DePaul University Division of Mission and Ministry > Scholarships, Grants & Awards > Vincentian Endowment Fund

Vincentian Endowment Fund Grant

Established in 1992 through a gift from the Congregation of the Mission, the Vincentian Endowment Fund (VEF) was designed to enhance the Catholic, Vincentian Mission of DePaul University. The Division of Mission and Ministry annually provides DePaul Students, Staff, and Faculty the opportunity to apply for grant dollars awarded through VEF. VEF Grants in the past have supported such projects as: faculty research, hosting conferences or events on campus, and social justice and community service initiatives in Chicago.

The Principal VEF Grant Application deadline for the 2019-2020 Academic Year has passed. Applicants will receive decisions about their proposals by the end of November 2019. Discretionary VEF Grants are still available during the 2019-2020 Academic Year. To apply, use the link on the right side of the page. See below for more details.​

Contact Michael Van Dorpe ( to RSVP for one of the Information Sessions or to ask any questions about the Vincentian Endowment Fund or the application process.


All DePaul students, staff, and faculty who have a continuing relationship with the University are eligible to apply for a VEF Grant.

Students will need the support of a full-time staff or faculty member prior to applying in order to be considered for funding.

For staff and faculty, we will notify their supervisors at the time of the application being submitted and when we communicate final decisions.

Principal vs. Discretionary VEF Grants

There are two types of VEF Grants: Principal and Discretionary.

Principal VEF Grants
Principal VEF Grants are typically for proposals seeking funding over $1,500, but typically do not exceed $5,000. In some rare instances, multi-year grants have been awarded for as much as $10,000.

Principal VEF Grant applications are only accepted in the Fall Quarter of each Academic Year. If awarded, recipients won’t be able to use the dollars until the first business day of the new calendar year (typically January 2). Principal VEF Grants can span multiple fiscal years, if necessary for the scope of the project proposal. The “End Date” for a Principal VEF Grant is determined by the applicant, but should be appropriately aligned with the scope of the project. If there are unused dollars at the “End Date” of a Principal VEF Grant, those dollars will be forfeit and rolled back into the Endowment.

Principal VEF Grants are funded by creating an Internal Grant with a unique University DeptID and Project Number. It is highly encouraged for recipients to work with their College’s Grant Manager or Business Manager as well as the University’s Financial Services Team.

Discretionary VEF Grants
Discretionary VEF Grants are for proposals up to $1,500. Discretionary VEF Grant applications are accepted throughout the Academic Year as long as funding lasts each year. If awarded, recipients will be able to use the dollars within about 2-3 weeks from the time of the application. Discretionary VEF Grants must be spent in full by June 30 of the current Academic Year. Any unused Discretionary VEF Grant dollars will be forfeit and rolled back into the Endowment after June 30 of the current Academic Year.

Discretionary VEF Grants are funded by spending directly out of the VEF DeptID. Recipients will need to coordinate with Michael Van Dorpe ( in the Division of Mission and Ministry to spend the dollars awarded to them.​

Application Timeline and Process (Principal and Discretionary)

Applicants can expect the following timelines and processes for the VEF Applications in the 2019-2020 Academic Year:

Principal VEF Grants

  1. September 10, 2019 – Principal VEF Grant Application opens
  2. September – Optional Information Sessions hosted in Lincoln Park and Loop Campuses
  3. October 15, 2019 – VEF Principal Grant Application closes
  4. October 15 through November 1 – Budget Meeting with Michael Van Dorpe in the Division of Mission and Ministry
  5. November – VEF Board meets to decide on Principal VEF Applications
  6. Late November – Decisions communicated to Principal VEF applicants
  7. December – Principal VEF Grants developed with Restricted Accounting
  8. January 1, 2020 – Principal VEF Grants available for awardees to begin using

Discretionary VEF Grants

  1. July 15, 2019 – Discretionary VEF Grant Application opens
    1. Applicants can apply throughout the year
    2. About 2-3 weeks after submission, a decision will be communicated to the applicant
      1. A Budget Meeting may be scheduled by Michael Van Dorpe in the Division of Mission and Ministry prior to a decision being made.
    3. At the time of a decision, awardee will be able to use the dollars awarded
  2. June 1, 2020 – Discretionary VEF Grant Application window closes
  3. June 30, 2020 – All Discretionary VEF Grant spending for 2019-2020 Academic Year ends

VEF Grant Application Questions (Principal and Discretionary)

Applicants will be expected to provide the following information in their VEF Applications. The information required is the same for Principal and Discretionary Grants unless otherwise noted.

