Small Research Grants
Vision and Voice for Catholic Higher Education      Learn More



Submissions will be accepted from January 4 to March 31, 2021.


Uniservitate Small Research Grants

The ACCU Uniservitate program is excited to offer a maximum of five small research grants to facilitate research projects that advance understanding of service-learning and Catholic higher education in the United States and Canada.

As projects are completed, researchers are asked to prepare an article for Update, a white paper for the ACCU website, or a research paper to be submitted to the Journal of Catholic Higher Education and to the Uniservitate program.

Grants for individual projects may range up to $2,500. The money will be used toward any legitimate research expense and may be combined with grants from the researcher’s home campus. Applicants must be employed as faculty or staff at an ACCU member institution.


Proposal Criteria

Appropriate projects will:

  • Advance understanding of the institutionalization or spirituality of service-learning in U.S./Canada Catholic higher education
  • Be of interest and applicable to a variety of campuses, not just one
  • Employ sound methods of data gathering and analysis
  • Use quantitative or qualitative methodologies
  • Be practical and of an appropriate scale to the grant available


Application Components

Cover Sheet: List the title of the project, primary sponsor and contact information, amount requested, and a 100-word description of the project. An administrative contact (grants officer or business office administrator) must be identified. The cover sheet must be signed by the sponsor and the administrative contact.

Narrative: Please provide a description of the research problem/challenge and its significance to service-learning in Catholic higher education, how the project expands our understanding of the institutionalizational or spirirtuality of service-learning in Catholic higher education, a description of the source of data, the methods of analysis to be used, the final product to be produced, and the research timeline to fit within the parameters of this grant. Please limit the narrative to two pages (single-spaced).

BudgetProvide an itemized list of proposed expenditures (stipends, travel, teaching materials, fees, etc.). Support from other sources should also be listed if a project’s total cost is expected to exceed $2,500. Given the small size of the grant, it is expected that institutions will not assess overhead charges. Funds will be released only when the project is completed and the summary report has been received.


Evaluation Rubric

  • Important, well-conceived research idea
  • Focuses on aspect(s) important to service-learning in Catholic higher education
  • Topic likely to interest audience beyond the home campus
  • Proposal is complete and clearly presented
  • Projected project is realistic in scope relative to research resources
  • Expenditures focus on appropriate research costs
  • Data gathered/analyzed sufficient to proposal
  • Researcher(s) appear to have expertise needed to execute project
  • A concrete research paper will result


Allowable Expenses

Grant funds may be used for the following expenses:

  • Payment of charges for access to existing data
  • Purchase of software
  • Hiring of student research assistance
  • Data-gathering costs
  • Purchase of library services
  • Salary support for the researcher

Should a human subjects review be necessary, the researcher must obtain the review from the institutional review board of his or her home campus. Projects may be provisionally accepted when the human subjects review is in process.

Applications for the ACCU Universitate Small Research Grants program must be submitted electronically as either a Word document or in PDF form. Submissions will be accepted beginning in 2021 through June 1, 2022. Awardees will receive notification within 5 business days of submission. Applicants should feel free to contact ACCU to help shape the project or ask about expenses not listed above. Final project summary reports are to be submitted to ACCU. Those receiving grants agree that ACCU will have the first option to publish a brief report (typically 1-2 pages) of the project in its Update newsletter within 12 months. Alternately, a summary of the research will be available in the research section of the ACCU website. Researchers are also encouraged to submit their studies to the Journal of Catholic Higher Education and Uniservitate for consideration. Publication in other arenas should acknowledge ACCU support.

Please address questions or comments to Rebecca Sawyer or Nadine Jalandoni.