Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to submit a proposal?
Any student, undergraduate or graduate, who is currently enrolled in courses at the University of Florida and will continue to be so. The core team for the project must be registered UF students, but the project can involve outside people, organizations, UF or other faculty or staff.
Are student groups eligible?
Yes! If an existing student organization or a group of students from an existing organization would like to submit a proposal, they may do so.
Are UF Online students eligible?
No. Because UF Online students do not pay student fees for on-campus activities, services, and programming, they are not eligible for this program.
When will we find out if our proposal was accepted?
Once the application deadline closes, the committee will meet to review all application packages. At that point, several groups will be invited to give presentations, and decisions will be made following the presentations. Ideally notifications will go out by early April or before the end of the Spring Semester. Questions on the process can be directed to Dr. Kevin Baron at email@example.com
What do you mean when you say the proposal must be “collaborative, groundbreaking, and promote achievable objectives”?
Now that’s a great question! By “collaborative” we mean that no one student can go it alone. We are looking for groups of at least 3-5 students (and the more the merrier…to an extent) and will be most impressed by groups reflecting gender, racial, and academic diversity. By “groundbreaking” we mean a fantastic idea that we never considered. In fact, your goal should be to elicit the following response from the committee: “That is an amazing idea!” By “promote achievable objectives” we mean that the proposal includes specific, measurable, active, realistic, and timely objectives that we believe the group can achieve. You should be able to identify an important issue in a local community (like UF, Gainesville, Florida or some combination) and utilize your social entrepreneurial talents to formulate a realistic and achievable project to address that issue. Ask yourseld this - What hole/gap exists in this issue that your project will fill? How will your project make a difference for a group of people/your local community? Can you show "outside-the-box" thinking to make a viable difference in the lives of those in your community?
In the application proposal packet, what needs to be included in the two-page narrative?
The two-page narrative is the overview and justification of your project. This is the main component and most important piece of the application. The narrative needs to clearly identify the problem/issue and in what specific community and what your creative solution to the problem is. It must then demonstrate a thorough, well thought out, and achievable strategy to implement your plan. You must clearly indentify and provide what goals you hope to achieve with the project, showing that these goals are not only attainable, but that they are meaningful and will have a positive impact on a local community.
In the application proposal packet, what needs to be included in the one-page collaborative approach document?
This portion of the packet offers a concise description of who you are, who are the members of the team and why each of these members are an important part of the team. You will also need to include any outside members - individuals, groups, organizations, government entities, or anyone else you will be working with and why. This portion will show that the team was created for purposeful action, drawing on expertise from each member/partner to achieve the goals as detailed in the narrative.
How specific must the budget be? Is it flexible?
The more specific the better, so please try to be as precise at the beginning as you can. The decision committee will ask you about your budget, and often make changes and recommendations to your budget proposal, based on your presentation and questions answered. The Bob Graham Center and the decision committee have the ability to alter your budget at the outset, but only in conjuction with the team so that everyone is in agreement. Grants can be up to $5000.00, but groups can be awarded less if the committee determines the project will not need the full amount. So think through your costs and what you will need. And yes, we fully expect that the budget will change as the group progresses through the project.
Are there any limitations on exclusions related to how the money is spent?
All expenses must be reviewed and approved by the Bob Graham Center. As long as they directly support the project itself, they are likely to be approved.
Must proposals include a faculty mentor or advisor?
Yes! In the end, we fully expect the selected project to be envisioned, planned, and implemented by students. However, experience hath shown that the watchful eye and thoughtful advice of a trusted faculty member or advisor to have a positive influence on the project and all who are involved in it.
Must proposals include letter of support from campus and/or community groups?
These letters are only required if the proposal includes specific mention and collaboration with another group. For example, if your proposal includes partnering with the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank, we would expect to see a letter of support from that organization. Otherwise, such a letter is not required. That said, we anticipate that the most promising proposals will include such letters.
Must all portions of the proposal package be submitted together or can portions be sent separately?
Yes, all portions of the proposal should be submitted as a unified and cohesive package. Proposals should be submitted to Dr. Kevin Baron at firstname.lastname@example.org OR The Bob Graham Center 220 Pugh Hall.
Still have questions?
The project proposals must demonstrate a well thought out plan that is clear in the identifying an issue or problem, a specific and achievable strategy to tackle that problem, with obtainable goals that clearly demonstrate who will benefit from this project. This is not an easy proposal, and if asked to present to the decision committee, it will be even more difficult. Not only should you have thoroughly discussed this project with a faculty member or advisor, but for a consultation on the project and to help ensure you put together a proper proposal, please email Dr. Kevin Baron at email@example.com