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IAD Africa Community Grant

The deadline for this opportunity has passed.
Application Deadline: June 1, 2023
African women


The Institute for African Development (IAD) is accepting proposals for innovative community development projects to be implemented in Africa during the summer/winter of 2023-24.

Awards are made exclusively to Ph.D., M.S., or M.P.S. candidates across all Cornell colleges for overseas fieldwork expenses associated with their impact projects. Proposals should be for the actual implementation and travel expenses rather than for academic research. Undergraduates may apply for future internships communicated via our website. Projects in West Africa are highly encouraged to apply.

Continuing graduate students (alumni) are also eligible to submit proposals for projects that engage Cornell students (undergraduate or graduate) in the area of community development throughout the African continent. Applicants are broadly encouraged to submit proposals for ideas that will have tangible impacts on improving the well-being of African communities. Prospective applicants should take note of the following themes in crafting project ideas and proposals:

  • Grassroots & Community-Driven: Projects should demonstrate a clear community support measure. Local communities should be engaged in the planning and implementation of the proposed projects. The project grant will not fund start-up projects or academic research. 
  • Commitment: Local community must demonstrate their commitment to the project and their ability to manage it successfully, openly, and honestly. The project’s budget must also include a 25% community contribution helping to ensure longevity and buy-in.
  • Sustainability: The proposed project must be achievable within a reasonable time frame, and include a plan for the local community to continue in the future without the support of outside partners. Proposals should highlight any knowledge transfer needed to aid in sustainability.


June 1, 2023


Up to $10,000

How to Apply

Completed proposals and supporting documents should be submitted electronically to the Institute for African Development’s grant committee at in Microsoft Word/PDF formats. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals in advance of the deadline as late proposals will not be accepted. All applicants will be notified regarding the status of their submissions by June 1, 2023.

Project Proposal Format

  1. Title Page (1 Page)
    • Project Description (250 words maximum)
  2. Applicant(s) Information (1 Page)
    • Names | Contact Information | Department and College Affiliations | Background | Organizational/Community Role (include personnel names, titles, and contact information if included in the proposal)
  3. Affiliation Letter(s) (1-3 Pages)
    • Whom this Project will be implemented with (i.e. NGOs, Community Groups, Institution)
      • Outlining community participation, contribution, and desire for the project to be implemented within agreed upon timeline
  4. Proposal Narrative (3 Pages)
    • Define the problem statement and project objectives
    • Outline and explain the methodology (e.g. outlining the process for proposed project/outreach)
    • Required inputs, outputs, and expected outcomes
    • References, if any (1 page)
  5. Project Time Frame (1 Page)
    • A brief description reflecting a current timeline and responsible personnel
  6. Budget (1 Page)
    • Explain and justify the project budget. The proposed budget must give a complete and accurate assessment of all item costs and amounts. Costs should include items such as: personnel, travel, supplies, and activities as required for project competition.
    • The budget must also reflect any outside funding already received through another institution or college, and include previous awards or grants.

Assessment Criteria 

  • Relevance, Significance, and Sustainability: Does the proposed project support the five research priorities of IAD? Will the proposed project have a meaningful and sustainable impact on the local community? 
  • Strength and Feasibility of Methodology: Is the project design clear? Do the inputs, outputs, and outcomes have a tangible impact on the proposed community project?
  • Clarity of Work Plan and Outputs: Does the proposal clearly state the output/outcomes and deliverables? Does it provide guidelines on how to meet milestones? How is the local community involved in the project? 
  • Feasibility of the proposed budget: Does the budget account for reasonable expenses, and add up to the amount available ($10,000)? How much detail does the budget include? Is the 25% community contribution included?


If selected to receive funding, the Grant Committee will request the appropriate bank account to transfer funds into. We encourage Cornell students to avoid receiving funds through their individual bursar accounts or personal checking accounts. If the organization is internationally registered, our team can work with you throughout the process to ensure funds are dispersed in a timely manner.

Grant recipients will be expected to maintain ongoing communication with IAD regarding progress in completing projects. Recipients will also be expected to produce at least two articles highlighting the work completed, a final report, photos/videos of their proposed project, and include a brief summary of their work on the IAD website.


The following resources may be used to better assist you with the submission process. Please note that these are simply recommendations and not strict requirements. 

Additional Information

Funding Type

  • Award


  • Student