Making a Difference in Global Communities

Topics of diversity and inequality offer special opportunities to enhance teaching and research through the kinds of global engagement envisioned by the SAS strategic plan Our Foundations and Frontiers. To take full advantage of those opportunities, SAS is pleased to offer Making a Difference in Global Communities grants. Grants will support multidisciplinary global projects led by SAS faculty working with students to address societal challenges internationally. The initiative hopes to encourage proposals that address inequities in race, gender, sexual identity, socioeconomic mobility, education, health care, political representation, as well as the grand challenges of climate change, poverty, and immigration.

Faculty members with existing or new projects that engage diverse teams of students are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in funding.

·       Projects may include coursework, research, and/or service. For example, funds may be used to develop a service-learning course that takes place at Penn during the spring semester followed by a fieldwork experience during the summer where students partner with community residents abroad to develop solutions to an important issue the community faces.

·       Emphasis will be placed on large-impact efforts, especially those involving interdisciplinary teams and/or collaborations among departments, centers, and programs.

Eligibility

Faculty teams must include at least one standing faculty member in SAS. Faculty are encouraged to work across academic disciplines. 

Award Amounts

Faculty members with existing or new projects that engage diverse teams of students are eligible to apply for up to $50,000 in funding.

Activities or Purchases Covered

Projects may include coursework, research, and/or service. For example, funds may be used to develop a service-learning course that takes place at Penn during the spring semester followed by a fieldwork experience during the summer where students partner with community residents to develop solutions to an important issue the community faces.

Grants may support course development, pre-departure training, domestic and international travel, lodging, stipends for external project participants, summer interns, and research/teaching assistants, and dissemination of findings.

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are significant restrictions on University travel.  Before planning your trip, please refer to Penn’s International Travel Guidance website to ensure you are apprised of the most recent University updates, policies, and procedures.  If you plan to propose any trips as part of your proposal, please also provide an alternative plan, describing how you will move your project forward if travel is not possible.  
  • Graduate tuition and salary support for faculty are not allowable expenses.
  • Support for virtual conferences and gatherings will be allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Projects may be developed and implemented over multiple years. Awards may be renewable.
  • Faculty should design their project to best serve their research and teaching goals and to satisfy students’ interests in community impact.
  • Applications should provide information about other funds available to support the project.

To Apply

Step 1: Faculty with a proposal idea are asked to discuss it informally with their divisional dean well in advance of submitting an application.

Step 2: submit the following to the SAS Research Support Application page by June 1, 2021:        

  • Application Cover sheet
  • Brief CVs (no more than 5 pages) from faculty project directors, one of whom should be from SAS
  • 800-word proposal that includes a project summary, project rationale, goals and objectives, timeframe, and plan for evaluation.
  • Budget that includes information about other funds available to support the project.
  • Plan to involve students.  If the project involves a course, address the following questions:
    • Is this a new or existing course?
    • In which semester(s) will the course be taught?
    • What is the course level (undergraduate, graduate, or cross-listed for both)?
    • Who will teach the course?
    • If the course will involve overseas travel with students, briefly describe the trip, including the planned timing, the rough itinerary, and the main educational components for students.  NOTE: there are significant restrictions on University travel.  Before planning your trip, please refer to Penn’s International Travel Guidance website to ensure you are apprised of the most recent University updates, policies, and procedures.  If you plan to propose any trips as part of your proposal, please also provide an alternative plan, describing how you will move your project forward if travel is not possible.

 Notification of Awards and Use of Funds

Reporting Requirements

A final report that details the activities supported by the grant and provides a full accounting of expenditures will be due within 90 days of the conclusion of the grant. For multi-year awards, an annual report of the same nature will be required.