Remote Innovation Grants
Ignite Your Curiosity!
Research has shown that engagement opportunities are transformative. Enabling every Penn State student to more expeditiously connect with life-changing engagement experiences significantly enhances the overall student experience. This better prepares them to regularly contribute to their local, national, and international communities in meaningful and impactful ways. A distinguishing feature of engagement at Penn State is a focus on student growth across five unique competencies: multicultural awareness, civic responsibility, ethical leadership, systems thinking, and professional development. Students who participate in engaging learning experiences are shown to make a deeper psychological investment into what they’re learning, incorporate class material into real-world circumstances, and develop critical life skills.
Personalize Your Engaged Learning Journey!
The Student Engagement Network offers this unique funding opportunity for students that supports the breadth of student engagement experiences in the spirit of both virtual/remote learning as well as face-to-face engagement experiences. Undergraduate students across the commonwealth are encouraged to apply for a Remote Innovation Grants that will support virtual, remote, and/or face-to-face engagement opportunities this coming academic year. All experiences and opportunities must follow Federal, State, and University policies on health and safety as well as Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on physical distancing, and should include plans to improve personal growth, professional readiness, and/or social connection/impact.
Students may apply for either a $1000 award or a $2000 award. Successful applications will receive the requested amount, either $1000 or $2000, to complete their experience during the grant cycle time frame and will participate in the SEN Canvas course (free, non-credit bearing) centered on the student engagement journey. Learn more about the SEN Canvas modules here.
Importantly, each student will be assigned a Penn State faculty or staff Engagement Coach to help students complete their virtual/remote experience and is expected to attend weekly virtual coaching sessions.
There are no group grants awarded for this program.
All experiences must be completed on or before January 8th, 2021.
Drive Personal Growth Using Real Projects, Activities, and Experiences
The SEN encourages applicants to be innovative and consider how their engagement experience will create personal and/or community impact. Funding can be applied toward any of the following engagement types/experience, including:
- Undergraduate research – Program theses, capstone projects, independent research
Professional experiences– Internships, co-ops, clinical and field experiences, client-based projects
Study abroad/study away – Study abroad and study away experiences
Community-based learning – Service learning, supervised field experiences, community development, tech transfer, immersive service experience, etc.
Creative accomplishments – Public performance, community and creative arts programs, design consultations
Courses with out-of-class component – Courses that require interaction with an external entity (ex. embedded travel courses, projects that interact with industry, government, community organizations, businesses, etc.)
Organizational experiences – Active participation in a professional organization, student organization, or membership on a community board
Peer mentoring – Resident assistants, orientation leadership, learning assistants, peer counseling, etc.
Self-directed student engagement – Activities that enable students to apply their learning in special circumstances or acquire new skills (ex. leadership programs)
Volunteerism – Campus and/or community involvement opportunities, civic engagement, philanthropic service
- Employment/Work Experiences – Dining Commons, HUB, Greeter Desk, Work Study positions
*Note: Any experience planned face-to-face must have a contingency plan to be completed virtually/remotely should circumstances warrant.
- Applicants are required to follow all Federal, State, University, and CDC safety protocols regarding COVID-19 and physical distancing during the experience.
- Applicants will be required to provide a budget explaining specific use of funding using the budget template provided in the application process.
- Grant awardees will be assigned a ‘Penn State’ engagement supervisor/coach upon funding and will receive specific instructions after the awarding period.
- Grant awardees will be required to complete the free (no-cost) Student Engagement module on Canvas to receiving their full funding, which includes completion of a pre- and post-experience survey, assignments, reflection journals, check-in meetings, and POSTER assignment.
- Grant awardees are expected to present their poster at the Student Engagement EXPO (at University Park), in a virtual speaker series (TBA), or at a equivalent regional or remote EXPO experience within one academic year of experience completion.
