Student Engagement Network Remote Innovation Grants open for fall semester

August 17, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Student Engagement Network has opened the application process for a new round of grants that will support undergraduate engagement experiences.

The deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sept 4. The application can be found here. Award decision notification will be on Sept. 14.

Undergraduate students from all Penn State campuses are invited to apply for a grant, which is designed to support expenses related to completing an experience in the spirit of remote or in-person living and learning.

Students who receive funding will receive $1,000 or $2,000 to complete their experience over the fall semester and are required to participate in the SEN Online Canvas course (no tuition cost, non-credit bearing), centered on the student engagement journey. Each student will also be assigned a Penn State Engagement Coach to help them complete their virtual/remote experience. All experiences must be completed on or before Jan. 8, 2021. A total of $75,000 in grants will be awarded in fall 2020 cycle.

David Reingold was among those who received an Innovation Grant for the summer that allowed him to continue work in a national theater initiative that he began in fall 2019. Reingold is a junior earning a bachelor of fine arts in theater design, technology, and technology with a focus in lighting design. This summer, he continued as an intern for the #HereToo Project, which works to amplify the voices and stories of young activists through performance, according to its website.

Reingold, of Roswell, Georgia, said in fall 2019 his task was to help develop the second iteration of the project’s Penn State residency. But over the summer, due to the pandemic, Reingold and the #HereToo Project designed a totally virtually experience. After helping to clean up and catalog the video interviews conducted by #HereToo Project cofounders Barbara Pitts McAdams and Jimmy Maize, Reingold helped to launch the #HereToo Podcast, due out this fall.

“Even though we can’t create theater in person right now, we are excited to explore this digital art form and continue sharing inspirational stories of youth activists from our own State College community,” Reingold said. “We interviewed over a dozen local activists — some high schoolers, some Penn State students and some recent alumni — and we are currently in the process of curating a diverse and engaging podcast season. “

Due to the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, all experiences and opportunities must follow federal, state and University policies as well as Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on physical distancing. Students are encouraged to build into their experiences components that address personal growth, professional readiness and/or social connection/impact.

In addition, any experience planned face-to-face will have a contingency plan to be completed virtually/remotely should circumstances warrant.

The below are examples of the types of engagement experiences SEN will consider for funding. Students are encouraged to reach out to SEN staff if they have questions about Remote Innovation Grants.

  • undergraduate research
  • professional experiences
  • community-based learning
  • creative accomplishments
  • courses with an out-of-class component
  • organizational experiences
  • peer mentoring
  • self-directed student engagement
  • volunteerism
  • employment experiences
  • study away/study abroad experience-related

To see previously funded projects, please visit

The Student Engagement Network is a joint initiative between Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs and Outreach and Online Education. The mission of the Student Engagement Network is to advance the power of participation by connecting students with experiences that empower them to make a positive impact as citizens and leaders of the world.

Last Updated September 22, 2020