The Swearer Center currently provides Community-Based Learning and Research (CBLR) Course Mini-Grants (maximum $500) to instructors of undergraduate and graduate courses at Brown, in order to support the implementation of high-impact community-engaged learning experiences.

All regular faculty (including tenure-track and tenured), clinical faculty, term faculty (adjuncts, lecturers, visiting faculty), postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students teaching undergraduate and graduate students at Brown are eligible to apply. While instructors are welcome to apply for mini-grants more than once, these mini-grants are intended to provide initial support for courses that over time will be fully supported by their sponsoring academic units.

If a new or existing undergraduate course does not already have the Community-Based Learning and Research (CBLR) curricular program designation, the instructor is strongly encouraged to submit the course for the designation in Banner. We also encourage instructors to consider the Swearer Center’s learning priorities in course development.

CBLR Course Mini-Grants

Financial Guidance

Grants of up to $500 per course per semester are available on a rolling basis. Mini-grant funds must be expended within a month of the end of the semester in which the funded course was taught. Funds are limited. 

Funds may be used for costs related to implementing an engaged course, such as honoraria for community-based guest speakers in a co-teacher and/or co-researcher role; materials expenses including printing, supplies, or small equipment necessary to complete engaged projects; student assistants supporting engaged components of the course (consult Brown University Student Employment Guidelines for suggested hourly wages); and other course-related events during the semester when a course is offered. 

The Swearer Center encourages the compensation of community-based partners as co-teachers and co-researchers. In this capacity, partners may facilitate student workshops, speak on panels, lead site visits or walking tours, collaborate on course design, help to guide research projects, etc. Payment may be made to individuals or organizations at a maximum rate of $100/hour. Our policies do not generally support paying Brown faculty, staff, or students who serve as guest speakers or paying for local transportation.

Application Deadline

Applications for the 2023-24 academic year will be accepted through UFunds from August 7, 2023 - May 17, 2024. We encourage instructors to submit applications well in advance of proposed course activities--and to inform their department chair of their application before submission. Applicants will be notified of award decisions within three weeks of submitting their application.


For detailed guidance and the application, see the “CBLR Course Mini-Grant“ available through UFunds.


Julie Plaut ([email protected]), Director of Engaged Scholarship, Swearer Center.