Request for Proposals

This Request for Proposals is now closed.


The Vice Provost for Engaged Learning (VPEL) will provide financial support for up to four workshops or seminar series in the amount of up to $15,000 per awarded proposal. VPEL staff will support awarded proposers through advertising of the planned event(s) and will be available for discussing organizational aspects of the event(s) as requested.

Proposers should secure cost-share from a University’s unit (department, school/college, center, or initiative) or external entity amounting to at least 25% of the proposed budget. 

Context & Purpose

The goal of the proposed workshops or speaker series is to promote and support the advancement of partnerships and collaborations between U-M and Detroit, and to expand synergies among the hundreds of U-M initiatives focused on Detroit, by fostering and/or promoting collaborations among the U-M initiatives’ leads participating in the event(s). Today, U-M programs and initiatives in and with Detroit are often disconnected, and even unaware of each other, thus limiting the overall positive impact that we can attain institutionally. A census of current engagements by U-M in Detroit is available at

Workshops should bring together faculty, students, staff, and Detroit communities in discussing a topic of common interest. Examples may include: smart cities, healthy communities, business and economic development, impact of co-curricular programs, cultural and artistic engagements, etc. The specific activity proposed may be organized as a workshop, a seminar, or a training series.

The Engage Detroit Workshops grant emphasizes efforts that enhance synergistic collaborations among multiple programmatic initiatives led by U-M faculty, staff or students. Thus, to support the goal, workshops’ topics should be central to one or more areas of U-M engagement in the city.

Event(s) organized should take place between June 1st, 2022 and May 31, 2023, at a Detroit location (e.g. the U-M Detroit Center) and/or in a hybrid format that leverages a Detroit location if a physical space is used. Proposed events should involve the participation of one or more Detroit-based community partners. Events should be organized in ways that embody the principles of recognition, respect and equitable partnership for community and civic engagement (principles for community and civic engagement). In addition, proposers should define metrics to evaluate the success of the events (e.g. attendance, new connections, the value of the experience for participants, etc.) so as to foster future improvements.

Timeline & Deliverables

Proposals are due on or before March 20, 2022. Awards will be communicated by April 15, 2022. Awarded proposers are responsible for submitting a final report about the event(s), including an overview of the topics discussed, the planning process, attendance and success metrics. The report should be submitted to within two months after all the planned events have taken place.

How to Apply

Proposals should be submitted by a faculty lead organizer, affiliated with an academic unit in the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, or Flint campuses, via email to We encourage submissions by teams of up to three faculty and/or staff members. Participation by students and community partners is encouraged. Faculty participants should be part of current projects in Detroit. Interested proposers should submit a proposal document, which should include:

A – Cover Page (no more than one page)comprising: proposed title for the event or series; a brief description of the topic and format and expected outcomes; name, organizational affiliation, and contact information for the primary faculty contact; name and organizational affiliation of co-organizers. 

B – Project Description (no more than two pages) comprising: a brief description of the theme/topic for the proposed event or series; explanation of how the proposed theme and/or event series aligns with Engaged Michigan’s principles for community and civic engagement; context and rationale for the topic identified (why this and why now). Finally, the description should include metrics and a plan to evaluate the success of the event(s).

C – Budget (no more than one page) specifying estimated costs for space, event activities, and any additional planned expense. The budget should specify the source of each funding source beyond this grant, with cost-share contributions of at least 25% by other units at UM. Please note that hosting expenses must follow U-M procurement guidelines

D – Statement of support from community partner(s) who will participate in the event or series.