Institutions of higher education, particularly departments of political science, have deep knowledge of the structure, functions, and processes of democratic governance. However higher education institutions and faculty are often constrained in their ability to engage meaningfully with their local community.
Growing Democracy grants support community-based programming led by political scientists that aims to bridge the boundaries between academia and community and break down the barriers between residents and governing institutions.
Growing Democracy grants provide funding for collaborations between political scientists and their local communities aimed at supporting informed, engaged, and effective citizens. Proposed work should be community-centered and developed with an awareness of community needs and recognize the expertise held by faculty and community members.
APSA welcomes participation from a diverse array of institutions—community colleges, liberal arts colleges, comprehensive and research universities—that aim to strengthen ties to their communities and advance civic engagement and political efficacy.
The Growing Democracy grant program was developed in partnership with Professors Ashley Nickels and Casey Boyd-Swan at Kent State University (learn more at: www.growingdemocracyOH.org). Growing Democracy grants are made by possible thanks to the support of the Ivywood Foundation, and the APSA Presidential Task Force on New Partnerships.
- Cover page: PI names, institutions, and APSA numbers (if available), project title, brief abstract, total budget request. Community partners may also be listed as PIs if they will substantially contribute to development and execution of project (APSA numbers not required for community partners). 1 page maximum.
- Project proposal: outline aims, activities, and expected outcomes.
- Budget: detailed line-item budget. See below for more budget requirements.
- Letter(s) of support from collaborative organization(s) or community partner(s).
- Optional: Letter(s) identifying any additional in-kind contributions from any collaborative institutions.
All grants made will be subject to the same terms and conditions of APSA grants administered through the Centennial Center, including the following requirements:
- APSA membership for PI’s must be active for the duration of the grant period, normally 12 months.
- Grant funds may be used for direct costs in support of the described projects, such as organizational and administrative staff support, consultant support (video or audio editing, website development), software, technology or office supplies, and honoraria for community partners. Where in-person events are possible, funds may also be used for event costs such as travel and food.
- Grant funds may not be used for indirect or overhead costs.
- At the time that grants are made, a timeline for fund use will be agreed upon. Normally, grants are active for a period of 12 months with the option of a 6-month extension, as needed and if requested prior to the expiration of the grant.
The maximum allowed funding request is $12,000, though we expect to receive compelling proposals at a variety of budget levels.
For the 2021 cycle, proposals for activities planned for January-June 2021 must be virtual. Activities planned for July-December 2021 may involve face-to-face events. Proposals for in-person July-December activities may also include information about how events would pivot to virtual format if necessary.