Experiential Learning Seed Grant

DCAL’s Experiential Learning Seed Grant catalyzes the creation and expansion of intentional, reflective, applied learning opportunities across the institution with one-year pilot funding, dedicated campus partnerships, expert professional development, and a cohort-based model for project development. Through this grant program, DCAL engages students, faculty, and co-curricular partners in the process of seeding imaginative, high-impact ideas that have potential to grow into viable models for integrating experiential learning as a core component of the Dartmouth experience.

2018 Call for Proposals

DCAL invites proposals for its third iteration of the Experiential Learning Seed Grant from teams of faculty, staff, and/or students.  Broadly defined, experiential learning at Dartmouth includes academic and co-curricular opportunities that incorporate elements of research, service for social impact, internships and other professional development, outdoor programs, entrepreneurial activity, leadership training, global study, and other project-based experiences that complement and enhance academic learning. The intended impact of experiential learning at Dartmouth is to increase students’ confidence and capacity for innovation and risk-taking, to collaborate across difference, and to engage in complex problem solving and reflective critical thinking. DCAL’s experiential learning working definition and impact areas provide a common framework for experiential learning design and assessment across this wide range of opportunities.

Past Projects

From 2015-17, DCAL received 69 proposals requesting over $1,480,000 in experiential learning funds. To date, DCAL has awarded 42 grants totaling $690,179 in experiential learning seed funding to projects in 20 Arts and Sciences departments, 7 co-curricular centers, and all 3 professional schools. For inspiration and a better sense of the grant’s intended purpose, explore the 2017-18 experiential learning seed grant projects.

Funding Criteria

The seed grant is intended to fund big ideas around experiential learning. In general, DCAL will support proposals in the range of $10,000 - $50,000, with some flexibility on both ends. To be eligible for seed funding, a 2018-19 experiential learning opportunity must:

Funding Priorities & Limitations

DCAL is especially excited to receive experiential learning proposals for projects that have a certain “wow factor,” which may include any combination of the following components:

  • Engage students, faculty, and staff beyond a single course
  • Facilitate the integration of academic and co-curricular learning experiences
  • Prototype ways to build institutional capacity and infrastructure to better support experiential learning in the long term at Dartmouth
  • Creatively address a complex social challenge
  • Foster authentic appreciation for difference and strategies for inclusion
  • Demonstrate potential to influence curricular innovation and/or
  • Foster cross-cutting collaborations between faculty, students, and co-curricular or community educators

Please note that the DCAL Experiential Learning Seed Grant provides one-year funding and is designed to support opportunities in their pilot phase only. This is the third of four iterations of the DCAL seed grant. Dartmouth’s Experiential Learning Initiative concludes in 2020.

Application Timeline & Process

The application portal is now live - click to apply! Proposals are due no later than Friday, March 16, 2018 at 11:59 PM. A complete proposal includes:

  • Project title
  • A 2-3 sentence project “snapshot” 
  • Project team roster including names, titles/roles, and email addresses
  • An estimated budget
  • Numbers of students, faculty, and external/community partners the project will engage
  • Responses to the following questions:
    • Using our institutional working definition and impact areas as a guide, how does this project meet Dartmouth’s criteria for experiential learning? Does your project venture into new territories for Dartmouth?
    • Why you are pursuing this project? Describe the specific ways this funding will enhance your teaching or expand experiential learning at Dartmouth.
    • What gives your project a “wow factor?” How will your efforts contribute to or transform the Dartmouth student experience?
  • Any relevant supplementary materials (syllabi, testimonials, assessment data, etc.) 


Please contact Ashley Kehoe, Associate Director for Experiential Learning, with any questions or to discuss your proposal idea.