Call For Proposals: Growing Democracy Grants

Supporting programming for politically engaged, effective citizens.

Proposals for grants up to $6,000

DEADLINE: January 5, 2021 at 12:00 midnight EDT.

Institutions of higher education, particularly departments of political science, have deep knowledge of the structure, functions, and processes of democratic governance. However higher education institutions and faculty are often constrained in their ability to engage meaningfully with their local community.

The American Political Science Association seeks proposals from members for projects that will support community-based programming led by political scientists that aims to bridge the boundaries between academia and community and break down the barriers between residents and governing institutions.
Growing Democracy grants provide funding for collaborations between political scientists and their local communities aimed at supporting informed, engaged, and effective citizens. Proposed work should be community-centered and developed with an awareness of community needs and recognize the expertise held by both faculty and community members.

APSA welcomes participation from a diverse array of institutions—community colleges, liberal arts colleges, comprehensive and research universities—that aim to strengthen ties to their communities and advance civic engagement and political efficacy.

The Growing Democracy grant program was developed in partnership with Professors Ashley Nickels  and Casey Boyd-Swan at Kent State University (learn more at: Growing Democracy grants are made by possible thanks to the support of the Ivywood Foundation, and the APSA Presidential Task Force on New Partnerships.

Application Information

Growing Democracy applications must include the following components:

  • Cover page (1-page single spaced maximum) that includes:
    1. PI names, institutions, and APSA numbers (if available)
      1. Community partners may also be listed as PIs if they will substantially contribute to development and execution of project.
    2. Project title
    3. Brief abstract
    4. Total budget request (maximum $6,000)
  • Project proposal (3-page sing-spaced maximum): including aims, activities, and expected outcomes.
  • Line-item Budget (1-page maximum): detailed line-item budget. See below for more budget requirements.
  • Letter(s) of support from collaborative organization(s) or community partner(s).
  • Optional: Letter(s) identifying any additional in-kind contributions from any collaborative institutions.

Award Timeline and Further Guidance: Complete applications received by the January 5, 2020 deadline will be reviewed by the end of February and we expect to notify applicants of award decisions then. All grants made will be subject to the same terms and conditions of APSA grants administered through the Centennial Center, including the following requirements:

  • APSA membership for PI’s must be active for the duration of the grant period, normally 12 months.
  • Grant funds may be used for direct costs in support of the described projects, such as technology needs, staff or RA support, food and/or per diems, and honoraria for community partners and other participants.
  • Grant funds may not be used for indirect or overhead costs.
  • At the time that grants are made, a timeline for fund use will be agreed upon. Normally, grants are for a period of 12 months with the option of a 6-month extension, as needed and if requested prior to the expiry of the grant.


The maximum allowed funding request is $6,000.  For the current (2020-2021) cycle, all proposed activities must be virtual.

To apply, please carefully review our guidelines above and submit your application here:

Please get in touch with any questions or for more information! Contact the Centennial Center at