Funding Opportunity

Request for Proposals: Year of Engagement Funding Opportunity

Click HERE for the Application.

The first of three deadlines for proposals for the 2020-2021 academic year is October 1, 2020.

The Year of Engagement is an unprecedented opportunity to position the University of Pittsburgh as a global leader in engagement. The Funding Committee invites students, staff and faculty to build partnerships that confront challenges and co-create solutions at the institutional, local, regional, statewide, national or international levels in the 2020-21 academic year and beyond. Applications for up to $8,000 to support new programs, events, productions, curricula, convenings, experiments, operational improvements, practices, research, product development and other possibilities toward reaching this goal are invited. The Funding Committee encourages the submission of applications throughout the month of September to kick start the year with exciting engagement activities! During September the Funding Committee will be reviewing proposals as they are submitted.

Proposals should indicate how applicants and/or their partners would inspire innovative engagement and match the grant resources with funds, materials, equipment, space, or other contributions commensurate with or greater than the amount requested. This request for proposal is designed to support various levels of engagement, from “door-opening” projects that reflect basic engagement with short-term outputs to transformative efforts with more ambitious goals, complex implementation, and broader/deeper impact.

Tiered Levels

Grant Request


Total Project Costs



$500 funds, materials, equipment




$2K - funds, materials only




$5K-$8K - funds only


Here are examples of the projects being funded by the Year of Engagement

11/12 Year of Engagement Virtual Coffee 1 from University of Pittsburgh on Vimeo.

11/16 Year of Engagement Virtual Coffee 2 from University of Pittsburgh on Vimeo.

We seek proposals that address following areas

  • Support/expand existing partnerships or develop new partnerships that seek to:
    • Involve underrepresented/disenfranchised communities whether internal or external to the University and promote diversity and inclusion
    • Advance innovative and interdisciplinary agendas
    • Address non-traditional, novel needs of local, regional, statewide, national or international communities
  • Meet a need (as identified by project team) that will result in measurable outcomes
    • Describe the evidence-based need and intended impact
    • Include a plan of how and who will measure success
  • Generate new knowledge and understanding, including teaching/learning, research, and creative activities, about and/or through Engaged Scholarship – scholarship that explicitly combines academic and community-based knowledge.
    • Support research into practices for Engaged Scholarship, including issues of ethics and cultural competence.
    • Build interdisciplinary teams of student, staff, faculty, and stakeholder researchers in Engaged Scholarship.
    • Draw on Engaged Scholarship that addresses acute and or chronic challenges
  • Provide tangible benefits that will continue to support engagement and knowledge production and be sustainable beyond the Year of Engagement.
    • How will the engagement be sustained beyond this academic year?
    • Follow-on funding (joint grant seeking)
    • Identify sustaining partners/stewards
    • Building long-term relationships

Proposals will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. Partnership
    • a. Co-created and equal
    • b. Mutual benefit
    • c. Novel teaming or novel opportunity
    • d. Mix of partners (students, staff, faculty, communities, alumni, industry, government, etc.)
  2. Scholarship
    • a.Generates new knowledge/understanding
    • b. Interdisciplinary composition
    • c. Targets current challenges
  3. Evidence/Outcome
    • a. Supporting evidence of need (urgency and magnitude of need)
    • b. Clearly defined and measurable outcomes
    • c. How will outcomes be measured and who will measure them
    • d. Potential impact
  4. Sustainable Benefit
    • a. Strategic tie-in to programs or existing infrastructure
    • b. Sustainability beyond the Year of Engagement
    • c. Implement long lasting changes (institutional or public policy change, organizational, structural)

You may access the application by following this link. The YOE Budget Template needed for the applicaiton should also be downladed. You will also find a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

We look forward to receiving your proposals and hope that the Year of Engagement marks the beginning of many impactful connections across the University and the world.