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ACE Grants and Scholar Shop Synergy

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Katie Kleinhesselink, DU Grand Challenges Program Manager, CCESL

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There’s no doubt about it—COVID has made doing community-engaged work more difficult, especially for students who are newer to the work. After all, community engagement is all about relationships. Building relationships to advance toward research, creative work, and learning is tough when the in-person meetings and coffee dates are replaced by Zoom calls… and the fatigue that goes along with them. That’s why CCESL’s Scholar Shop matters now more than ever.

If you’re unfamiliar with Scholar Shop, let’s get you up to speed. Scholar Shop is a platform through which community organizations can connect with DU to create mutually beneficial scholarly projects. Community partners pitch research questions, identified programming needs, or other ideas that could be fodder for a collaborative project. CCESL first works with those partners to flesh out their ideas and then connects them with students and faculty who are interested in doing engaged work. If you’re a student who’s interested in community engagement, and you’re not sure where to start, Scholar Shop is a great first step.

A logical second step is applying for an Advancing Community-Engaged (ACE) Student Scholarship Grant through DU Grand Challenges. ACE grants fund student led community-engaged research and creative work. As an individual, a student can apply for up to $2,000. As a group of two or more, students can apply for up to $5,000. Those funds can be spent on almost anything related to getting the project done, including stipends to compensate you for your time. The application deadline for fall is October 30th, but you can also apply in the winter or spring quarter.

Scholar Shop partners are looking for your energy and expertise in co-creating projects that make a difference for communities. DU Grand Challenges is looking for community-engaged research and creative work projects to support. Talk about synergy! If you’re interested in getting connected with a partner and/or applying for funding, give us a shout at or