Faculty Funding

Engaged Research Grants

What is the public purpose of your research?

NOTE: Faculty and staff from the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and College of Human Ecology should apply for community-engaged learning funding directly through their college. See more about OEI’s engaged college initiative and related block grants.

Purpose

Engaged Research Grants incentivize undergraduate participation in faculty and staff-led research that strengthens the well-being of communities. Community-engaged research occurs in collaboration with a community partner who is involved throughout the research process. It also:

  • Addresses a specific, need, problem or common concern of that partner
  • Includes documented critical reflection for undergraduates involved in the research

Some good examples of community-engaged research include:

As these examples highlight, we welcome a diversity of methods, practices and disciplinary perspectives.

These grants support introductory and advanced community-engaged research and scholarship, done in collaboration with undergraduates and community partners. As such, there are two types of the Engaged Research Grants:

PUBLIC PURPOSE RESEARCH GRANTS

Incubate and accelerate participation of community partners into scholarship and scientific research. Develop or expand opportunities for undergraduates to play a meaningful role with external stakeholders on the public benefits of the research. These grants are meant to support:

Additional training or supportive learning experiences that are relevant to community-engaged research or scholarship

Expansion of proposals from disciplines and departments that have offered fewer opportunities for curricular community-engaged learning (as demonstrated from the roster of CEL courses)

Research labs, research centers, studios and co-labs with few to no community-engaged learning opportunities for undergraduates

The initial embedding or exposure to community-engaged learning within existing credit or non-credit bearing research opportunities

Projects that clearly demonstrate how the research will connect to community-engaged learning criteria by the end of the first year:

  • Includes collaboration with a community partner
  • Addresses a specific need, problem, or common concern
  • Includes an exercise involving documented reflection
  • Is connected with disciplinary perspectives

IMPACT GRANTS

Incentivize leadership in scholarship that focuses on the impact of community-engaged teaching, learning and research. These grants are meant to support:

Established community engagement scholars and researchers with an existing community-engaged research agenda that are seeking to scale student and community partner participation in a sustainable manner

Advanced proposals that create and test indicators or metrics for demonstrating impact on engaged student learning outcomes and/or community benefit

All proposals should demonstrate how the proposed research will enhance the undergraduate experience and have reciprocal benefits for partners and their communities.

The Office of Engagement Initiatives (OEI) welcomes programs of nascent inquiry, novel research or the deepening of existing theories that are team-based, collaborative and/or cross-disciplinary.

Proposals should include specific plans for connecting with OEI’s expertise and resources.  OEI can provide:

  • Partnership introductions and/or development
  • Initial logistics support and guidance
  • Methodological guidance
  • Theoretical frameworks
  • Undergraduate support models
  • Networking with associated faculty, departments, labs, etc.

Engaged Research Grants are not intended to support:

Projects that support individual undergraduate students

Graduate student research (graduate students may be supported as mentors or facilitators of the undergraduate research experience)

Conference or dissemination travel

For that please see the Community Engagement Presentation Fund

Eligibility

Proposals may be submitted by active researchers and scholars (faculty of any rank or academic staff) with or without established community-engaged research or scholarship experience in their field of study. *Exception: Applicants from the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and College of Human Ecology should apply for funding directly through their college. Learn more.*

Researchers and scholars appointed in centers, institutes, programs, extension divisions, museums and laboratories at Cornell may lead or participate provided that necessary academic oversight of undergraduates is incorporated into the plan.

Applications that involve multiple researchers/scholars, junior faculty participants and/or collaboration across units are strongly encouraged.

Engaged College Initiative Eligibility

This fall, OEI launched an engaged college initiative – which includes college block grants – with the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and College of Human Ecology. Faculty and staff from these colleges should apply for funding directly through their college, but are still invited to collaborate with OEI and participate in OEI programs. Contact the community-engaged learning coordinators to learn about college-specific opportunities and when they’ll be available:

If you are from a college listed above and are co-leading a cross-college project, email Dhyana Gonzalez to discuss your application.

Funding

It is expected that the funding needed to support student research/scholarship and community participation varies across disciplines. All applications require a strong rationale and justification for the budget requested.

Grants are awarded for $50,000 per program over two years. Grant holders will have the opportunity to apply for a one-year extension with justification. Any funds remaining at the end of the approved grant period will be returned to OEI.

Expectations and Deliverables

  1. Required consultation during application process. Contact engagedcornell@cornell.edu before submitting your application.
  2. Required consultation at the annual renewal period
  3. Participating undergraduates will join at least one student-focused training to receive guidance on community-engaged research methodologies, principles and practices and be expected to present their final product in a public forum of the faculty member’s choosing.
  4. Participation in OEI-sponsored annual research forum.
  5. Required annual progress reports will describe student participation, student evaluations of their experiences, community partner contributions to the student research experience, as well as the benefit to the community partner and achievement of research and learning goals set by the applicants.
    • Reports will summarize scholarly publications, other grants or reports that incorporate student contributions (including links or electronic copies when applicable) and will summarize presentations made by students supported by the program.
    • Community partner feedback is essential to healthy partnership, and therefore reports will also require submission of completed partner feedback.
    • Financial reporting will also be required as part of the annual report.
  6. A final report will be due one month after the funding is completed.

