Resident Scholars Program

Meet Piper Trust’s Resident Scholars:
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Michael Sieng joined Piper Trust as the 2017-2019 Resident Scholar in July of 2017. In collaboration with Trust staff and Resident Scholar, Anna Bettis, he will contribute to a range of substantive projects that support grantmaking strategies, strategic learning efforts, and research. During his two-year tenure (2017-2019) as a Resident Scholar, Michael will develop and manage a self-designed project that will be mentored and supported by the Trust. Prior to joining Piper Trust, he was a Youth in Development Volunteer for Peace Corps in Thailand and a Warehouse Supervisor for Nestle. Michael holds a doctoral degree in sustainability from ASU’s School of Sustainability; his research Assessing Positive Youth Development Programs for Sustainable Participant Outcomes, focuses on the creation and application of a universal assessment tool for positive youth development programs using case studies in rural Thailand and the Phoenix-metro area.


Anna Bettis joined Piper Trust as the inaugural Resident Scholar in August of 2016. In collaboration with Trust staff, she will contribute to a range of substantive projects such as working on grantmaking strategies and strategic learning efforts and conducting related research activities. During her two-year tenure (2016-2018) as a Resident Scholar, Anna will develop and manage a self-designed project that will be mentored and supported by the Trust. Prior to joining Piper Trust, she was a graduate research assistant for the Executive Director of Arizona State University’s (ASU) Global Institute of Sustainability and managed programs designed to advance positive social change at ASU’s Changemaker Central. Anna holds a master’s degree in sustainability solutions from ASU’s School of Sustainability; her graduate studies focused on how to apply sustainability theories that address complex social and environmental challenges at local community levels.

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Resident Scholars Program provides a dynamic opportunity for promising early professionals to work at a place-based philanthropic organization. Piper Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona; it concentrates its efforts in six areas: arts and culture, children, education, healthcare and medical research, older adults, and religious organizations. The Trust strives to be more than a grantmaker by convening groups to address community issues, bringing in national thought leaders to enrich dialogue on critical topics, and fostering collaboration among social profit organizations and foundations.

The Resident Scholars Program is a two-year, full-time commitment at Piper Trust in Phoenix, Arizona/Maricopa County. Two Scholars will be in residence with a one-year overlap.

The Resident Scholars Program experience is tailored to the Trust’s needs and includes a wide range of substantive assignments including researching topics related to the Trust’s grantmaking interests, working with grantees and grantmaking strategies, communications, assessment and strategic learning efforts, and social profit capacity building programs. Working in collaboration with Trust staff, scholars gain knowledge about the field of philanthropy and the social profit world and share their learning through discussions and writing. Resident Scholars also develop and lead a substantial project around an issue.

Candidates for the Resident Scholars Program must have an undergraduate degree (a graduate degree and/or social profit work experience will add to a candidate’s competitiveness); excellent writing and computer skills are essential. A demonstrated desire to work in public service or the social profit sector is important as the Trust views the position to be a valuable early career opportunity.

How to Apply
To be considered for the Resident Scholars Program, applicants must complete the online application and include the following attachments: a cover letter, a detailed resume, and two letters of recommendation. The application and required attachments must be submitted by January 22, 2018. Finalists will be contacted for a phone and/or in-person interview. Selection of the 2018 Scholar is targeted for March 2018.

Questions? Visit the Scholars FAQ

Piper Trust Resident Scholars will receive a stipend of $45,000 per year, plus full health benefits, professional development support, and work-related travel expenses. Housing, transportation, and living arrangements are the responsibility of the Scholars.

Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is a private foundation and an equal opportunity employer, without discrimination of race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, disability, or any other protected characteristic established by law. For more information about Piper Trust visit: www.pipertrust.org.

For questions – contact: Karen Leland, Director, Communications, kleland@pipertrust.org / 480-556-7125