The St. Louis Project Grants are currently on hold. However, the Community Partnership Mini Grants remain open. Please contact if you have any further questions.

The Civic Engagement Fund catalyzes community/university partnerships that advance St. Louis priorities. The fund provides necessary financial support to launch, expand, and at times sustain community partnerships. It also serves as a catalyst and call to action for WashU faculty, staff, and students to develop community initiatives in partnership with St. Louis community organizations.* To promote positive impact and effective partnerships, the Gephardt Institute provides consultation and support through the development and implementation of project plans, site visits, and evaluations. View recent examples of funded projects here.     

All members of the WashU community are encouraged to apply. Successful Civic Engagement Fund applications demonstrate substantial partnerships with one or more St. Louis community organizations.

Three grant categories are available:

The Civic Engagement Opportunity Fund provides funding for students from under-resourced socio-economic backgrounds who may need financial assistance in order to secure transportation or purchase resources related to community and civic engagement. Please contact the Office for Student Success or see here for more information.

Interested in applying for a Common Ground Grant? Check out our Engage Democracy initiatives.

Application Process: 

1. Submit a Project Overview

  • Submit a brief overview of your project, goals, and community partner(s) using this form. Project overviews are due one week prior to your proposal review meeting. 
  • Note: If applying for one of our Grants for St. Louis Projects, you are required to submit a Letter of Intent, instead. See more details here.

2. Attend a Proposal Review Meeting

  • A proposal review meeting is a meeting between the applicant, the grant chair, and any relevant community partners. This meeting allows you to ask any questions, receive feedback on a draft of your project proposal/application, and learn about principles for effective community engagement within the St. Louis context. It is highly recommended that community partners attend Proposal Review Meetings in order to ensure that they are equally present in the application process. Our Civic Engagement Fund Assistant will reach out to you in order to set up this meeting.

3. Submit a Final Application

  • Finally, submit an application for your grant of choice. This final application should build off of the proposal review meeting and show a thorough understanding of the project and impact. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and decisions are typically announced up to four weeks after the application is submitted, however this is contingent on the committee’s availability.
Funding Procedures

Funding for Students

  • Funding is provided to individuals in the form of reimbursement upon submission of itemized receipts and successful progress and/or completion of the proposed initiative.
  • Receipts must be submitted within 20 business days following project completion, unless written approval of an extension is received from Gephardt Institute staff.
  • Check (or direct deposit) reimbursements will be available 20 business days after submission of acceptable receipts and documentation.

Funding for Faculty and Staff

  • Funding for departments may be provided through Inter-Department transfers in advance of project completion, pending department approval.
Ineligible Requests

The following request categories are ineligible:

  • Internships or practica
  • Retroactive funding
  • Funds and goods intended for philanthropic donation

Expectations of Recipients
  • Responsible representation of Washington University and adherence to university judicial code, local and national laws, and high ethical standards for the full duration of project planning and implementation.
  • Written indication of grant support from the Gephardt Institute in project and publicity materials.
  • Completion of summary report form within 30 days of project/course completion, reflecting on project outcomes, learning experiences, and how grant recipient(s) will apply the experience to future endeavors.
  • Contribution of project photos that may be used in Gephardt Institute print and online materials.
  • Participation in any related meetings, trainings, and assessments that may be requested by the Gephardt Institute.
  • Receipt of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval prior to receiving Gephardt Institute funding, for research projects that require this.

All grant proposals should align with the Gephardt Institute’s values of inquiry, integrity, empathy, equity, collaboration, and action, and should respond to needs and priorities in the St. Louis region.

Questions? Connect with us at our Open Hours on Wednesdays from 3 – 5pm at the Stix House or contact our Civic Engagement Fund Assistant at

*Grants focus on St. Louis regional priorities with the rare exception of Community Engaged Courses that travel to other locations.