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Community Engagement Grant

The Office of Community Engagement believes that artists and designers are vital to creating and sustaining vibrant, equitable and thriving communities. To support this mission the Office of Community Engagement now offers three distinct grants through the France-Merrick Opportunity Fund, the Community Engagement Grant for students, faculty, and staff, as well as the Curriculum Travel Grant, and the Engaged Alumni Grant, all of which support community-engaged projects and activities.

Updated Grant Cycle

Beginning Fall of 2015, the Office of Community Engagement is adjusting its Community Engagement granting cycle. Grant applications will be due once a semester and proposed projects should commence in the following semester. For example, if you apply for a grant in the fall your project will take place in the spring semester, spring applications will produce projects in the summer, and summer applications will be for projects in the fall. This shift allows applicants to consider the full scope of their project with ample planning time and an opportunity to consider project execution before applying for a Community Engagement grant.

It is our hope that this new timeline will lead to stronger project proposals with more clearly articulated community opportunities or identified needs, thoroughly developed community relationships, and detailed project timelines. If you have any questions or concerns about the new timeline please OCE at or feel free to stop by our office Fox 110.

For the 2015 - 2016 academic year, applications, budgets, and applicable materials for the Community Engagement Grant are due by 11:59PM on each of the following dates:

  • For projects taking place in the Spring Semester grant applications are due: Friday, November 13, 2015
  • For projects taking place in the Summer grant applications are due: Friday, April 1, 2016
  • For projects taking place in the Fall Semester grant applications are due: Friday, June 17, 2016

Eligible applicants (see below) may apply for funding for such expenses as materials, supplies, entrance fees, and transportation that are integral to the development, implementation or evaluation of qualifying projects. Grantees may apply for funding (up to 25% of the total request) to compensate comissoned artists or guest speakers participating in Community Engaged projects. Salaries, tuition, and conference fees are currently ineligible for support. 

Below is the list of all of the applicable materials that must be submitted online, using the link below, by 11:59 PM on the grant deadline:

  1. Online Grant Application [PDF Sample of Questions]
  2. Project Budget [SAMPLE Budget] [Blank Budget Template]
  3. Reference Letters and Supporting Documentation (Optional)

Please read the FAQ's below. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at

Who is eligible to apply for community grants?

Any current MICA undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student may apply, as well as faculty and staff. All applicants are required to be supervised by either a MICA faculty or staff advisor.

What types of projects qualify for a grant?

Projects should engage the MICA students in collaborating with community members to meet a particular community need or to pursue a desired outcome. Grants may be used either to launch a new project or program, or to strengthen/expand an existing project or program. Previous projects have ranged from after-school activities with children to community-based public art projects and social design initiatives. Letters of Support from partnering organizations that confirm both the need for the project and the partnering organization's interest in collaborating with the applicant are not required but highly recommended and will be strongly considered in the grant review process.

Where does this funding come from?

All funding used for MICA's Student Grant program is donor funded. However, it is distributed through two different offices: the Office of Community Engagement and the Office of Student Affairs. The Office of Community Engagement offers the Community Engagement Grant (OCE). The Office of Student Affairs offers the Community Service Fund Grant (CSF). For your convenience, only ONE application is required to apply for both grants and will be reviewed by each office. 

How much can I request to fund this project?

Student working on co-curricular project. (Non-classroom based project) $1500.00 $750.00 $2250.00
Student working on curricular projects, including thesis projects and other projects for classroom credit. $1500.00 $0.00 $1500.00
Staff/Faculty member working on a community-based project $1500.00 $0.00 $1500.00

In all cases, only exemplary projects with well-constructed budgets are funded at the top of the grant range.

Do I need to fill out a separate application and budget form for each of the MICA Student Grants I apply for?

No. While technically separate grants, these opportunities share the same application and deadlines. Only ONE application is required for a project and will be reviewed by each of the three offices. Only ONE budget (using required format) is needed itemizing total amount of funds you are requesting.

How do I gain access to my funds and what financial documentation must I keep?

Your grant award letter will list the office to contact to gain access to your funds. Funding is distributed primarily through reimbursements and purchase orders. For reimbursements, grantees are responsible for completing and submitting a MICA Expense Reimbursement Form with all valid receipts numbered and attached to the office listed in your grant award letter. For purchase orders, grantee must use one of MICA's approved vendors. More information will be provided in the grantee's award letter.

Can I apply for another grant if I've already been awarded one previously?

Yes, you can. There is no limit to the number of grants that you can apply for. To be eligible for a new grant, however, you must have fully spent and "closed out" your previous grant and fulfilled the reporting requirements as listed in the grant acceptance letter.

Who will be reviewing my application, and how are funding decisions made?

All grant applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of one or more of the following: MICA faculty, MICA staff, and/or community members. Input from the committee determines whether or not the project is funded and at what amount.

Why did I get less than I asked for? And what can I do differently next time?

Not all grants are fully funded. Many are only partially funded. Partial funding is typically due to one of two factors: a) the inclusion of ineligible expenses in the budget request, or b) lack of evidence of a compelling need for the expenditures. Applicants seeking full funding, at the top of the grant range, are advised to clearly articulate the need for each and every line item, either in a budget narrative or in the project description.

What follow-up is required once I have completed my project or spent all of my funds?

ALL grantees must submit a narrative summary of the project, including photos and any additional documentation, to the office identified in the grant agreement letter. In addition, grantees must give a brief (5-10 minute) final presentation on the successes and lessons learned through the project, at a date to be determined by the granting office. More information about reporting on your project can be found here.