Applying

Call for Proposals
Nov. 25, 2019
Application Deadlines
Feb. 28, 2020 and Oct. 16, 2020
Notification of Awards April 2020 and Nov. 2020
Earliest Start Date for Approved Awards
May 2020 and Jan. 2021

Renewals

Projects that have completed their first year of funding via the previous “Engaged Undergraduate Research Grants” or “Faculty Research Grants on Engagement” and are interested in renewing for an additional year, are eligible to apply for an additional $20,000 grant.

There will be no renewals for new grantees. At the end of the approved two-year grant period, grantholders must return remaining funds to OEI.

Instructions

Proposals for new grant projects must be submitted via the online application form. Proposals for renewals must be submitted through the renewal application.

New applications will include the following, within the space limits described on the form:

  1. Project title
  2. Succinct summary describing the project context, public purpose and what the project team will be doing (for promotional purposes).
  3. Abstract: executive summary of the proposal that describes its rationale, key features, goals and intended benefits to students, faculty research/scholarship and community partner(s)
  4. Names of team members and their department(s), programs and college(s)
  5. Narrative bios or CVs of investigators/scholars comprising the team
  6. Signature endorsements from PI’s chair or supervisor
  7. Identity of community partner(s), if appropriate
  8. Statement of collaboration from the community partner(s), describing the role that the partner expects to play in the collaboration, expected benefits and how they will interact with students (for sample community partnership agreements that can help clarify this process, email engagedcornell@cornell.edu)
  9. Narrative that includes:
    • Specific aims for the project, along with long term goals and desired learning outcomes and level of achievement;
    • Approaches and methods that will address these aims
    • How the initiative expands the opportunities for community-engaged learning/research, within specified undergraduate populations;
    • Target student population (class year(s), major(s)) and number of students anticipated for inclusion in the proposed program;
    • Role the partner(s) play(s) in the research, the proposed role of partner(s) in the student research experience and the expected benefit to the community(ies) and/or partner(s);
    • Description of programs, trainings, workshops or courses that prepare team members (including undergraduates and community partners) for community-engaged research;
    • Rationale for the configuration of the team, including roles of members;
    • Plan for publishing and disseminating research, with specific expectations for students and community stakeholders to present or publish findings/scholarship (not required for Public Impact Research Grant);
    • Plans for sustaining the community-engagement opportunity for students beyond any single cohort of students and beyond the period of the funding support, as appropriate.
  10. Budget and budget justification aligned directly with the budget categories listed in the application

Budget

Allowable expenses

  • Student support*:
    • travel, meals and lodging associated with research conducted off campus;
    • direct costs incurred by students while conducting research;
    • participation in conferences, workshops;
    • costs of publication;
    • systems that support the student research experience (software, enrollment in online training, etc.);
    • wages for students (work study, other). Information and policies for student employment and federal work-study.
  • Research and/or staff support:
    • partial salary coverage for non-T/TT faculty or researchers involved in student mentorship and partner collaborations;
    • functions that are essential to the operation and execution of the proposed research opportunities.
  • Community partner support:
    • expenses incurred by community partners that are directly related to their participation in the research experience and that support community partner capacity to effectively partner in and maximize the benefit of community-engaged research.

* While this mechanism prioritizes the involvement of undergraduates, the inclusion of graduate students in a mentorship or supervisory role may be appropriate. Funding to support graduate student involvement will be considered with proper justification.

Unallowable Expenses

  • overhead and indirect costs (IDC);
  • tuition;
  • salary for T/TT faculty team members;
  • post-graduation wages or travel costs for students
  • external consultant fees or salary for consultants;
  • capital projects;
  • equipment over $5,000 (refer to Appendix B in the University’s Capital Assets policy), unless properly justified as being critical to the sustainability of the research.

Selection Criteria

All applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

PUBLIC PURPOSE RESEARCH GRANTS

  1. Clarity of the goals and specific aims of the research
  2. Scholarly merit, feasibility and/or innovativeness of the research approach and methods to contribute to the public good.   Proposals should clearly demonstrate how the research will connect to community-engaged learning criteria by the end of the first year:
    • Includes collaboration with a community partner
    • Addresses a specific need, problem, or common concern
    • Includes an exercise involving documented reflection
    • Is connected with disciplinary perspectives
  3. Clear collaborative role of both community partner(s) and undergraduates in the research and compelling description of the intended benefits of the research to the community(ies) of interest
  4. Number of undergraduates expected to participate in the research, including strategy for inclusion and access to this opportunity
  5. Demonstration of how the grant will create a novel community-engaged learning/research experience for students in disciplines with fewer opportunities of this nature
  6. Experience and expertise of the investigators to carry out the research with the time and resources available

IMPACT GRANTS

  1. Clarity of the goals and specific aims of the research
  2. Scholarly merit, feasibility and/or innovativeness of the research approach and methods
  3. Strategy for assessing learning outcomes for undergraduates and/or impacts for community partners
  4. Number of undergraduates expected to participate in the research, including strategy for inclusion and access to this opportunity
  5. Experience and expertise of the investigators to carry out the research with the time and resources available
  6. Advanced demonstration of the community-engaged learning field and how the proposed research will contribute to national or international advancements in the field

Previous Recipients

2020-21 recipients

Questions about your project?

Contact the Office of Engagement Initiatives. We’re here to help.

Email: engagedcornell@cornell.edu

Phone: (607) 255-6006