Tier 3 Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grants (formerly named CU Boulder Outreach Award: Individual) fund faculty-led public and community-engaged scholarship that connects research, teaching and creative work with public needs and interests.  

Tier 3 grants are for individual CU Boulder faculty applicants who may request up to $11,000 for each project.

Proposed projects must connect CU Boulder scholarship with the expressed needs, interests or activities of external constituents and be aligned with the campus definition of outreach and engagement.

The selection process is guided by the Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grants Committee.

  • The primary applicant must be a CU Boulder faculty member. Eligible faculty members include tenured and tenure-track faculty, non-tenure-track faculty, clinical faculty, research faculty, professional research assistants, research associates and postdoctoral researchers. 
  • Faculty members may submit more than one Public and Comunity-Engaged Scholarship Grant proposal. Each proposal must be for a distinct, substantially different project. Only one individual proposal per primary faculty member may be awarded funding. 
  • Staff, students, community members and other faculty members are eligible to apply as co-applicants. Faculty on short-term or temporary appointments (e.g., lecturers, adjunct faculty or visiting faculty) can have an active role in the project but cannot be considered as primary applicants. 

Contact Jeanne McDonald with any questions regarding applicant eiligibility. 

Funded Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grant projects must connect CU Boulder faculty research, creative work or teaching with the needs, interests or activities of external constituents. Applicants are encouraged to review the campus definition of outreach and engagement.  

Using the following criteria and this scoring rubric, the Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grants Committee funds proposals that: 

  • Connect to and advances faculty-led research, creative work and/or teaching 
  • Foster and sustain relationships between community and campus partners that allow meaningful opportunities to contribute to and benefit equitably from the project 
  • Show evidence of public need for CU Boulder involvement through evidence-based research, partner consultation and/or a direct request 
  • Focus on inclusive, diverse and equitable programming 
  • Outline goals and objectives that are well-defined and clearly connect to the problem or issue being addressed 
  • Provide a detailed and realistic timeline and plan to achieve goals 
  • Describe student involvement in detail, including well-defined support, training and mentoring 
  • Include an evaluation plan with appropriate benchmarks and approaches to collecting evidence to monitor quality and impact of the public and community-engaged scholarship 
  • Explain how the activities and people will be supported by the budget. If applicable, justify why Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grant funds are needed in addition to other available funding and/or how the grant will be leveraged for other funding.

If applicable, the committee will also consider proposals that: 

  • Demonstrate a clear and compelling rationale for continued funding through details about growth of the project over time and impact to date 

Tier 3 (Individual Faculty) Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grant proposals will be reviewed in three separate categories:

  1. New projects from first-time applicants

  2. Continuing projects that have been funded for five years or fewer

  3. Continuing projects that have been funded for more than five years  

Allowable Budget Items

  • Program materials and supplies, including printing costs and 
informational materials
  • Equipment necessary to the project, including justification for its use and a plan for what will happen to the equipment once the project is complete (equipment is property of the state and cannot be donated or remain at external sites beyond the duration of the project) 
  • Food or beverage integral to the project (cannot be used for 
reception/social events) 
  • Student stipends or hourly pay for currently enrolled CU Boulder undergraduate or graduate students (include pay rate and all costs associated with position including benefits, IT connectivity fees, etc.)
  • Stipends or honoraria for K-12 teachers or community partners 
  • Travel expenses for CU Boulder faculty, staff, and/or students 
  • Other direct costs needed for the project 

Non-allowable Budget Items

  • Faculty pay, honoraria or release time
  • Staff or post-doc pay
  • Pay for undergraduate students enrolled in course tied to projects 
  • Fees and travel expenses for outside consulting, speakers, or professional/specialized services. However, fees and expenses for professional services will be considered if they are essential to the success of the project and are justified as to why they are needed instead of using any available talents or expertise of CU Boulder faculty, staff and students.  
  • Capital expenses or overhead costs (e.g., rent, personal computers, office equipment)
  • Expenses to attend or host/create a conference
  • Catering expenses for receptions or other social events. Funds cannot be used to purchase alcohol. 
  • Marketing or advertising costs 

  • February 2024 – Call for proposals announced 
  • April 19, 2024 – Proposals due by 5 p.m. 
  • May 2024 – Proposal applications reviewed 
  • June 2024 – Decision notifications sent 
  • June 2024 – Orientation for new grant recipients 
  • August 2024 – Funding made available (once funding requirements have been completed)  

Applicants must complete the online application form. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. 

