Service-learning mini-grants

The Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement will be starting to offer several Service-Learning Mini-Grants each semester starting Spring 2019. Service-Learning Mini-Grants are designed to support faculty to create, enhance, or participate in service-learning instruction or scholarship. 

Service-Learning is a specially designed model of experiential-learning which combines service at a community organization with intentional learning outcomes achieved through critical, reflective thinking. Hence, equal emphasis is placed on both the service and the learning (service-learning). Essential components of service learning include: critical reflection, reciprocity, collaboration, and evaluation.

Applications are now live

  • Eligibility

    Any UNR Instructor that is teaching or planning on teaching a service-learning (SL) designated course or a course in the process of becoming Service-Learning designated in Curriculog.

  • Funding

    OSLCE will fund Mini-Grants up to $1,000 each.
    Mini-Grants have a one-year term and are not renewable. At the end of the approved grant period, grant holders will return the remaining funds to the Office of Service-Learning & Civic Engagement. Funds are available to support course supplies, scholarship, and research. Funds must be spent by the end of the grant period (June 1st, 2019) and conform to guidelines for the use of state funds. Projects can receive only one Mini-Grant per 12-month period.

    Below is a listing of allowable and unallowable expenses. Please note that if your application includes unallowable expenses, that amount will be excluded from the funding.

    Allowable Expenses

    • Materials and supplies for projects with the community partner, or other costs related to the planning, implementation, or evaluation of service-learning activities. This could include supplies for community work (e.g., materials for a project, paint for a mural, and tools for a community garden).
    • Travel (airfare, hotel, per diem) to present at a service-learning conference, or presenting a service-learning paper at an annual conference (in the applicant's discipline), or appropriate research expenses. Verification is required of the applicant's presentation prior to funds being transferred.
    • Hourly pay for a student research assistant up to mini-grant amount received (the applicant and his/her department will be responsible for recruitment, hiring, training and timesheet collection for student hired).
    • Production and dissemination of products that support or celebrate community engagement (e.g., publications, tools, podcasts, videos, exhibits, datasets, and training materials).
      Contact OSLCE with any ideas not listed above.

    Unallowable Expenses

    • Food, receptions, and/or banquets
    • Scholarships, awards, gifts or other prize monies
    • Faculty course release time
    • Reimbursement of mileage for travel to service sites
    • Honorariums or stipends for guest speakers
    • Travel insurance
    • Lease of facilities
    • Campaigning or political mailings
    • Professional memberships
  • Selection Criteria

    Members of the Service-Learning Council/Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement will review Mini-Grant proposals. Proposals will be scored in the following categories:

    • Project Design and Student Learning Goals: Project must have well defined objectives, a demonstrable and realistic outcome, a thoughtfully planned timeline, and a sustainable plan that supports the course beyond grant funding. Measurement of outcomes is highly encouraged and should include feedback from partnering organizations.
    • Community Needs: Service-learning courses must have a positive impact in the community and target a specific unmet need defined in conjunction with community members. Research, instruction products and/or presentations and publications must be an innovative contribution to the academic discipline and/or service-learning community.
    • Reflection and Dissemination: Proposals must clearly outline how reflection will be integrated into the process and how information about the project will be communicated to both UNR and external audiences.
    • Sustainability: Proposal must clearly describe how the funds will support the sustainability of the service-learning course on a continuing basis.
  • Application Deadline

    Fall 2020

    • Applications Open: August 17th, 2020
    • Application Deadline: September 1st, 2020
    • Notification of Award: September 15th, 2020
    • Final Report Due: February 1st, 2021
  • Proposal Content

    Proposals will be accepted via an online form and will include the following:

    • Brief description: 150-word summary of project to be shared publicly.
    • Project narrative: A description of the proposed project with attention to the above criteria.
    • Timeline: A descriptive timeline illustrating when key activities will be completed and by whom.
    • Budgets and budget narrative: A detailed budget explaining how the funds will be spent to support service-learning components and/or engaged scholarship.
    • Sustainability: A description on how the funds will support the sustainability of the service-learning course on a continuing basis.
    • Letter of support: A signed letter of support from the applicant's department chair or college dean. Download Letter of Support
  • Expectations and Deliverables

    Grantees are required to submit a final report. This report should be submitted at the appropriate deadline (see timeline above) and should include:

    • The number of students who participated in the service-learning project.
    • The name(s) of the community partner(s) with whom the individual student, or course as a whole, served.
    • The number of individuals impacted by the project.
    • A reflection narrative on the service-learning experience project, including its outcomes for the instructor, the students and community partner/s.
    • The final budget submitted to Workday from the applicant's department.
    • Disseminate results via presentation, article, OSLCE newsletter feature or poster at the service-learning showcase.

    Feedback from community partners may be sought out as part of this reporting process as appropriate. Additional follow-up may be requested depending on the nature of the funding request.

  • Proposal Submission Procedures
    • Complete online form.
    • Email or send Letter of Support from the applicant's Department Head or College Dean to the Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement MS0082.

    For more information or if you have any questions please contact Abbey Grimmer at 775-784-4846 or email