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Applications available Sept. 25 for community engagement grants

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Rebecca Valli

Applications will be accepted starting Sept. 25 for grants and awards to fund faculty, staff and students who want to start, enhance or participate in community-engaged research, courses or other activities. Due dates vary across the seven funding mechanisms, running from Oct. 2 to April 9, 2018.

Engaged Cornell grants have grown since 2015, when there was only one type of grant – Engaged Curriculum Grants. These grants fund faculty teams who are collaborating with community partners to create new or enhance existing curricula, including majors, minors, professional degrees and graduate fields.

This academic year, there are 24 active Engaged Curriculum Grant projects with 63 collaborating community partners. Half of the projects are receiving Engaged Cornell funding for the first time. The grantees represent 34 academic departments across eight Cornell schools and colleges. Twenty-one projects include partners from New York state and six have international partners.

“Since the beginning of Engaged Cornell, we’ve been committed to offering grants, programs and resources that will truly transform community engagement at the university,” said Vice Provost Judith Appleton. “Each year we assess what’s working and what’s not, and improve the way we support the needs of students, faculty, staff and community partners.”

One grant mechanism created last year to fill a growing need is the Grants for Research on Engagement, with three currently funded teams examining the impact of community-engaged research projects and educational initiatives. In Community Engagement and Ethical Research, the team is exploring whether connections to communities affected by research encourages better, more ethical scientific research. Another team is studying Engagement through MOOCs, assessing community partnerships conducted online rather than face to face. The third project is analyzing the impact of Farmer-Led Research in Malawi on the students who are helping conduct the work.

“In addition to the benefits that these grants provide for students and community partners, what excites me about them is their potential impact on faculty’s research,” said Gerard Aching, professor of Africana and Romance studies and provost’s fellow for public engagement. “In fact, I see them as an important set of opportunities for faculty to demonstrate what we think is socially significant about the scholarship that we do.”

The Office of Engagement Initiatives is accepting applications for Engaged Curriculum Grants, Grants for Research on Engagement, Engaged Opportunity Grants, Engaged Undergraduate Research Grants, Engaged Graduate Student Grants, Community-Engaged Student Travel Grants and the Engaged Scholar Prize. Learn more at or by attending an information session Thursday, Sept. 28, 10 to 11 a.m. in 102 Mann Library. The live session is also accessible via Zoom.

Ashlee McGandy is a content strategist in the Office of Engagement Initiatives.

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