  • Applicant general information
  • Applicant’s supervisor contact information
    • For Students, contact information for your sponsoring full-time staff or faculty member
  • Project Overview, which includes:
    • Project Name
    • Expected End Date
    • Identifying 1) the purpose of the proposal, 2) the audience, and 3) the aspects of DePaul’s Mission that the proposal addresses
  • Budget Information, which includes
    • Providing an overview on how you plan on spending dollars and the rational for those expenses (up to 1,000 characters)
    • Specifying the ways an applicant intends to spend VEF Dollars
    • Naming other sources of funding that have been secured for this project
    • Naming other sources of funding that are pending for this project
    • Identify a time for a Budget Meeting with Michael Van Dorpe (Principal Applications Only)
  • Grant Proposal, which includes:
    • Proposal Abstract (up to 500 characters)
      • If awarded, abstracts will be used in an announcement about the awarded VEF Grants and potentially posted on the VEF Website. This abstract should be written to be “publish ready.”
    • Proposal Narrative (up to 12,000 characters)
      • Narratives should consider the following questions:
        • What program has the opportunity to be enhanced? What “problem” is this project attempting to solve?  What story needs to be told?
        • Why should this program be enhanced? Why does this “problem” need to be solved? Why does this story need to be told?
        • How will the audience identified earlier in the application access, engage, or benefit from this solution (or story)?
        • How is this enhancement/solution/story connected to the aspects of DePaul’s Catholic, Vincentian Mission identified earlier in the application?
        • How is this project unique from or building upon other attempts to enhance this program, solve this “problem,” or share this story?
      • Narratives should include a timeline of the development and implementation of the project.
    • Supplemental Documentation (up to 10 pages in a PDF format)
      • Examples of supplemental documentation are: appendices that support your proposal narrative, photographs or images that support your narrative, letters of support, a visual of the timeline of the project, or documentation of other funding for this project.
      • DO NOT include a CV or Resume in Supplemental Documentation. There is no need or requirement to submit a CV or Resume.
  • Acknowledgement of the Terms and Conditions

Miscellaneous Rules and Guidelines

  1. Project Directors cannot personally be compensated through the VEF funding they are applying for. Other colleagues at the university can receive modest payments and student employees can be hired to complete the work of projects, but the Project Director will not be awarded funds to compensate themselves.
  2. Funding for can be requested through VEF grants, but not in excess of $500. If the VEF decides to partially fund a Grant application, funding for food will be the first item cut from a proposal.
  3. Project Directors who seek funds to undertake case studies or site visits, particularly if distant travel is involved, must provide a theoretical framework or other justification for the number and location of sites.
  4. If a proposed project requires release time, special facilities, or cost-sharing by a department or college, the project director must secure a written endorsement from the appropriate chairperson/dean/director prior to submitting a proposal. This endorsement can be submitted as part of the “Supplemental Documentation” section of the application. As an alternative, directors may request contingent funding from the endowment for a project that is awaiting internal or external support. An explanation of future funding options should be included in the application.
  5. Project Directors who seek funds to administer a survey or conduct interviews must submit a draft questionnaire or sample interview protocol as supplementary material. Without such documentation, the Endowment Board will consider funding only the design and pre-testing portion of a survey project. For all projects involving human subject research, including for example surveys and interviews, Project Directors must follow university policies for human subject research approval.  For more information, contact the Office of Research Services’ Research Protections section.

