Implementing an Engaged-Scholars Learning Community

2023–2024 Request for Proposals

Essential Program Information

  • Program Overview: Funds the development and implementation of learning communities and professional development workshops aimed at better preparing faculty and professional staff to implement high-quality community engagement projects.
  • Funding Award: $5,000
  • Who Should Apply: Executive Leaders, Senior Administrators, Faculty, and Professional Staff looking to develop and lead faculty and staff professional development.
  • Proposal Deadlines: March 18, June 1, & October 1.
    Program Period: PI Determined—Typically six to nine months, beginning seven weeks after the application deadline.
  • Information Available: More information is available on the Learning Community Grant webpage. 

Program Details and Goals

The Community-Engaged Alliance Implementing an Engaged-Scholars Learning Community Program supports institutions in designing and implementing an intentional combination of professional development workshops and learning communities aimed at better preparing faculty and staff to implement high-quality community engagement practices. To ensure sustainability, institutions will establish a committee charged with oversight for the program as well as mechanisms for participants to capture continue their community-engaged work beyond involvement in the learning community. Community-Engaged Alliance staff are available to support recipients in the development of their learning community and can provide some content delivery support. Recipients are encouraged to scaffold their learning communities so that it encourages participants to apply for Community-Engaged Alliance funding opportunities and programming.

The program goals are:

  1. Support institutions in the implementation of faculty and staff professional development focused on community engagement practices.
  2. Increase the number of high-quality, place-based experiences where members of the institution partner with members of the local community.
  3. Increase the number of reciprocal community-campus partnerships.
  4. Support inter- and intra-institutional collaborations between faculty and staff throughout Indiana.
  5. Support the dissemination of examples of high-quality campus-wide community engagement practices to broaden the field.
  6. Develop mechanisms through which participants can capture and continue their community-engaged work.
  7. Encourage a culture of support for community engagement within the institution.

Recipients can engage in a one-on-one consultation with Community-Engaged Alliance staff during the project.


Project Funding

  • The maximum grant funding for this program is $5,000.
  • Grant funds will be distributed 30 days following a fully executed Funding Agreement. Refer to Grant Terms and Conditions for additional information on grant fund usage.

Application Timeline, Institutional Routing, & Submission Process

  • Letter of Intent: Institutions are strongly encouraged to submit a letter indicating their intent to apply for this funding.
  • Submission Dates: March 18, June 1, & October 1, 2024
  • Application Notification: Applicants are notified of the funding decisions within three weeks from the proposal submission date.
  • Project Duration: Projects can begin seven weeks following each proposal submission date. Typical projects are six to nine months and may occur over an academic semester, academic year, or summer as determined by the Primary Investigator(s).

Institutional Internal Routing
Applicants are responsible for ensuring their proposal has been routed through, and approved by, their granting offices (e.g., sponsored program, contracts & grants, or other similar offices) in accordance with their university's policies for obtaining external funding prior to submission to Community-Engaged Alliance. Any application not approved, or properly routed may not be funded.


Direct question to Mark Pike, Director of Programming and Strategic Initiatives at


Funding Source

Funding for this program is supported by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to Community-Engaged Alliance.


Submission Process, Required Information, & Optional Information

Submission System

Proposals are to be submitted via the Community-Engaged Alliance GivePulse page.

Required Information

Project overview

  • Project Title
  • Project Start Date—must be at least seven weeks after the submission deadline
  • Project End Date—approximately 6 to 12 months from the start date
  • Requested Amount—monetary figure requested to conduct the project
  • Executive Summary

Investigator Information—required for the Primary Investigator and any Co-Investigators:

  • Full name
  • Academic Institution or Community Organization
  • Professional Title
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number

Fiscal Officer*

  • Full Name
  • Professional Title
  • Email Address
  • Phone number

*The Fiscal Manager refers to the individual who is a designated financial signatory for the campus. The Fiscal Officer will fulfill the financial reporting requirements and manage all financial aspects of the grant.

Goals, Outcomes, & Assessment

  • What quantifiable or observable outputs will your core activities produce
  • What data will be collected and how will it be analyzed?
  • How will the project measure the impact of professional development activities on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of participating faculty and staff?
  • How will the project measure success of campus-community partnerships in achieving shared goals and outcomes?
  • How will the project evaluate the impact of inter- and intra-institutional collaborations on the advancement of community engagement initiatives in Indiana?

Professional Development & Competency Building

  • What professional development and competency building opportunities do you plan to provide?
  • How will the professional development and competency opportunities provide participants with tools, resources, or platforms to document and reflect on their community-engaged work?
  • What methodologies or approaches will be used to ensure that the professional development activities are effective in enhancing faculty and staff capacity in community engagement?

Collaboration & Reciprocation

  • Are there other individuals at your institution who will take part in planning or implementing the project?
  • How will the proposed project identify specific, high-quality community partners & place-based experiences that meet the needs of both the local community and higher education institution?
  • What mechanisms will be put in place to promote communication, coordination, and knowledge sharing among collaborating individuals and institutions?
  • How will you ensure the usage of these mechanisms long-term?

Collection & Dissemination Plan

  • How will the proposed project plan to document and disseminate exemplary instances of engagement practices implemented by the institution?
  • How will you share these practices with other institutions and stakeholders in the field?
  • How will the project assess the effectiveness of dissemination efforts in raising awareness and inspiring adoption of best practices within and beyond the institution?

Sustainability Plan

  • How do you plan to recognize and celebrate community engagement efforts within the institution?
  • What potential risks and challenges does the project face?
  • Have you identified strategies to mitigate these risks?
  • How do you plan to generate the financial support, institutional support, and community engagement needed to sustain the project?

Budget Request & Reporting Form

Letters of Support

  • A letter of support must be submitted from a Senior Administrator (e.g., President, Provost, Dean, Associate Dean, Department Chair, etc.)

Optional Information


  • If you use quotations, refer to prior research, or make mention of your previous work in your submission, please provide a reference list in a standard format (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)


The Primary Investigator will digitally sign the grant portal submission form. The Fiscal Manager and Primary Investigator will sign the Fiscal Request Form prior to it being uploaded.

Your signature will represent, to the best of your knowledge, that the information you provided is true and correct and that you have agreed to the Grant Terms and Conditions  It signifies that the application has been routed through and approved by your institution’s granting offices in accordance with your institution’s policies for receiving grant funds. It confirms that you have provided all the required information and documents, and that failure to provide complete information may result in denial of funding. In addition, you agree to Community Engaged Alliance policies including: Terms of Use Agreement, Privacy Policy and Public Non-Discrimination Notice.

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