DePaul University Academic Affairs > Faculty Resources > Service > Public Service Council > Community-based Service Learning Research Grants Program

Community-based Service Learning Research Grants Program


Community-based service learning research grants are designed to support service learning instructional activities that are conducted in conjunction with the support of the Steans Center. Faculty undertaking community-based service learning should consult with the Steans Center two quarters in advance of the course offering. Please contact center staff directly for information and available resources. A letter of support fom the Steans Center should accompany the proposal.

Participatory action research and community action research projects should be submitted to the Public Service Council, not the University Research Council. The model for the campus-community research partnerships should be genuinely collaborative and driven by community rather than campus interests. The process must constitute a significant learning opportunity for students, and the outcomes must benefit the community in an important way.

Up to $4,500 will be provided to DePaul faculty in support of their efforts to engage in research that examines the benefits of service learning courses to the community and to DePaul students. The proposal should document how the goals and workplan were developed in collaboration with community partners. Letters of support from community organizations should be included. In addition, research results should be shared with the Steans Center, which is institutionally responsible for gathering data on community-based service learning outcomes. Research in the following three areas of service learning will be considered:

  • Community-based research in which community concerns foster and inform action research. The knowledge created seeks to achieve positive social change.
  • Research with community partners to study the processes and outcomes of community-based service learning. Research is focused on the extent to which community initiatives are attained as well as other impacts on community.
  • Research that studies the academic learning goals of service learning on students in order to design more powerful academic programs. Research will focus on the institutional processes needed to achieve these goals.


Eligibility for faculty development grants is limited to full-time tenure or tenure-track faculty. Faculty may apply for one grant award per program (e.g., URC competitive research grant, QIC competitive instruction grant, etc) per academic year. Grant recipients who have overspent their grants will not be eligible until the overage is resolved. Faculty are expected to consult with the Steans Center in developing their proposals.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted in the Fall and Winter with deadlines of October 15th and March 15th, respectively. Late applications cannot be accepted.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit the following through Campus Connect (click on "Grant Proposals" in the "Faculty Center" section) by the appropriate deadline:

  • Project title
  • Abstract — The abstract should describe the project clearly and completely in non-technical terms.
  • Work plan and timeline — The work plan and timeline should be thorough, realistice, and feasible. Further, the specific outcomes for the project should be articulated.
  • Budget narrative — The budget narrative should clearly justify all requested expenses and provide sources for estimated costs. Wages for requested personnel should account for fringe benefits at a rate of 10%.
  • Budget form — The budget form should account for each item of expense discussed in the budget narrative.
  • Tentative syllabus

Applicants will also be asked to attach the following to their application:

  • Narrative — The narrative should describe the project in clear, non-technical language. The narrative should also present a compelling argument in favor of the project which will include a clear description of the project's goals and objectives. Further, the narrative should explain the relationship between the project and the applicant's teaching, research, and/or service interests.
  • Current CV
  • Bibliography

Expectations and Requirements of Recipients

Grant recipients should keep the following in mind:

  • Grant funds are made available to the faculty member upon completion of budget manager training.
  • All spending must comply with the Council's guidelines regarding eligible and ineligible expenses​.
  • Funding is for 18 months after the grant is approved.
  • The council expects projects to be completed in a timely manner and will not fund projects beyond three years.
  • A final report must be submitted within 30 days of the grant's expiration. Failure to submit the final report will result in the faculty member being ineligible for future funding from the councils. This report should delineate the activities conducted during the grant, describe the achievement of the project outcomes as outlined in the proposal, and list financial expenditures (include copies of all invoices over $100).