Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility

Engaged Scholarship Research and Teaching Grants

Engaged Scholarship Teaching and Research Grants support faculty to develop new or existing courses and research projects. The Lang Center Advisory Committee (comprised of faculty) reviews applications, favoring those that center on equipment, travel, or supply costs (or part-time assistance) directly related to engaged scholarship.

Email from Executive Director, Ben Berger (July 10, 2020): 

We faculty members have had our hands full this past spring and summer (along with just about everyone else in the world). In May, the Lang Center staff and I put our regular Engaged Scholarship Teaching Grant application cycle on hold because the faculty couldn’t know what our fall 2020 courses would look like. Now that there’s a formal plan for 2020-21, we’re here to help. 

Engaged Scholarship—teaching and research that orient the College’s resources toward our most pressing public, environmental, social, political, and ethical challenges— might seem especially difficult during a time of remote/ virtual teaching, but we believe it to be more important now than ever.  Students and faculty alike will be looking for ways to enrich their educational experiences and to see themselves as positive change agents, and most of us can agree that the world could use some positive change. 

Lang Center support will take three primary forms:

1.)   Modest but plentiful teaching grants for Fall 2020;

2.)   Connections with excellent and interested community partners;

3.)   Faculty conversations and a curated Google doc for shared ideas and collaborations

I’ll spell these out in greater detail below.

1.)   In order to enrich the curriculum as broadly as possible, we’re offering Engaged Scholarship Teaching Grants (ESTGs) of $500-$1000 for any faculty members who would like to include an Engaged Scholarship component in their course. That extends to new courses or existing courses for which you’d like to add a virtual, public-facing orientation. ESTGs may include fall, January term, and spring. Since we can’t use college funds for travel, these grants could be used (for example) to bring in community partners via Zoom to enrich course discussion and provide the invaluable lens of lived experience.  They could also be used to compensate other guest experts, produce a virtual exhibition/ podcast/ video, or fund a TA to act as a community partner liaison. These grants are only intended to support Engaged Scholarship components and collaborations. We hope that funds will be available from other parts of the College to support virtual class visits and talks from traditional academic experts (whose expertise and insights can also be wonderfully enriching).

If you need more than $500-$1000, please let us know and we will see what can be done. But as of now we are trying to enrich as many courses as possible.

2.)   We are also happy to share a range of community partner contacts—in Chester, in Philadelphia, and in communities around the world— for those of you who would like to add enriching Zoom visits but don’t yet have appropriate contacts.

3.)   Finally, in the coming weeks we would like to convene faculty Zoom conversations and curate a Google document note sheet (for those unable to join by Zoom) during which to share ideas and best practices for remote Engaged Scholarship, to share other resources, and perhaps to develop faculty collaborations.

If you’re interested in one of the grants, please just email Dr. Jennifer Magee (jmagee1@swarthmore.edu) with a brief proposal or a request for information or assistance (if, for example, you’re interested but don’t yet have a community partner or partners [or relevant expert] in mind). We will accept the requests on a rolling basis throughout the year. Those faculty members who already received grants last year—we were blessed to able to fund all applicants— can reserve the funds for use this year or at a future date.

If you would like your current course listed on our web page—or if you think that we have listed one of your courses in error—again, please drop Jen a line.

For any other inquiries related to the Lang Center, please email me (bberger1@swarthmore.edu) and I will either clarify over email or schedule a time to talk.

All best,

Ben

Engaged Scholarship Research Grant (ESRG)

ESRGs support research that applies knowledge to needs, and aims toward understanding and/or ameliorating social problems or community needs. You can request funding for research assistance, the purchase of equipment, and travel essential to Engaged Scholarship research that will take place during the calendar year. Successful applications are typically able to show how the proposed research is likely to culminate in products including but not limited to publications, public performances, or art installations.

 

Engaged Scholarship Teaching Grant (ESTG)

ESTGs recognize that teaching new Engaged Scholarship courses (or re-envisioning existing courses in order to add a public-facing orientation) often requires extra resources. Engaged Scholarship courses can include the kind of "Community-Based Learning" (CBL) courses that the Lang Center has historically supported, as well as courses that add an experiential component to subjects and problems of public interest. For the academic year, you can request funding for TAs to act as liaisons with your community partners, equipment, travel, and honoraria for community partners. On the Lang Center website you can view a representative list of some of the courses that we (and the faculty colleagues who teach them) currently consider to comprise Engaged Scholarship. Their common denominator tends to be a focus on issues/problems of interest to a community outside of Swarthmore College, along with an attempt to analyze or address those issues with (or on behalf of) some external community.  Some Engaged Scholarship courses include a "perspective-taking" component, a development of empathy for the viewpoint and positionality of a community or communities relevant to the academic study.