An academic unit or department must sponsor and maintain fiscal oversight of the project, as they will be ultimately responsible for any budget overruns. In most cases, funded projects should be completed by the end of June 2025. 

Proposals must include the following: 

Project Information 

  • Project title (8 words or fewer is encouraged, clear to a lay audience) 
  • Contact information for faculty applicant, co-applicant(s), department chair/director, school/college dean and fiscal manager 
  • Indicate if the project has been funded in the past and/or if the faculty applicant has previously received other CU Boulder Outreach Award (now called Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grant, Tier 3 or 4) funding. Proposals will be reviewed in three separate categories: (1) new projects from first-time applicants, (2) continuing projects that have been funded for five years or fewer, and (3) continuing projects that have been funded for more than five years. 

Proposal Narr​ative 

  • Demonstrated need: Explain the need for the proposed project, including the problem(s) or issue(s) it seeks to address. Provide evidence of the public need for CU Boulder's involvement through evidence-based research, partner consultation and/or a direct request from external constituents. (250 words maximum) 
  • Project goals and objectives: Provide an overview of clearly defined goals and objectives. (250 words maximum) 
  • Project plans and timeline: Outline how you plan to achieve your goals and the timeline. (250 words maximum) 
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility objectives and goals: Provide details that demonstrate how the program is inclusive and accessible for all participants and advances the campus diversity and inclusion plan. (250 words maximum) 
  • People Involved: 
    • Primary applicant and co-applicant roles: Describe the role of the primary faculty applicant and any co-applicants. Include how the program extends their teaching, research and/or creative work. (250 words maximum) 
    • External partner role: Describe the role of non-CU Boulder project partners and how they will be involved in the planning and implementation of the project. Include how the partnership is mutually beneficial for both university and community collaborators. (250 words maximum) 
    • Audience served: Describe the non-CU Boulder audience or constituency. Include pertinent demographic and geographic information and if the project will engage with a diverse or underrepresented community. Include details of how the audience will be reached and/or recruited to participate or be involved in the project. (250 words maximum) 
    • Student involvement (if applicable): Describe how CU Boulder students will be involved in the project and how they will be supported, trained and/or mentored. If the project will engage students with a diverse and/or underrepresented background, please include pertinent demographic information regarding the students involved. (250 words maximum) 
  • Contingency plan: Describe the contingency plan for how your program could be modified if in-person activities or travel is not permissible. Include information about how you might adjust your project plan, timeline and budget if needed. (250 words maximum) 
  • Continuing or previously funded applicants, provide the following details: 
    • Justification for continued funding 
    • Development of the project over time 
    • Evidence of impact to date, including results of project assessment or evaluation

Complete this section if you are continuing the same project that was previously funded by a CU Boulder Outreach Award (now called Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grant, Tier 3 or Tier 4) or if the project substantially builds upon work that was previously funded. You do not need to complete this section if the project was funded with a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Public and Community-Engaged Grant (formerly called Community Impact Grants or Micro Grants) received from the Office for Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship (formerly Office for Outreach and Engagement). (250 words maximum)

Assessment/Evaluating Impact 

  • Assessment/evaluation plans: Describe your project assessment/evaluation plans, including how you will monitor the quality of your public and community-engagemed scholarship, address and evaluate your project objectives and gather relevant feedback for improvement. Explain the approaches to be used to collect evidence about the impact of your work on both external and internal audiences. (250 words maximum) 
  • People directly impacted: Provide a breakdown of the estimated number of CU Boulder faculty members, staff, members, graduate and undergraduate students, and external constituents who will be involved and directly affected by the project. (Note: This is not to suggest that more is better; the committee understands that some public and community-engaged scholarship may go deeper and serve fewer people.) 

