Faculty Funding

Center for Community Engagement (CCE) offers two grants to help faculty and instructors create and implement community engaged learning curriculum:

  • Course Operational Grant: Supports expenses associated with existing course; maximum of $3,500 awarded
  • Course Development Grant: Supports the development of a new course; maximum of $10,000 awarded

Contact Andrew Thomas at andrew.thomas@rochester.edu with any questions

Course Operational Grant


Launched in 2014, the Community-Engaged Learning Course Operational Grant provides funds to faculty and staff whose projects or courses combine academic learning and community engagement opportunities for undergraduate students in Arts, Sciences & Engineering. The purpose of these grants is to:

  • Support valuable community-university partnerships
  • Address community-identified needs
  • Enhance student learning

Successful projects achieve this by integrating community-based experiential opportunities in the Rochester area with traditional classroom learning. Community-engaged learning can be done in a way that is COVID-compatible (virtual/hybrid). This may impact the pedagogical strategies and budgetary needs. View the COVID-19 Community-Engaged Learning Guidelines (pdf) for more information.

Grant funds can be used to support expenses associated with the course or project (e.g., transportation, course supplies, curriculum development, expenses incurred by partner organizations, etc.). Faculty and instructional staff may submit one proposal per course or project. Each proposal has a maximum award of $3,500 per course.


"The grant provided tech, equipment, and supplies that made our labor and energies with the organization go so much further: picnic table for meeting outdoors on site (for COVID safety), gardening supplies (shovels, wheelbarrows, mulch, etc.), and project materials for student projects that left the partner with real material improvements, e.g. the info kiosk purchased and installed on site, and also the printing of brochures and materials for the kiosk. And so much more. Without this monetary support, the community engagement would have been a temporary donation of volunteer labor. Instead, the [grant] left the partner with what I would call capital improvements that last for years to come." Community-Engaged Faculty Member

"The grant allows us to bring in members of the Rochester community who specialize in different areas of expertise, relating to research they conduct, or personal experience with the criminal justice system. Additionally, the assistance for student travel allows many of them to more easily conduct their placements and gain first-hand experience of Rochester's criminal justice system." Community-Engaged Faculty Member


To apply for a Course Operational Grant, download the Course Operational Grant Request for Proposals and apply online.

The fall deadline is August 1 with decisions made by August 15. The spring deadline is December 1 with decisions made by December 15.

Course Development Grant

The Community-Engaged Learning Course Development Grant funds $10,000 to faculty who plan on developing a new course that combines academic learning and community-engagement opportunities for undergraduate students in Arts, Sciences and Engineering.

The purpose of this grant is to:

  • Support valuable community-university partnerships
  • Address community-identified needs
  • Enhance student learning

We prioritize applications that have community partners beyond campus as genuine partners—meaning that they play a role in setting learning objectives, and designing and implementing learning activities, and the project addresses unmet needs as defined by the partner.

For more information on submitting a proposal and on other course development grants offered by the College, see the course funding page.


We make funding decisions based on the following criteria:

Community engagement: We prioritize projects where community organizations/persons play a role in the design and implementation of the learning activities as well as projects addressing an unmet need as defined by the partner.

Community-engaged learning: We aim to support activities that are well-integrated with the course’s learning objectives. To assess this, we look at the cogency of the proposal’s explanation of how the activity will contribute to the course’s learning objectives. We also consider the learning activities and assignments the instructor will use to help students reflect on and articulate the connections between community engagement and the course material.

Disciplinary breadth: Priority will be given to faculty and courses that have not previously received support with the goal of encouraging community-engaged learning throughout the College. However, it is still possible for projects to be funded more than once.

Sources of support: We prefer to fund projects that will combine support from our program with support from other sources, such as department funds, and other grant opportunities (both internal and external). Proposals that can suggest longer-term strategies to ensure the sustainability of the project are preferred.

Assessment and development: We hope to support the instructor’s efforts to learn from student experiences and use what they learn to deepen the significance of student-learning experiences in future courses. Therefore, we favor proposals that include plans for assessing the supported activities and applying the results of that assessment in the design of future courses.


The application deadline is November 30, 2023, for the 2024-2025 academic year.


To apply for a Course Development Grant, download the Course Development Grant Request for Proposals for the 2024-2025 academic year.