Skip to Content


By providing our dedicated teams of students, staff, faculty and community members with financial resources, we empower them to utilize their passion, knowledge and resourcefulness to affect positive change in our communities and the world around us. Grants are an essential tool in our mission to address today's Grand Challenges, and we offer several different funding opportunities for efforts that help advance scholarship and strengthen communities while adhering to one of our focus areas.



Faculty Funding Opportunities

Learn more about the different types of grant opportunities, including information on deadlines and submission instructions.

  • Class Grants

    DU Grand Challenge's class grants aim to support course development and/or projects that respond to at least one of the phases in the Grand Challenges arc-- Aspirations, Action and Achievement.

    Annually, we invest in faculty time to develop new or re-develop existing courses that are related to the Grand Challenges. Grants up to $500 are available and are intended to cover class-related expenses beyond standard departmental support.

    Submission Process and Deadline

    Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Please expect two-four weeks for your application to be reviewed.

    To Apply:

    1. Please submit the proposal form, which can be found here.
    2. Please create a course syllabus.

    Together, these materials should reflect considerable thought and preparation, sufficient to guide the members of the DU Grand Challenge Course Selection Committee in their review.

  • DU Grand Challenges Scholar Grants

    Beginning in 2017-2018, we've invested in research and creative work projects that address Grand Challenges initiatives. These funds provide a mechanism for projects that focus on work involving building and advancing community partnerships for community-engaged scholarship.

    Engaged scholarship differs from approaches that emphasize one-way applications of faculty expertise to community problems. Instead, we emphasize inclusiveness, participation, community-building and task sharing. Engaged scholarship intentionally:

    • Emphasizes the co-production of knowledge in the context of reciprocal partnerships with community stakeholders.
    • Pursues rigorous work to confront public problems.
    • Demonstrates strong collaboration with community partners in proposal and project development.
    • Forges a collaborative enterprise between academic researchers (professors and students) and community members, which validates multiple knowledge sources and ways of disseminating the knowledge produced.


    Submission Instructions


    Past Recipients

    Faculty: Apryl Alexander, Psy.D. and Lynett Henderson Metzger, J.D., Psy.D.,Graduate School of Professional Psychology
    Title of Research: Psychology Academy for Scholarly Success (PASS) Program
    Community Partner: Metropolitan State University of Denver
    Grant Amount: $4,950.60

    Faculty: Rebecca Galemba, Ph.D. and Singumbe Muyeba, Ph.D., Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
    Title of Research: Building a More Robust & Diverse Construction Trades in the Denver Metro Area
    Community Partner: Colorado Jobs with Justice
    Grant Amount: $5,000

    Faculty: Maria Isla-López, Ph.D, Department of Sociology and Criminology
    Title of Research: Exploring Goals and Aspirations in Sun Valley: Opportunities and Challenges for a Training and Employment Program.
    Community Partner: Sun Valley Kitchen + Community Center
    Grant Amount: $4,996

    Faculty: Julia Roncoroni, Ph.D., Department of Counseling Psychology and Rey-Hernandez-Julian, Ph.D., Department of Finance
    Title of Research: PODER: Latinos in STEM
    Community Partner: Valdez Elementary School 
    Grant Amount: $6,500

    Faculty: Cheri A. Young, Ph.D., Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management
    Title of Research: Best Practices in Refugee Employment in the Hospitality Industries
    Community Partner: African Community Center
    Grant Amount: $4,653



Student Funding Opportunities

  • Advancing Community Engaged (ACE) Student Scholarship Grants

    Please note that the 2019-2020 ACE Student Scholarship program will begin accepting applications in Fall 2019.

    Undergraduate students are invited to submit proposals for community-engaged research or creative work that is designed to:

    • Create economic opportunities in our local and/or global communities.
    • Build aspirations for deliberating and acting for the public good.

    Community-engaged research and creative work involve integrating community partners. The collaboration should be mutually beneficial and reciprocal. For example, a project might answer a research question that is important to the student researcher while also meeting a need that is important to the community. Potential partners include nonprofits, grassroots organizations, government agencies or entrepreneurs and businesses.

    Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Please expect 2-4 weeks for your application to be reviewed.





DU Grand Challenges Champions

DU Grand Challenges Champions provides students with an opportunity to deepen their participation in DU Grand Challenges through a faculty-mentored program that will support students' preparation to contribute to public good work. Students will have the chance to integrate their learning across their DU Grand Challenges experiences, as well as other community engagement experiences, to make meaning of the sum of their work.

  • Who is eligible?

    Undergraduate students are eligible to apply. Students who are studying abroad during the Fall or Winter quarter may apply and include abroad experiences that connect to Grand Challenges issue areas. Students must commit to the program for the full academic year.

  • What are the benefits?
    • With faculty mentorship, students will develop an ePortfolio that will serve as a tangible and clear representation of their potential to contribute to work on complex public problems. As a result of developing an ePortfolio, students will be able to connect and integrate their community-engaged learning, scholarship, creative work and service in DU Grand Challenges and related community engagement experiences.
    • Students will have opportunities through lunch n' learns to hear from leaders who are developing solutions to complex issues impacting communities.
    • Students will be recognized at the annual Pioneer Awards Ceremony and will receive a certificate signed by the Chancellor. The top three students will receive special honor as a Distinguished DU Grand Challenges Champion and potential nomination for one of the additional Pioneer awards.
    • Students will receive free admission to Pioneering Denver events that highlight the difference that DU alumni are making in the community.
  • What are the requirements to participate?

    Students will complete at least one activity in each of the four pathways of the DU Grand Challenges program. Students may include other experiences, such as study abroad and DU Service and Change, that connect to Grand Challenge issue areas. 

    The four pathways are:

    • Connect: Attend an event where there is an opportunity to network and hear from others about work connected to one or more Grand Challenge issue areas.
    • Engage: Tackle a Grand Challenge issue through application of knowledge and skills, e.g. research, creative work, service project.
    • Expand: Share learning and skills related to one or more Grand Challenge issue area with others. 
    • Learn: Enhance knowledge and understanding of Grand Challenges and/or techniques for working collaboratively.

Apply to become a DU Grand Challenges Champion