Course Development Grants

Each year the Center for Social Concerns accepts proposals from Notre Dame faculty and graduate students for $2,500 grants to fund the design of a new course or a major redesign of an existing course. These course development grants are a special initiative for those interested in incorporating social concerns into their courses through community-based learning. Community-based learning integrates student direct service or other forms of civic engagement, such as research for non-profit organizations, into academic courses.

Community Engagement Course Development Grant Categories 

Community engagement course development grants are available to Notre Dame faculty and graduate students across the University. See the descriptions below to identify the options available.

1) Community Engagement Course Development Grants 

Faculty and graduate students from any College, in any discipline, are eligible for the general Community Engagement Course Development grants of $2,500 sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns.

2) Gray Family Course Development Grants 

Faculty in the Mendoza College of Business are eligible for $2,500 course development grants generously supported by the Gray Family. The application process for the Gray Family Course Development Grant is identical to the general grant.

3) ND-GAIN Course Development Grants 

Faculty across the Academy are eligible for $2,500 course development grants generously supported by Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index that incorporate elements of the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’ and climate adaptation. For instance, disproportionate risk and: food security; water access; coastal protection; ecosystem services; human habitats; or infrastructure resiliency. Faculty have the option of sharing their curriculum more broadly with Catholic Relief Services' Faculty Learning Commons. 

Community Engagement Faculty Institute Participants

Faculty and graduate students who attend the Community Engagement Faculty Institute at the Center for Social Concerns will be given special consideration.

​The online proposal asks you to present the following:


Proposed or actual name of the course to be taught at Notre Dame; a brief course description; an indication of how the course fits into the major, college and/or university requirements/electives; the target student population; prerequisite student knowledge; desired size of the class; and the semester when the course will first be offered.

Course Content and Pedagogy

The social concerns issue or issues the course will address; anticipated community engagement of the students and how this will be integrated into the course (e.g., through potential assignments); and one or more civic learning goals and method to assess their attainment.

Catholic Social Teaching

Describe the ways your course aligns with Catholic Social Teaching (CST). Some courses are more explicit in addressing CST content while others are more implicit. Will the course include theological reflection? Catholic Social Tradition.

Community Engagement

Please describe the contact you have had with proposed community partners. What is your plan for maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with your partner(s) before, during, and after your course?  How and when will you communicate with them?  What type of communication do they want from you and your students?

Center for Social Concerns Support

In what ways would you like to work with faculty and staff at the Center for Social Concerns on this course? What specific assistance might you need from them regarding logistics, networking with additional community partners, developing assignments, arranging transportation, etc.?

Risk Management

What risk management concerns might your course raise?  Will students work with vulnerable populations (children, pregnant women, prisoners, groups stigmatized by disease, etc.)?  Will they work in environments with potential environmental hazards?  Have you been in touch with the office of Risk Management about these concerns?  What have they recommended to you?

Department Approval

A brief statement from the applicant's Notre Dame Department Chair should be emailed to Dr. Connie Snyder Mick at indicating departmental approval of the course and verifying that the course will be offered at least once during the upcoming two academic years and preferably at least once more after that. Note that this grant does not include any payment for instruction of the course. All such compensation must be worked out with Department Chair or other appropriate parties. 

Who May Apply

Teaching-and-Research and Special Professional Faculty currently employed by Notre Dame may apply. One grant may be made available to a qualified graduate student. Gray Family Course Development Grants are only available to faculty in the Mendoza College of Business. Faculty across the Academy are eligible for course development grants generously supported by Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index that incorporate elements of the Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’ and climate adaptation. 


The Center for Social Concerns is available to provide one-on-one assistance in the crafting of the new course and proposal. For assistance or additional information, contact Connie Snyder Mick.

submit proposal online

All proposals must be submitted through the online submission form and follow through on all requests for supporting materials by February 9, 2017.

*The online submission form explains tax information regarding this grant.

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October 2019

Information Session: Urban Plunge 2020
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 4:00pm
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November 2019

Application Open: SSLP 2020
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December 2019

Deadline: Romero Days 2020 Paper Proposal
Sunday, December 1, 2019 - 11:45pm
Dialogue and Listening toward Community Building
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