Academic Outreach Endowment Grants support 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, public scholarship, participatory action research, service-learning, and more.

How It Works

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. Both faculty and students are invited to apply.

The Academic Outreach Endowment (AOE) was made possible by the generosity of a Middlebury alumni 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.


The deadline for applications seeking support for community-based courses and projects for Winter and Spring Term 2021 has passed. A limited amount of funding remains for smaller-scale support for Spring Term 2021 semester. Please contact Diane Munroe,, for more if you are seeking funding for spring 2021.

A second application deadline for funding Summer and Fall 2021 courses and projects is planned for April 3, 2021


For your reference, view a PDF of of the full application


  • All undergraduate faculty and all returning undergraduate students in good standing are eligible to apply. Applications are encouraged from all disciplines.
  • 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). For students this may also include for-credit independent studies or research for senior work.
  • 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 Middlebury (e.g., digital cameras).

Grant Application Components

  • Basic project information (GoogleForm questions). Clearly articulate the community-connected need/issue you are addressing and the community partner(s) with whom you will work.

  • Upload a project proposal (750-1000 words) with a budget narrative for the funds requested, ensuring that the funds will be expended between July 2021 -May 2022.

  • Upload a detailed budget of funds requested.

  • Upload at least one letter of commitment and support from the participating community partner(s).

  • Depending on your proposal, you may need to request IRB approval.

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

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

See examples of past grant recipient projects.

Funding Period

Funding for approved proposals is available from July 1, 2021 - May 31, 2022. Please plan accordingly. If you have special needs or concerns or would like further information, please email Ashley Laux, Director of CCE, at

For applications requiring international travel:

  • All students, faculty, and staff traveling beyond the contiguous U.S. must complete the International Travel Registration Form.
  • Check what level of advisory the U.S. State Dept. has assigned the country (countries) to which you intend to travel.
    • If there is a Level 1 advisory or a Level 2 advisory and Middlebury has a presence in that country (e.g., School Abroad), then you do not need to complete additional forms and CCE can make an award.
    • If there is a Level 2 advisory or higher and Middlebury does not have a program in that country, then you will also need to complete the International Activity Approval Form. CCE cannot make awards in this case until Global Operations approves the intended travel.

Center for Community Engagement
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3580