Bicentennial Mini-grant

UC Bicentennial

Request for Proposals

UC Bicentennial Community Engagement Mini-Grant Opportunity


In honor of its bicentennial celebration in 2019, the University of Cincinnati will invest up to $100,000 into projects that celebrate and extend UC’s commitment to urban impact in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. The UC Bicentennial Community Engagement Mini-Grants Opportunity invites area nonprofit organizations to participate in a Pay It Forward program, inspired by a nationally-acclaimed model for service-learning developed by Roger Grein, a UC alumnus. This opportunity will engage nearly 1,000 first-year undergraduate students in a philanthropy-based service-learning experience to foster shared understanding of local issues and support a vibrant, healthy, and sustainable community. 


More information on the Pay It Forward program and UC’s service-learning model is available at:

Eligibility & Selection Criteria

Non-profit (501 c 3 tax exempt status) organizations located in Hamilton County, Cincinnati are eligible to apply.  Organizations may submit a maximum of two proposals per organizational unit, program, or facility. If chosen, the organization will be asked to execute a grant agreement, and will submit a copy of the organization’s IRS determination letter, verifying proof as a qualified tax-exempt entity. 

Projects must:

  • Engage UC students as volunteers
  • Demonstrate capacity to sustain a collaboration with UC for a 3-year period
  • Align with one of the following signature engagement areas:
  1. Student achievement and service to local schools
  2. Housing and housing access
  3. Environmental quality
  4. Public health
  5. Community futures (i.e. a project that helps to enrich or sustain existing urban Cincinnati communities)

In addition, reviewers will consider:

  • Potential impact of the project (e.g. number of community members affected, physical community changes, etc.)
  • Provisions for adequate support, risk management, and oversight

Funding Range

Organizations may apply for amounts ranging from $1,000 up to $10,000. Funding requests may include operating and capital costs related to the project. The funded amount is not required to last all 3 years, but the funded initiative must support a 3-year long collaboration with UC. This three-year period begins once the money is distributed to organization in early 2019. Thus, the three-year period will run January/February 2019-January/February 2022.

Review Process

Proposal reviewers are first-year undergraduate students majoring in programs housed within the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Allied Health, and Medicine. Proposals that are succinct and engaging will stand out to student reviewers. Finalists will present their project to a student audience, with opportunities for questions. Awards will be announced in January, 2019. Project implementation will begin early in 2019.

Dates and Deadlines

  • August 1st, 2018: Submission Deadline
  • September-October, 2018: Finalists Identified
  • October-November, 2018: Finalist Presentations
  • January, 2019: Recipients Announced
  • February, 2019: Project Implementation Begins
  • February-April, 2019: First-Year Students Volunteer
  • May, 2019-February, 2022: Ongoing UC student involvement

Format and Contents

Submit your proposal electronically. Click here or paste address into your browser to access the required form. The proposal form includes:

  • Organization information
  • Project summary
  • Which signature engagement area does your project fall under
  • Need statement
  • Goals and objectives
  • Project description
  • Support for the project
  • UC student involvement plan
  • Evaluation and results dissemination plan
  • Key personnel in charge of program
  • Sustainability plan and/or capacity developed in the community
  • Budget and budget justification
  • Will your organization being contributing any other funds to this project
  • Application amount applying for

About the UC Bicentennial

The University of Cincinnati is the eighteenth oldest public institution in the United States and traces its origins to the founding of the Medical College of Ohio and Cincinnati College in 1819. Reaching this historic milestone puts UC in prestigious company of other pioneering and enduring institutions. Home of the first cooperative education program, the nation’s first teaching hospital, the oral polio vaccine, and the first antihistamine, the university is rooted in innovation, grit, and the tenacity to learn more, to be more, and to do more. Join UC as we mark this historic milestone of our first 200 years that have paved the way for our future, as we show the world that UC will lead urban public universities into a new era of innovation and impact.  Visit for more information. 


Click for a downloadable pdf.