Principles and Definitions
The Grants for Engaged Learning Program supports projects that promote collaborative
learning and problem-solving activities that result in solutions and benefits to the
communities served by the university.
Recognizing that the GEL program cannot fund all worthy engaged learning projects,
the award process will feature and prioritize projects that include an outcome related
to community betterment. This supports the Carnegie Foundation’s emphasis on community-based
research and the need to “solve problems that affect the citizens of [a] locality
The GEL program is a competitive process emphasizing quality, transparency, and accountability.
Funds will be allocated to the highest quality proposals and particularly those that
serve the engaged learning mission of the program and university. Effectiveness measures
include 1) increased publicity of the grant guidelines, 2) publicity of funded proposals
on the website, 3) pre-submission assistance, and 4) substantial post-application
feedback. Review procedures are revised to include a rubric reflecting the program’s
core principles. Five evenly weighted criteria for proposals have been developed and
are listed below:
The grant structure includes three funding categories: seed grants, quick grants, and phased grants. Seed grants are the main category and will be funded for one to two years with a
maximum award of $10,000. Quick grants are distributed more frequently with a maximum
award of $2500. Phased grant projects are multi-year, high profile projects in which
colleges and schools partner with GEL in a collaborative funding model. Each unit
will have the opportunity to receive funding for their top engaged learning initiatives.
These awards may or may not include previous seed grant projects. For further details,
consult with your dean.
- Student Success – depth and breadth of student involvement with significant learning
- Community Benefit – depth and breadth of impact and value to the community being served
- Academic Application – the extent to which the project connects academic theory and
learning to practical applications
- Outcomes, Benefits, and Measures - the extent to which potential student and community
outcomes will be measured and communicated.
- Making the Case – the extent to which the grant is complete and well-written with
sound arguments addressing the stated criteria.
Seed Grant Process