The 2020 application process is now closed. 2021 applications will open in July with an October deadline.

An Opportunity for Career Development

Since 2001, AFO has partnered with The Van Evera and Janet M. Bailey Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation in awarding the $25,000 annual Van Evera Bailey Fellowship to advance the professional development of design and building professionals and encourage greater contributions to their profession and community. This Fellowship is an opportunity for professionals in the field to examine not only what they think, but how they think.

Fellowship projects follow a variety of paths, from pure research involving reflection on professional issues and challenges to practical research involving projects designed to have specific results. Examples of eligible activities include but are not limited to:

  • sabbaticals for study of innovative architectural design to be applied in Oregon
  • teaching engagements that promise enhancement of the applicant’s and students’ creativity in architectural design
  • collaborations of architects and planners or others toward the implementation of new projects
  • preparation of public education projects; or research and writing on a specific topic

Watch the information session featuring past Fellows and AFO Executive Director Claire Blaylock to learn more about how to prepare your proposal for submission. Recorded September 10, 2020.

Meet our 2019 VEB Fellows, Jackie Santa Lucia and Harley Cowan

Jackie Santa Lucia, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB is a licensed architect, project manager and community advocate based in Portland. Santa Lucia is using the fellowship to expand the Your Street Your Voice (YSYV) program for high school students, to further create more equitable architecture, engineering, construction and design professions.

An excerpt from Santa Lucia’s proposal: “While the initial impact of my proposal is to introduce more students to our industry as a career path and fill the gap of the pipeline, my greater hope is to bring equity work in all areas of the industry and dismantle the institutionalized racist and sexist systems in our fields and create new processes that empower targeted communities to participate in shaping our profession’s future.”

Harley Cowan is a silver gelatin photographer and licensed architect based in Portland. Cowan is using the fellowship to dive deeper into his passion for heritage photography, capture architecture and engineering at risk or in need of documentation, and to further educate and connect Oregonians with history.

An excerpt from Cowan’s proposal: “Healthy cultures need historical interpretation. I believe that our cultural resources have stories to tell about who we are. I believe that it is possible to provide a voice for these places and for the designers and architects who may no longer have a voice of their own… I intend to use the fellowship as a sabbatical to focus entirely on art and craft of heritage documentation and as a platform for public outreach and education. I will work with historians and preservationists to properly identify and catalog Oregon’s contributions to American architectural heritage.” Learn more at


Eligibility for the Fellowship is flexible. Favorable emphasis will be given to applicants based in Oregon who are at a point of inflection in their career. The intention of the Fellowship is to provide time for creativity, reflection and a pursuit of deeper understanding of ideas that will result in lasting value to the applicant, the profession and the greater community.

The Fellowship is intended to promote dissemination and application of ideas. Support may be requested for stipends, travel, lodging, materials, and other relevant needs. Projects must include follow-up activities that in some way shares the results of the Fellowship with the professional community and general public. Fellows will be asked to provide information to document their experience. At the end of the Fellowship, AFO and the Fellow will collaborate on a short professionally produced video highlighting the project and its outcome. This video will be featured on the AFO website, social media outlets and may be utilized to discuss the program in the future.

Applicants may apply jointly for a Van Evera Bailey Fellowship. For example, if an architect and an urban planner see potential for an innovative project that requires unusual research, they might apply jointly for stipends or support of travel and other expenses in order to examine relevant work in other communities, states, or countries; consult with professional peers and leading thinkers; formulate detailed plans; and produce articles or public education programs.

Current members of the board of AFO are not eligible to apply or to receive Fellowship funds indirectly as a partner in a proposed project.

Application Requirements

In 2020 we transitioned our application process to a platform called Submittable. Applicants must now submit proposals electronically through an application form. You will be asked to make a free account through Submittable, which will allow you to save drafts as you work through the application and allow you to access your submitted application at any time.

(1) Greatest scoring weight will be given to the application essay prompts outlined below:

  • Explain your compelling concept for the Fellowship and a clearly articulated thesis statement that will guide and frame your work. (500 word limit)
  • Explain the potential impact of the project on the applicant, the profession and the communities this project will serve. Explain the documented and proven need to be addressed by the Fellowship. (500 word limit)
  • Explain your innovative plans for dissemination of the project results – dissemination plans do not need to adhere to any specific criteria and creative communication tools are encouraged. (500 word limit)
  • Explain your experience and qualifications to study the topic at hand – including but not limited to your academic, civic and professional experience. (250 word limit)
  • Explain or list your schedule/timetable/work plan for the completion of the project. (250 word limit)

(2) Additional Attachments:

  • Resume of the applicant(s)
  • Itemized budget for the entire Fellowship. If other sources of support will be used to complement Fellowship support, please identify them and whether they have been secured. IMPORTANT NOTE: The award of a VEB Fellowship is taxable income. Applicants must plan and budget accordingly.
  • Two or three letters of support from different perspectives which may include other design professionals, architectural organizations or representatives of other fields, indicating why the proposed Fellowship is important to the professional community. References should address personal capabilities of the applicant and value of the project.
  • Optional: Applicants may include a brief portfolio of materials that illuminate their work and its relevance to the proposed project.

Process and Timetable

Applications will be reviewed by a committee including design and building professionals in collaboration with OCF and AFO. Applicants may be asked to submit further information or to speak with representatives of OCF and AFO to clarify their proposals. The review committee will make recommendations to the board of The Oregon Community Foundation. OCF reserves the right to approve Fellowships at its sole discretion.

Invitation for Proposals will be announced in July with an October deadline. The VEB Fellowship will be awarded by OCF through the Architecture Foundation of Oregon and will be announced publicly by December for the year-long Fellowship period to begin January 1 of the following year.

2020 Invitation for Proposals
2020 DEADLINE: Sunday, October 18, 11:59pm


See our past VEB Fellows


Claire Blaylock
Executive Director