"DDCSP Mini Grants" Winter 2021, the pilot

Are you interested in applying to DDCSP Alumni Network's first ever Mini Grant Program? Here's the one stop spot for all the most asked questions. 


Who is eligible?

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be an alumnus of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars program.
  • To be considered alumni you must have completed both summers of DDCSP.

Are there any reporting or documenting expectations for the grant? 

Upon selection, all mini-grant recipients will be required to (1) report back with a member of the Alumni Council regarding the progress of the project and receipts of spending and (2) present project outcomes to the Alumni Network (can be in the form of a newsletter, social media post, blog, video, town hall, etc.). (3) complete an expense form

When do the projects need to be completed by?

The projects can be ongoing but the grant money must be spent by April 2022.

So… then what if I’m not selected?

Folks who have submitted interest forms will be reached out to as future opportunities come up. We are always looking for ways to engage as many scholars as possible, and we’re so excited you are interested in investing in this network. This is not the end all be all, and if you have a specific idea for a DDCSP event or collaboration, please reach out to Sydney@elpnet.org.


Where do I apply?

You can apply here until December 10, 2021.

What's the application like?

The application consists of a few questions about your project team, a budget form, and a short project description. Application is here.

Why no names in application?

DDCSP alumni participate in the network to drastically varying degrees and some folks feel more connected than others to peers in their own program and in other programs. We want all folks to feel included in the conversations and community rather than excluded. By keeping voting anonymous, we hope to create a process that feels fun for everyone and as little like a popularity contest as possible.

How will the grant recipients be selected?

Voting will be open to all DDCSP alumni  from December 13 to December 17. These votes will be used as recommendations to the Alumni Council who will collectively make the final decisions and notify grant recipients by December 20, 2021. The Alumni Council will be using a rubric to select recipients that includes:

  • Background, Impact, and Significance - Does it align with the small project fund mission? Does the applicant explain the purpose and goals of the project well? Is this project beneficial for the community they are serving?

  • Approach and Timeline - Does the applicant provide a clear and realistic timeline of events (both for funding expenses and project advancement)? Is the project realistic (is it something that can be done within the timeframe provided by the mini-grant, spending of funds completed April 2022)?

  • Budget and Justification - Does the applicant provide clear and valid reasoning for budget expenses? Are their expenses necessary/appropriate for their project?

  • Accountability and Growth - Does the applicant display a strong sense of accountability? Does the applicant demonstrate how the project will help them grow/accomplish their goals?

  • Alumni Council Votes - What degree of interest does the DDCSP Alumni Network have in this project?

Can I apply for more than one grant? Can I apply for grants at different funding levels?

No, applicants can only apply to one of the three grant options during this selection period.

Ugh, I got other things going on and can’t apply right now. Will you be offering this opportunity again?

Yes! The next application cycle is planned for Fall 2022

I have an idea for a project but it can’t be done before April 2022. Can I still apply?

No. However, you can apply during the next application cycle.

When do the projects need to be completed by?

The projects can be ongoing but the grant money must be spent by April 2022.


I have a great idea for a meetup project! Can I apply for a mini grant?

If you would like to host a regional meetup (in person or virtual), please reach out to Sydney@elpnet.org. Funding is available for these kinds of activities, but not through these mini grants.

Can I work on the project with a team? 

Yes! Though you are welcome to do a project individually, we encourage teamwork/collaboration. Not all members of the project need to be a DDCSP alumni.

What can I spend this grant money on?

Money can be spent on things like:

  • Shipping costs

  • Transportation

  • Equipment

  • Materials for whatever you’re making/creating

What can I not spend this grant money on?

Money cannot be spent on things like:

  • Alcohol

  • Political lobbying 


More details can be found here and please contact ddcspgrants@elpnet.org with any questions you may have.