2020-2021 SEN Remote Innovation Grant Timeline
Fall 2020 (includes Winter break experiences)
- August 17th – Application Opens
- September 4th – Application Closes
- Week of September 14th – Award Decision Notifications
- Award winners will receive further instructions
- January 8, 2021 - All experiences should be complete for this grant cycle
Spring 2021 (includes Spring Break and Maymester experiences)
- November 20th - Application Opens
- December 11th - Application Closes
- January 8th - Award Decision Notifications
- Award winners will receive further instructions
- May 31st - All experiences should be complete for this grant cycle
Summer 2021 (includes Maymester, Summer I and Summer II experiences)
- February 26th - Application Opens
- March 19th- Application Closes
- March 31st - Award Decision Notifications
- Award winners will receive further instructions
- August 15th - All experiences should be complete for this grant cycle
Who is eligible to apply?
I just graduated. Can I still apply?
The application is closed, but I want to prepare ahead of time. What questions will I need to answer?
When is the deadline for grant applications?
The funding cycle deadline has passed. Will more funding be available?
Funding will be offered at different times of the year for the summer and fall/spring semesters. Please carefully note the application funding cycles and know that the amount of available money may vary by award period. Please check back for future opportunities.
When will I be notified about a decision?
Can I apply for a summer grant during the fall/spring award period or vice versa?
Can I apply for multiple grants in a funding cycle?
Can a group of students apply together?
Can a student club or organization seek funding for projects, events, and/or community service?
What types of things will grants fund?
What types of things are not funded?
Can I use the grant to pay my tuition?
What are some examples for the above types of engagement experiences that "count?"
|Undergraduate research||Program theses, capstone projects, independent research|
|Professional experiences||Internships, co-ops, clinical and field experiences, client-based projects|
|Study abroad/study away||Study abroad and study away experiences|
|Community-based learning||Service learning, supervised field experiences, community development, tech transfer, immersive service experience, etc.|
|Creative accomplishments||Public performance, community and creative arts programs, design consultations|
|Courses with out-of-class component||Courses that require interaction with an external entity (ex. embedded travel courses, projects that interact with industry, government, community organizations, businesses, etc.)|
|Organizational experiences||Active participation in a professional organization, student organization, or membership on a community board|
|Peer mentoring||Resident assistants, orientation leadership, learning assistants, peer counseling, etc.|
|Self-directed student engagement||Activities that enable students to apply their learning in special circumstances or acquire new skills (ex. leadership programs)|
|Volunteerism||Campus and/or community involvement opportunities, civic engagement, philanthropic service|
What will be expected of me if I receive a grant?
If I'm awarded a grant, when will I receive funding?
How are grants applications reviewed?
A committee of faculty and staff will review applications using a rubric designed by the Student Engagement Network that incorporates University scales for both merit and need. Students are encouraged to attend a grant writing workshop and carefully consider the prompts on the application form.
How many SEN Grants can I apply for/receive?
Students are permitted to receive one SEN Grant during their undergraduate years.
Can graduate students apply for SEN Grants?
Not at this time, but Penn State is working on making this a possibility soon.
What if I received a SEN Grant, but my plans have changed and I am no longer completing the engagement experience?
Please inform the Student Engagement Network of your change in plans or to discuss other pathways towards engagement opportunities.
Why can’t I withdraw the SEN grant funds from my financial aid account?
If you have a current balance due when your SEN Grant funds are added to your account, the SEN Grant funds will be applied to your current balance.
I am coordinating a Group experience with a Group grant. Can I get all of the funds in one lump sum paid to me so I can make all of the arrangements (travel, housing, registrations, etc)?
Unfortunately, no. Due to federal law surrounding financial aid, all funds for group grants will be distributed evenly among the students completing the experience.
Will receiving a SEN Grant effect my Student Financial Aid Package?
Although this is typically not the case, in certain cases when you receive funds that place you in an over-award, this will impact your Financial Aid Account by placing a hold on account and your financial aid is reviewed for a possible adjustments/reductions. Please contact Student Aid for more specific information about how your account might be impacted.