Office of Service-Learning Support for Learning through Service

Grant Application Details

Application Process

To apply for a service-learning grant, you must submit a complete proposal and Grant Application Form. A few notes:

  1. Applications should be submitted as a single PDF document. Please do not submit documents via campus mail or submit multiple file attachments. If you do not follow submission guidelines, your proposal will not be evaluated.
  2. Contact Kelli Bates at the Columbus Metropolitan Library if utilizing the OSU-CML TemplatePlease conduct a preliminary discussion with Kelli about your course and CML's Homework Help Centers.  She can be reached at
  3. Check out the Grants Tip Sheet.  The Grant Tip Sheet covers important information you need to be successful in our grants program.
  4. Use the checklist on the Application Form to ensure that you are providing all requested documentation.  Incomplete proposals will not be evaluated, so please ensure that you provide everything as requested.
  5. Read the extended descriptions of the sections on the Application Form. These descriptions are available in the sections below.
  6. Contact the Office of Service-Learning for technical support and feedback. The Office Service-Learning is here to provide any needed support through your grant application process. We would be happy to discuss your proposal with you and provide feedback. We can also help with technical details, such as the budget or submission process. If you need assistance or have questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
Course Description
  • Course number, faculty/instructor contact.
  • What are the title, objectives, and content of the proposed credit-bearing undergraduate, graduate, or professional service-learning course?
  • What are the community-engaged activities to be performed by students? How do these activities connect with the academic content of the course?
  • Attach a draft/tentative course syllabus.
Community Focus and Reciprocity
  • One convenient option is to utilize our ongoing partnership with Columbus Metropolitan Library. Please refer to the
    OSU-CML Service-Learning Template.
  • Describe the anticipated community benefit and impact of the community-engaged/service activities.  Describe the collaboration process with your community partner that led to the selection of activities.
Preparation for Service
  • What type of preparation for service will your students need?  Some example include: cultural sensitivity and bias training, expectations for time and effort, any training provided by the partner organization, etc.  How will this preparation be integrated into the course?
  • How will the logistical details (transportation, background checks, scheduling, communication, necessary supplies, etc.) of the course be navigated?
Reflection and Feedback
  • Reflection is the cornerstone of high-impact experiential learning.  Describe potential assignments/activities to facilitate reflection connection of the community-engaged activity with academic concepts and to encourage critical thinking.  How will you provide feedback to your students on their work?  You will work on developing these further in the Course Design Institute, and we have many resources on how to design reflection activities; however, we want to see that you are considering this important aspect at this stage.

Provide a short description of a planned assessment strategy for this course. This strategy should include the following details:

  • How will you know if your course is successful? Include information about specific goals and metrics.
  • How are students, faculty, and/or  the community partner involved in the assessment? Do they supply data, or participate in instrumentation?
  • Future plans: How will data be used once it is compiled and analyzed? (for improvement, publications, etc.)
  • Any other supporting information, including previous research or academic theory that supports your evaluation question and assessment plans.
  • Describe plans for sustainability and departmental support for offering the community-engaged course on a continuing basis.

All grant proposals must be accompanied by a completed budget in the Grant Application Form. Examples of permissible uses of grant funds include:

  • Compensation of faculty/student/staff time for course development
  • Purchase of reusable equipment or supplies related to the community-engaged component
  • Support for the community partner (required)

Details and justification of the budget should be provided in a budget narrative containing the following:

  • An explanation of projected expenses and how they are related to the community-engaged component of the course.
  • Indication of financial and other resource support for the community partner. At least 10% must be allocated or set aside for direct support of the community partner. If possible, please provide specific budget items that the community partner has requested or approved.
  • Applicants may identify and list matching funds in this narrative, as well as reference potential funding and resources for continuation and growth of the project.

Please note that the Office of Service-Learning prioritizes funding for efforts that have the ability to continue beyond the initial grant period. Funding should contribute to the meaningful development of sustainable course components. Requests for repeating costs (such as transportation for students or food and supplies for annual events) will not be considered for this funding unless the budget narrative justifying these items is significantly compelling.

Other Documentation
  • Please provide information on your availability and any potential schedule conflicts during the required Course Design Institute scheduling time-frame (May 2023)
  • If you have letters of support from community partner(s) or your department, please include them in your single PDF.


Grant Proposal FAQs

Q. My course doesn’t have a course number/name/syllabus yet. Can I still apply?

A. Yes. We realize that if you are in the process of developing a course, you may not have completed these steps. While we would prefer to have drafts to evaluate your proposal, if you cannot provide them, just be sure to include any information that we could use to evaluate your course content. If you are not sure what to provide, contact the Office of Service-Learning for technical support.

Q. I want my course to be included in the new General Education curriculum.  Where can I find the Expected Learning Outcomes I need to include?

A. ELOs for courses in the new GE can be found here and here.  We strongly encourage instructors to begin thinking about courses for the new GE now for implementation in Autumn 2022.

Q. I am already signed up to attend a Course Development Institute in the near future. Do I still need to attend the service-learning one?

A. Yes. The course development institute for our grantees will have material that is specific to service-learning course development and assessment. Please be aware that we will use an RSVP tool to schedule around time conflicts, and we will make every effort to work with you to ensure that you are able to attend. If you have little to no availability to attend a 20-hour CDI in May or June 2021, please do not apply. Otherwise, please apply and let us know about possible schedule conflicts along with your proposal.

Q. Can I apply for more than one grant per course?

A. No. Our funding limits are designed to ensure that we can provide meaningful funding and support to as many courses as possible. No course may receive more than $4,000 per funding cycle. We encourage you to seek matching funds and other available resources from your department, college, or elsewhere to leverage this amount if necessary.

Q. What if I want to work with a partner other than the Columbus Metropolitan Library?

A. Our current grant offering is for any service-learning courses, whether they will be utilizing the OSU-CML Service Learning Template or working independently with another community partner.  Please note that funding priority will be given to existing partnerships, so you should begin collaborating with your intended community partner prior to applying for this grant.