University of Delaware

Application for Small Grant Program: Underground Railroad


Underground Railroad – Calling for Proposals from Many Disciplines

The purpose of this grant opportunity is to promote interdisciplinary community engagement projects around a specific theme.  The theme for 2017–2018 will be The Underground Railroad. Delaware, the northernmost slave state, played a big part in the lives of men and women fleeing from slavery. The city of Wilmington was the last station on the Underground Railroad. With the slave state of Maryland on one side and the free states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey on the other, Delaware offered a direct route to freedom.

The Underground Railroad Projects may be curricular or co-curricular in nature. The project must include undergraduate and or graduate students and may incorporate more than one discipline and a community partner.


The deadline for the inaugural grant cycle is at 5:00 p.m. on January 15, 2018, with notification by February 15, 2018. Note: Proposals will be accepted twice a year beginning in 2018–2019. 



Up to $4,000.00 per project

Use of Grant Funds

Funded proposals must establish a plan that fulfills both university and community interest. Funds may be used to support undergraduate or graduate project staff, consultant fees, community partners, data management, supplies, and other direct expenses. Funds may not support faculty salaries, or travel to meetings to present work. No indirect costs are permitted.

Application Requirements

Proposal Narrative

The proposal narrative should be uploaded as a PDF file and should include the following elements:

  1. Description of potential project
  2. List of potential community partners
  3. Strategies for creating a plan that fulfills both community and university/personal interests
  4. Strategies that will foster reciprocity and mutuality during the entire project
  5. Specific formative and summative assessments
  6. Forms of dissemination and strategies for sustainability of the completed project
  7. A detailed budget with projected itemized costs
  8. A timeline for the project with start and end dates


The proposal may not exceed 1,000 words. The text should be double-spaced and in a standard, readable font and font size.

Signature Page

The proposal must include this signed signature page.

Assessment Criteria

Proposals will be assessed against the following criteria:

Additional Grant Requirements

All investigators receiving funds must submit a final report to the Community Engagement Initiative at the end of the funded grant period.

Funds should be used within one year of receipt.

All recipients of the funds will be required to participate in a learning community that will meet on a regular basis (virtually or in person). The goals of the learning community include providing opportunities to share progress and gaining resources for successful knowledge building and project implementation.