DePaul University Academic Affairs > Faculty Resources > Service > Public Service Council > Departmental Service Learning Grants Program

Departmental Service Learning Grants Program


Departmental Service Learning Grants provide up to $5,000 in support of group initiatives to incorporate meaningful public service and service learning into the curriculum. Generally no more than four awards will be made annually. Initiatives should have broad curricular impact and lead to the integration of public service or service learning opportunities into a department or program's curriculum. The development of single, isolated courses will not be supported. Initiatives funded under this program should link the content of new or existing courses with meaningful public service, enhance student learning through public service, and enable DePaul to continue its mission of service to the community. Public service or service learning should become a component of the program or department's curricula.

Public service is understood as activities that carry resources of the university into the community. Such resources might be the time and talent of people (faculty and students), materials, programs, and the like. Service learning benefits both the student and the community. This reciprocal relation differentiates service learning from experiential learning.

Eligible academic units may request up to $5,000 each to underwrite the costs of projects. Faculty release time is not an eligible expense. Creativity and experimentation are encouraged, but the Public Service Council (PSC) also welcomes departmental use of techniques proven effective elsewhere. Long-term connections between outside organizations and DePaul departments are expected and public service or service learning opportunities should be integrated into curricula, not just courses offered on a one-time basis.

Possible uses of Departmental Initiative Grant funds include:

  • developing service learning components of core/foundations courses in a major or minor;
  • creating service learning opportunities in liberal studies courses;
  • creating a network of external groups to be linked generally to a department's curricular offerings.


All departments, colleges and schools may submit an application. Cooperative applications between programs, schools or departments are encouraged. Grant recipients who have overspent their grants will not be eligible until the overage is resolved.


Total project budgets can be up to $4,500. For instructional projects, up to $3,000 can be allocated to a taxable summer stipend shared by the applicants. The remainder can fund non-professional-salary expenses such as office supplies and student assistance. Project activities can occur year-round. Budgets for research projects should focus on research expenses.

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

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. Failuer 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).