universities and colleges can collaborate with CRS by becoming a “CRS Global Campus”. The benefits include leadership training, advocacy training, professional development, participation in academic symposia, and joint speaking engagements on campus. Members may also participate in internships at CRS Headquarters and field trips to overseas programs. They may represent CRS and their school at conferences and events, and consult with our field and technical experts on curricula, courses, and programs.

Student engagement

The CRS Student Ambassador program allows college students to get involved in activities that help the poor overseas. On-campus chapters of student leaders are trained by CRS to mobilize their peers and bring to life the mission of global solidarity on campus. Chapters are connected to one another and to CRS in order to build a national movement for impactful change.

Faculty engagement

The CRS “Faculty Learning Commons” program enables faculty to tap into CRS’ expertise in relief and development. CRS develops online academic reading material and organizes classroom interaction with its staff. Examples of recent modules include Peace in the Middle East, Human Trafficking, Emergency Response, Food Security, Climate Change, and ICT4D.

Institutional engagement

With the support of the college or university president, faculty and staff form an interdisciplinary committee of key stakeholders that meets bi-annually to coordinate and advise the CRS partnership on campus. This CRS advisory group supports broad engagement on campus, including during major global emergencies.

Work opportunities

CRS offers intern positions at our headquarters in Baltimore and overseas. Recent graduates may also apply for our International Development Fellows Program, a highly competitive program that recruits 20-25 candidates annually from a pool of 500-700 applicants. Fellows typically choose a career path based overseas, most often as managers. CRS also offers opportunities for consultancies and long-term employment both overseas and in the U.S.


To learn more about our university partnerships, contact [email protected].