Community Engaged Teaching and Learning (CETL) links “academic work with community-based engagement within a framework of respect, reciprocity, relevance, and reflection” (Butin, 2007).  This pedagogy is embraced by schools and departments across Washington University, with over 80 identified undergraduate- and graduate-level Community Engaged Courses for academic year 2018-2019.

Community Engaged Teaching and Learning, when done in collaboration with community partners, has the potential to contribute meaningfully to community identified priorities.  At the same time, it has been identified as a high impact educational practice that deepens student learning while increasing the level of academic challenge (Kuh & O’Donnell, 2013). 

To nurture continued growth in this field, the Gephardt Institute offers Course Development Grants. These grants support faculty with the development, evolution, and evaluation of Community Engaged Courses. 

Learn more and apply: 

Purpose and Scope

Course Development Grants support the development, evolution, and evaluation of Community Engaged Courses and initiatives. 

We offer financial support that can be used to defray costs or time for Community Engaged Courses.  For example, you may use funds to purchase needed materials for your work, cover background checks for your students, or because planning, evolving, or evaluating a Community Engaged Course requires dedicated attention, you can propose that the funding be used to support your time and/or time for your community partner (e.g. summer funding, funding for a course assistant, hiring a research assistant, honorarium, lunch for meetings with your partner, etc.).  Thus, you can request that funds be placed in research or professional development accounts, or you can request a stipend as direct compensation for you (note that stipends are taxed as income). 

Resources to Support You

Regardless of how you propose to use the funding, grants should incorporate the Gephardt Institute as a central campus partner.

The scope of support might include:

  • Partnership development with community stakeholders to ensure that everyone is contributing to and benefiting from the collaboration.
  • Pedagogical assistance to integrate Community Engaged Teaching best practices, create course learning outcomes that link academic content with community-engagement, build assignments that support the course learning outcomes, etc.
  • Assessment and evaluation planning to ensure that learning and community objectives are being achieved.
Grant Size

We welcome proposals ranging from $500-$5,000.  Due to the intensive nature of this grant, applicants must include a budget with your application.  If you are proposing to use grant monies to partially compensate your or your partner’s time, please include an outline of the time needed and outcomes that will result.

Additional Requirements

Please include a letter of support from your community partner(s).


The grants are available to all faculty teaching courses at the undergraduate and/or graduate level in any discipline or school. The grant must culminate with you teaching a Community Engaged Course.  The community-engaged component must be stated in the syllabus and incorporated in the course learning outcomes. Assessment of student learning for the course, including grading criteria and assignments, must also be connected to the community engagement in some way.

Examples of eligible proposals:

  • Community Engaged Course development or re-conceptualization
  • Community Engaged Teaching professional development (conferences, training, webinars, books, etc.) to support the proposed course
  • Resource materials (supplies for the community-engaged project, background checks, etc.)
  • Community Engaged or applied research related to the Community Engaged Course
  • Publications related to the Community Engaged Course

Application process:

Applications reviewed on a rolling basis.

  1. Schedule a proposal review meeting with Sonia Sequeira for feedback prior to submitting your proposal:
  2. Download and complete Project Proposal Template, then convert it to a pdf.
  3. Prepare a budget document, unless it was included in your Project Proposal. For guidance you can refer to the Budget Template and Sample Budget.
  4. Secure letter(s) of support from community partner(s).
  5. Submit basic demographic information and upload your proposal documents.

If you have any questions, please contact Sonia Sequeira at