Rural Prosperity Nebraska Offers $50,000 in Grants to Boost Communities

Rural Prosperity Nebraska Offers $50,000 in Grants to Boost Communities
September 3, 2021

Rural Prosperity Nebraska is offering 10 grants, up to $5,000 each, focused on community development. By coupling University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty with Husker students, the RPN Competitive Grants Program continues a tradition of faculty- and student-led community engagement and service-learning programming.

“Community engagement and service-learning efforts foster opportunities to establish partnerships among faculty, students and community organizations,” said Dave Varner, interim dean of Nebraska Extension.

The goal is that such partnerships will aid in meeting and developing communities’ aspirations for improvement and growth, while simultaneously stimulating student and faculty engagement.

While the faculty-student teams will create the grant proposals, Rural Prosperity Nebraska will assist in identifying potential community partners for engagement opportunities.

“Effective community engagement relies on robust relationships that lead to strong synergies among the university, and both public and private sectors,” Varner said. “Such relationships enrich research, scholarship and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare engaged community members for success; strengthen civic responsibility; and address critical societal issues.

“What really matters is that these grants contribute to the public good.”

To be considered for funds, proposals must involve students in one or more of the following areas:

  • Faculty and community representatives must design experiential learning projects that support identified goals to help strengthen the community.
  • Or applicants may propose a community-based service-learning or research project focused on advancing the field of community engagement.

A team of extension educators will review the proposals and submit recommendations for funding to the Rural Prosperity Nebraska program leader, who will make final decisions based on quality of the proposals and availability of funds. The deadline is 4 p.m. Sept. 15. Award notification will be Oct. 4-29.

The grant application can be found here.

Rural Prosperity Nebraska brings together extension professionals and other faculty from across the University of Nebraska system and student fellows to work with community leaders to help make Nebraska’s rural communities more vibrant. It is housed within the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Learn more.