Terms and Conditions (Principal and Discretionary)

  1. Funds awarded by the Vincentian Endowment Board may be expended only for the purposes stated in accepted proposals, although Project Directors may exercise reasonable discretion in reallocating dollars among approved budget categories. Almost all changes to funding within the Internal Grants will require approval from Michael Van Dorpe before changes can be made.
  2. Project Directors are responsible for securing a local budget manager who will manage the project budget according to all established university policies and procedures. Because Project Directors monitor project expenditures, it is recommended that all Project Directors (for faculty/staff grants) complete a PeopleSoft Grant Managers training session offered by the Controller's Office. The local budget manager must agree to the Grant Terms and Conditions as part of the application process. If the Project Director and/or local budget manager choose to subsume the grant award under an existing budget account, the grant's budget terms and conditions must be honored.
  3. Personal reimbursements of any type for the Project Director must follow the guidelines contained in the university’s Employee and University Guests Reimbursement policy.
  4. Project Directors are responsible for complying with all relevant laws and regulations relating to the activities funded by the grant.
  5. Grant funds are to be expended within the timeline that an award is granted, unless otherwise stated through an extension request. If, for good reason, an approved project cannot reasonably be completed within the original grant period the Project Director may petition the VEF Board Chair to consider a limited extension of the funding period.
  6. Project Directors are responsible to submit all financial transaction paperwork such as reimbursement forms and voucher payment requisitions at least one month before the end date to ensure processing is completed.  Only transactions that post to the Mobius report prior to the end date will be allowed.
  7. On the day following the end date or in the event that a funded project reaches completion before all authorized funds are expended, unused funds shall be returned to the Endowment for redistribution.
  8. Equipment and other durable items purchased with funds from a grant become the property of DePaul University, but ordinarily may be retained for further on-campus use by the Project Director. These items should be clearly identified in the grant proposal.
  9. Within thirty days after completing the funded portion of a project, the Project Director is required to submit to the Chair of the Endowment Board a final written report containing a narrative and financial account of what was accomplished with grant funds. The narrative portion may consist either of a product resulting from the project (e.g., manuscript, journal article, likeness of an art work, external grant proposal) or a summary and assessment of the project's funded activities. The VEF Final Report Form can be found on the Division of Mission and Ministry website.
  10. Failure to submit a final report will disqualify the Project Director from any future consideration for VEF funding. In addition, the appropriate dean or department will be notified of the Project Director’s non-compliance and disqualification.
  11. The Endowment Board reserves the rights to monitor and conduct an evaluation of all activities funded by the grant and to audit all grant-funded expenses.
  12. Failure to adhere to the university’s policies and procedures governing the expenditure of grant funds will result in a report of non-compliance to the appropriate dean or department and the repayment of misspent funds by the college/school/department to the Endowment Board.
  13. A notation, such as a footnote or an acknowledgment, should appear on all project publicity indicating that the project was funded, or assisted, by a grant from the Vincentian Endowment Fund of DePaul University. All service projects should also acknowledge VEF funding.

History of the Vincentian Endowment Fund

This endowment fund was established in 1992 by a gift from the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers who sponsor the university. Through this gift, the Vincentian Community wished to communicate several of its fundamental convictions. First, it is impossible to view the Vincentian identity of the university independently from its Catholic identity. Second, consonant with its Catholic and Vincentian values, DePaul has developed its sense of being an urban university with a deep educational involvement in the life of the city, the nation, and the world. The university’s Catholic and Vincentian values also have contributed to many of the most notable aspects of the university’s institutional culture, such as its commitment to access and attainment, academic entrepreneurship, service, personalism and diversity. Third, in order for these values to continue to inform the life of the university, the university community must participate in an ongoing study, dialogue, and praxis concerning these values and this identity.

In 2002, in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Vincentian Endowment Fund (VEF), the Vincentian Fathers and Brothers gave additional gifts to the original endowment in order to ensure adequate funding for service grants that involve faculty, staff, and students in community service projects, especially those that directly impact those who are most in need. These gifts were given in honor of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, a university professor and co-founder of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

The endowment thus seeks to assist the university in developing its understanding of how, as a university informed by the vision of Vincent de Paul, it is to be an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming institution that treasures its Catholic identity. This assistance will be achieved through funding grant projects that directly enhance the identity of DePaul University as a Catholic, Vincentian, and urban university with special attention to the Catholic and Vincentian aspects of this identity.​