Budget Information 

  • Budget narrative: Specifically explain how your budget will support the activities and people described in your proposal. If the budget includes stipends or honorariums for K-12 teachers or community partners, explain why it is needed to enable participation or recognize contributions to the project and why the amount of the stipend or honorarium is justified. (250 words maximum) 
  • Funding requested: Total dollar amount of funding requested from the Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grants Committee ($24,000 limit, including GAIR).
  • Expense breakdown: Provide dollar amount and a brief description (8 
words maximum) of the projected expenses. See “Funded Activities and Expenses” section for a list of allowable budget items. Identify each expense in one of the following designated categories: 
    • travel expenses
    • materials/supplies/equipment
    • student pay 
    • stipends or honoraria 
    • other direct costs 
    • GAIR (All Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grant accounts, which are Fund 29 accounts, are subject to General Administrative and Infrastructure Recharge (GAIR) fees, currently assessed at 8.24%.) 
  • Other funding sources: 
    • Describe other sources of funding for your project and specify how these funds will be spent to enhance or expand your project 
    • Explain why the Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grant funds you are requesting are needed in addition to other funding and/or Public and Community-Engaged Grant funding will be leveraged to secure other funding 
    • Other funding sources should include any other grants, matching funds from your department/unit, and/or any previous CU Boulder Outreach Award (now called Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grant, Tier 3 or Tier 4) funds that will be carried into the next fiscal year* (250 words maximum) 

*Note: You need to contact Jeanne McDonald to request an extension for previously awarded grant funds. 

Endorsement and Final Report Upload 

  • Share the draft of your proposal with your department chair/director in advance of submission and obtain a one-page endorsement letter that includes details on how the program will be supported and connects to the mission and goals of the department/campus program. This is an important part of your application. Upload the letter with your online submission. (1-page limit) 

Note: If the faculty applicant is also a chair/director, the applicant cannot endorse their own project. Please have a dean or associate dean submit a letter on the applicant's behalf.  

  • Final/Status Report (required for continuing projects): If you were awarded CU Boulder Outreach Award (now called Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship, Tier 3 or Tier 4) funds in the past, you are required to submit a Final/Status Report, even if you have not yet completed the current project. Upload with your online submission. Only applies if continuing the same public and community-engaged scholarship project or building on previous work for a new project. A final/status report needs to be submitted even if the continuing project has a new faculty applicant. You do not need to submit a report if the project was funded with a Tier 2 or Tier 1 (formerly called Community Impact Grant or Micro Grant) grant received from the Office for Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship (formerly named the Office for Outreach Engagement). 

  • Keep in mind that the committee members represent various academic disciplines. Write your proposal so that it is clear to all. 
  • Be sure to spell out acronyms and provide definitions for technical terms. 
  • Prepare a draft of your proposal to cut and paste into the online submission form so that you have a copy for your records
  • Check your word count. The online form will cut off any information that
 exceeds the maximum word count. 
  • Review this example of a proposal that has received funding: Colombia Infrastructure Upgrading for Displaced Communities or CU Children’s Book Festival 2023
  • Review evaluation resources you might consider using to monitor your project and gather evidence.

The Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grants Committee conducts a comprehensive review of all proposals and selects the funded grants. The committee is comprised of faculty and staff from diverse academic disciplines. When there is a conflict of interest in connection with a proposal, committee members recuse themselves from the related discussion and decision-making process.

  • Sign the funding agreement (sent via DocuSign). 
  • Attend the orientation if you are a new grant recipient (date and time to be announced). 
  • Acknowledge funding support by including the following statement in appropriate materials: “This project is supported by a CU Boulder Public and Community-Engaged Grant.” 
  • Learn more about the risk management policies and receive pre-approval from the Human Research and Institutional Review Board (IRB) for a research project that involves human subjects.
  • Add your project information to the campuswide Community Outreach and Engagement Programs website or review and update program information if already entered on the site. 
  • If your project involves an event, make sure to select “Outreach and Engagement” in both the Group and Interest categories on the CU Events Calendar to have your event promoted on the Community Outreach and Engagement Programs website. 
  • Inform your department communicator and Gretchen Minekime, the Office for Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship communications program manager, about any events or story ideas related to your project. Gretchen can help you determine whom to contact and connect you with Strategic Relations resources, and suggest ways to advertise the event. Please include our office's logo, which we can provide, on any posters and ads. 
  • Tag @CUBoulderPACES on any social media posts related to your project. 
  • Respond to office staff in a timely manner about project deadlines or publicity related to the project, which may be featured on the Community Outreach and Engagement Programs website. 
  • Submit a final report upon completion of the project (even if you are not applying for continuing funding) that includes
 a description of the work done, its impact, participant counts (community/audience, faculty/staff, students) and number of contact hours. 

The Office for Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship provides four tiers of funding. See other Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship Grant opportunities

Questions: engagedscholarship@colorado.edu