Academic Outreach Endowment Grants: 

"Place-based experiential learning," "full participation in diverse communities," "curricular flexibility and organizational nimbleness," and "educational collaboration and partnership" are four of the six "directions" that comprise the strategic framework of Envisioning Middlebury. The Academic Outreach Endowment (AOE) provides financial support to both faculty and students for exactly these pursuits. "Digital fluency and critical engagement," another of the strategic directions, is also included within the auspices of these grants when a direct community collaboration or connection is included.

The endowment supports community-connected teaching, learning, and research across all disciplines and is administered by the Center for Community Engagement. Examples of these approaches include project-based learning (when there is a direct community connection), community-based learning, participatory action research, service-learning, and more. Grants are awarded a maximum of $4,000, and typically range between $1,000-$3,000. Recipients may have the opportunity to give public presentations detailing their projects. 

The Academic Outreach Endowment (AOE) was made possible by the generosity of a Middlebury alumna from the 1970s. This endowment, inspired by the very meaningful experience of the alumna's thesis project, is used to provide support to students and faculty who wish to pursue community-connected opportunities and integrate "real world" issues with academic course work.


2019 Academic Outreach Endowment Grant Application
Application Timeline
  • The application deadline for summer 2019 and 2019-20 projects has passed.
  • Applicants will be notified of the committee decision by mid-April.


  • All undergraduate faculty and all returning undergraduate students in good standing are eligible to apply. Applications are encouraged from all disciplines.
  • Seniors graduating in May 2019 are not eligible to apply.
  • Applications from both individuals and teams will be considered. Teams may include Middlebury College faculty, staff, and/or student(s), community partner(s), and other participants.
  • The Academic Outreach Endowment does NOT fund projects that are only either community service initiatives or unpaid internships.

Grants are awarded competitively, based upon the following criteria:
  • The project must be academically rigorous.
  • The project must be directly linked to academic course work (it cannot be simply volunteer service or an internship experience).
  • The topic being addressed should be identified with community partner participation and reflect effective reciprocity, accordingly.
  • The structured process of analysis and reflection should be of high quality and built into the project plan.
  • Representation across academic divisions is desired, overall.
  • The Center for Community Engagement encourages applications from faculty and students who are new to this methodology, as well as from those who are more experienced.
  • AOE grants can fund local, national, and international projects.
  • Funding does not typically cover equipment that is readily available through the College (e.g., digital cameras).

Grant Application Check List:                             

• All:  Complete the Proposal Cover Page (page 1 and 2 of application). Clearly articulate the community-connected need/issue you are addressing and the community partner(s) with whom you will work.

• All:  Attach a project proposal (750-1000 words) with a detailed budget and budget narrative for the funds requested, ensuring that the funds will be expended between July 2019-May 2020. Please note that a limited amount of June ’19 expenditures may be permitted, as needed.

• All:  Attach a letter of commitment and support from the participating community partner(s).

• All: PLEASE NOTE THAT DEPENDING UPON YOUR RESEARCH, YOU MAY NEED TO REQUEST IRB APPROVAL – “Human Subjects” (check go/irb for more information).

• Faculty:  Identify the course to which the grant relates, and how project connections will be incorporated within the course. 

• Students: Submit a letter of commitment & support from your project/course faculty advisor. Identify the course(s) (name and number) with which the proposal is connected.

Funding Period

Funding for approved proposals is available from July 1, 2019 - May 31, 2020. Please plan accordingly. (Note: Limited funding for projects starting by June 1, 2019 may be available.) If you have special needs or concerns or would like further information, please email Tiffany Sargent, Director, CCE.