COVID-19 Response Grant Application

Service at Princeton is about responding to the needs of the world. COVID-19 has deeply affected every aspect of our society - from healthcare to hunger, to housing, education, racism, sexism, economic justice and beyond. Existing inequalities and injustices have only been exacerbated by this crisis. Community need is urgent but we are also seeing examples of incredible resilience, solidarity and innovation. Now, more than ever, we all need to find a way to pitch in. We recognize that many of you had internship plans that have recently been canceled. This grant is designed to give Service Focus students, without full-time internships, support and guidance for remote summer service projects that address current societal needs.  This is an opportunity to learn more about an area you’re passionate about while making a meaningful contribution.  
  • Projects may be designed independently or support pre-existing unpaid positions. Developing your project is part of the grant process so the specifics of your project do not need to be defined until the final proposal. 
  • Projects should meet an existing community need and identify at least one community partner to work directly with. 
  • Projects should be designed for at least 100 hours of commitment over a period of 3-8 weeks. 
  • All projects must be either entirely remote or demonstrate robust mitigation of risk in compliance with local ordinances. 
  • Selected students will receive a $1,500 grant, project development guidance, mentorship from staff and peers, skills-based training, and structured reflection. 


This grant is available to past and present Service Focus students without full-time summer internships

  • Rising sophomores must apply for Service Focus before applying for this grant. Grant award will be contingent upon acceptance into Service Focus. If you have not already applied to Service Focus you can do so here.
  • Rising juniors and seniors must have demonstrated full participation in Service Focus during their sophomore year


Program staff will evaluate the applications according to the following criteria:

  • Feasibility of project proposal, including carefully-considered scope, reasonable budget, and clearly identified community and/or campus partnerships
  • Potential for positive community impact
  • Considerations for the capacities of communities given the current trajectory of COVID-19
  • Ability to be conducted remotely and/or in student's home communities
Please refer to the Pace Center’s Field Guide to Service for more guidance on key considerations when developing a proposal. 
Initial Proposal (deadline extended - Apply ASAP) - Submit an initial proposal detailing your learning goals, impact goals, and areas of interest. You can include specific logistical details if you have them prepared already but this is not required at this stage.
Advisement and Development (1-3 week process) - Connect to staff and student mentors for feedback and support in the development of your proposal. Assess community needs and assets. Connect to potential community partners. Plan to mitigate risks to yourself and the community.
Final Proposal (submit up until July 3, 2020 to receive funding) - Submit final proposal that incorporates feedback and development of project. Your proposal will be presented to a review board for approval.
Implementation (completed by August 14, 2020) - Once your final proposal is accepted you will receive funding and approval to implement your project. During your implementation phase you will be expected to check in with your mentor regularly for support and provide updates on the progress of your project.
Reflection (submit by August 21, 2020) - Upon completion of your project every grant recipient will be required to write a 2,000 word blog post reflecting on your experience. 
To support you in the development of your project, we will provide ideas, examples and resources for planning and developing your project. Check the COVID-19 Response Grant web page regularly for new resources and opportunities.

Different tracks for project development:

Fundraising Track - Raise money for community organization/non-profit

  • Start a go-fund me campaign for a community organization
  • Support internal fundraising efforts of a community organization 
Storytelling Track - Collect and share the experiences of people affected by this crisis
  • Write a piece for magazine, newspaper or website that amplifies community voices
  • Produce or support a podcast 
Education Track - Support teachers and students
Research/Innovation Track - Engage in academic or public facing research/innovation that contributes to the public good.
  • Academic research in partnership with a faculty member
  • Support for a community organization or company engaging in research that directly benefits the public (e.g. data analysis for an environmental organization)
  • Independent research on a relevant topic that will benefit the public in an identifiable way
Advocacy Track - Advocate for change on the local, state or federal level
  • Research and write an op-ed for a local or national newspaper
  • Organize a letter writing campaign to legislators on a relevant topic
  • Research and write a white paper on a relevant policy issue
  • Create a public campaign advocating for social distancing
Democracy Track - participate in civic engagement
  • Engage with census registration efforts
  • Engage with local voter registration efforts
Direct Service Track - safely contribute your time and labor to a community organization
  • Sew and distribute masks
  • Transport food or resources for local community organization/mutual aid organization
  • Help organize, support or advertise for a community blood drive
  • Participate in a local environmental restoration effort (that is safely organized)
Other/Independent Track - Any opportunities that fall outside the stated tracks. Be creative!
Pre-existing Unpaid Positions: 

Personal Information

Do you already have a full-time or part-time summer service internship? *
Service Focus Status *

Project Proposal

This is a time of upheaval for everyone. You do not need to have all of the logistics of your project worked out yet. For the initial preposal your priority is to lay out what you'd like to learn from this project and what kind of impact you'd like to have, as well as sharing some projected logistics and ideas. Because learning and development are central parts of this grant process, you will recieve guidance and mentorship to help you solidify a responsible and impactful project plan. However, if you already have concrete plans you are welcome to submit them.