Pilot Project Grants

Pilot project grants are designed to support individuals and groups of students who wish to link their academics with action in a small scale or short term project with its own mission, goals, and objectives. Such projects could include feasibility studies; assessment of community assets, interests, and needs; prototyping or testing a new product, service, or program etc. in the US or elsewhere in the world. 

Note: This grant is not in service of Swarthmore College and does not create an employment relationship between the student(s) and Swarthmore College.


The Lang Center exists to support all Swarthmore students, regardless of political affiliations or views, age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. To be eligible for summer funding from the Lang Center, students must be (1) a currently enrolled Swarthmore College undergraduate; (2) enrolled in the spring semester prior and/or fall semester following the proposed summer experience, and (3) in good standing at Swarthmore College. If you are an international student (on an F1 or J1 visa) considering opportunities to work off campus (in either a paid or unpaid position), please contact Jennifer Marks-Gold before you accept any positions to ensure you maintain your legal status. 


All applicants are required to be advised by a member of the Lang Center staff before applying for a Lang Center grant. Pilot Project applicants should meet with Jennifer Magee or Nimesh Ghimire '15 1/2.

Application Process 

There is a four step process for Summer 2023 pilot project grants. View the application process and questions here.  

Step 1: Attend an Impact Gaps Analysis training at the CoLab. This training will help you to craft your proposal for pilot project funding!

Step 2: Submit the first part of the pilot project application by NOON (Eastern) on Friday, December 2, 2022.Click here to submit the pilot project application, part 1.

Step 3: Participate in required spring training series including a systems thinking module @ the CoLab on Thursdays in February (specific times, TBD) and on Saturday, March 18 participate in Lang Center retreat @ CoLab.

Step 4: Submit a final project plan by NOON (Eastern) on March 26, 2023 via Wizehive.  

Evaluation of Applications

Pilot project applications are reviewed by members of Lang Center staff and faculty or subject experts, as needed, and then in some cases, applicants are interviewed. 

Sample of Grants Available

The Believe Endowed Social Action Award was established in 2006 to enable students to spend the summer in a developing country working on a global social action project. The Mission of the Believe Award is "To support inspired global citizens who believe in the reality of a better world, and who believe that the key to peace and progress in the world is to develop personal connections in other cultures through social action and direct community engagement."

The Class of 1961 Fund for the Arts and Social Change was established by the Class of 1961 in honor of its 50th Reunion. This fund provides a Summer Social Action Award to one or more students each summer with a preference for projects in which the arts and social change are joined. This reflects the distinctive interests of the Class of 1961 in the art, theater, music and dance of their time and their commitment to making a difference in the world.

The Penrose International Service Fund provides a stipend to support participation in a project to improve the quality of life of a community outside North America. The project should involve direct interaction with the affected community and be of immediate benefit to them rather than action in support of social change at a regional or national level. The stipend will be available to a Swarthmore student from any class for a project in any country other than that of his or her own citizenship.

Stephen Lubar '75 Student Summer Fellowship was established in 2014 by Stephen Lubar '75. This fund is intended to provide an enriching summer fellowship for a rising junior or senior at Swarthmore in any field of study (to vary in subsequent years as additional funds become available) to travel somewhere they've never been before to enrich their own lives and the lives of others. These fellowships will be administered by the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.

Summer 2021 Pilot Project Grants

Pilot Project Contact

Senior Associate Director, Lang Center 
Lang Center 204