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  Cornell University

Engaged Cornell Grants FAQ

Below is a selection of questions and answers for your reference. If you have other questions, get in touch with us through our contact page.

Q&A about…


Budget and Expenses

Q: Please provide clarity on the “University activity support” as presented in the budget documents.
A: “University activity support” and “research support” both reference allocations to individual team members to support their research/scholarship related to development of the curriculum in the proposal. Some schools/colleges use “university activity,” others use “research,” to describe this type of faculty support. Whatever the convention in your unit, a single faculty team member is eligible for a total of $5,000 of support.

Q: Our funding will support academic staff to assist in course development; how do fringe benefits affect my budget?
A: When formulating a budget for your grant, you must incorporate fringe benefits into the cost of the academic support staff. Even if the staff person is not full time, there will still be fringe applied on top of their salary cost. Please work with your HR representative to ensure that the proper fringe amount is incorporated into the estimated staffing costs while still adhering to the budget guidelines outlined in the RFP.

Q: For our team’s Curriculum Grant we will be working with international community partners, can you advise of any due diligence that we need to undertake when working with international partners?
A: Funding can be used to support international partnerships; however, please be cognizant of the Cornell 990 request. For teams that work with international partners, please monitor data on foreign activities, as a breakdown will need to be compiled at the fiscal year-end for the Cornell 990 filing.

Cornell 990 request:

  1. A breakdown of:
    1. Revenues by foreign country (e.g., from conferences held in a country, from sales of services/goods shipped to a foreign country, from educational/training activities conducted in a foreign country)
    2. Expenses attributable to the above activities conducted in a foreign country, broken down by foreign country (see below regarding foreign travel)
    3. Grants/fellowships/stipends given to recipients to conduct activities in a foreign country (e.g., foreign study, foreign travel). Please provide both the number of individuals receiving and the total dollar amount for each country. Note, a separate request for financial aid data will be requested from the offices of Financial Aid/Bursar, so please only provide info for grants/fellowships/stipends paid outside of the student financial system
  2. List of any foreign offices (if any) by foreign country
  3. Number of foreign employees (if any), by foreign country
  4. Breakdown of foreign travel by country based on number of trips to/from each country. For each country, also provide the total amount of travel expenses incurred going to and travelling within each country. For this request, please report based on the trip destination. If there are multiple foreign destinations and you cannot segregate expenses by destination country, report all expenses in a single “primary” foreign destination. If a “primary” destination cannot be identified, please report all expenses under the first foreign destination.

Q: I am interested in having some of my Engaged Cornell–funded activities take place off campus. Where is the best place to find out about Cornell’s Risk Management policies?
A: Health, safety, and insurance information specific to off-campus work can be found on Navigate. Additional questions should be directed to Cornell’s Office of Risk Management and Insurance.

Q: Does the Office of Engagement Initiatives take a percentage of my grant for administrative or overhead costs?
A: No. The entire amount of the grant will go to the grantee.


Forms and Application Requirements

Q: Where can I find information about previous Engaged Curriculum Grant recipients?
A: You can find descriptions of the 2015 grant recipients here and the 2016 grant recipients here.

Q: Do you want specific details from our endorsing dean, chair, and program director?
A: Our interest in hearing from the deans and department chairs is to confirm that they are aware of the work of the faculty and staff on these grants, to ask them to comment on the relationship of this work to other engagement efforts in their unit so as to avoid duplication of effort and promote college-wide strategic thinking. There are no further specifications as to what the dean or department chair should say.

Q: Where do I find information about proposal word and character limits?
A: A PDF preview of the Qualtrics proposal form is linked from each RFP webpage and at the top of the Qualtrics form. This PDF includes details about the character limits for the narrative questions of the proposal form.

Q: Our team submitted a Letter of Intent (LOI) for a development Engaged Curriculum Grant. Can we apply for a planning grant instead?
A: Yes. We anticipate that some grant types will change after teams receive LOI feedback and attend consultations with our staff. Likewise, the application review team may decide to award a different type of grant if it feels that the proposal doesn’t support the desired level of funding.



Q:Can a government agency or department be a community partner on an Engaged Cornell grant?
A: Yes.


Contact Us

Above is a selection of questions and answers for your reference. If you have a question that’s not answered here, get in touch with us through our contact page.