"Mini Grants Cycle 2! Apps open now" text over pink and purple squiggle design

Are you interested in applying to Cycle 2 of DDCSP Alumni Network's Mini Grant Program? Here's the one stop spot for all the most asked questions. 


Who is eligible?

To be eligible, you must:

  • To be considered alumni you must have completed both summers of any DDCSP.
  • You can choose to collaborate with orgs and other stakeholders, but the intended applicants for this grant are DDCSP Alum only.

  • ITIN or Social Security Numbers are needed for filling w-9 forms. If you need support in applying for an ITIN number, please let us know at ddcspgrants@elpnet.org and we will work to connect you with organizations that support ITIN applications and renewals. In the past we have connected alumni with staff at Mexican American Opportunity Foundation to support alum in obtaining ITIN numbers or renewing ITIN.

I applied to the Mini Grants last year. Can I apply again?

If you applied to the last cycle of Mini Grants but did NOT receive a grant, you can totally apply again! If you did receive a grant already, you will not be eligible to apply again, as we want as many alumni as possible to benefit from this opportunity. 

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?

Projects themselves can be ongoing, however final reporting on budget and project outcomes are due by October 2023.

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. Individuals seeking feedback on their application are encouraged to contact the Mini Grants team at ddcspgrants@elpnet.org.



Where do I apply?

Applications are now closed.

**In the event that we receive 20 applications, we will end the application period early and accept no additional applications. This is to ensure that DDCSP alumni can give enough thorough attention to voting on their favorite project proposals. For reference, last year we had 12 fabulous applicants for folks to vote on! 

What's the application like?

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

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 is now closed

Voting was open to all DDCSP alumni and took place February 21-March6. These votes will be used as recommendations to the Alumni Council who will collectively make the final decisions and notify grant recipients early March. The Alumni Council will be using a rubric to select recipients that includes:

  • Background, Impact, and Significance - Does it align with the Mini Grants purpose? Does the applicant explain the purpose and goals of the project well? Does this project involve the wider DDCSP community?

  • Approach and Timeline - Does the applicant provide a clear and realistic timeline (both for funding expenses and project advancement)? Is the project realistic and feasible to complete within the Mini Grants timeframe (March-October 2023)?

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

  • Accountability and Growth - Does the applicant display a strong sense of accountability? Does the applicant reference clear deadlines for their project? 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?

What’s the expectation of impact? Does that mean I have to do something big? What does engagement with Doris Duke Network look like?

You do not need to try to find a way to impact 600+ DDCSP Alumni. Impact/engagement can look like involving 2-3 other people locally/regionally. It can also look like having a virtual element to share an event experience and its impact via live stream.

Could this mini grant be used for graduate research project?

Yes! Make sure to include in your application how this work will overlay/be shared with the network. Remember that Alum are voting on projects too!

Does the Alumni Council provide outreach support?

Yes, we can provide support on social media, emails, webinars and other methods! Let us know!

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

Applicants can only apply as a lead for one project and as a collaborator for one additional project. Each project can request a range between $1,000 and $10,000 during this selection period. 

If we asked for a certain amount, is that final? Like for example could the Alumni Council decide they like a project but fund it at a lower amount?

Yes, you may be awarded an amount that is smaller or larger than what you requested. This might happen for a number of reasons depending on the breakdown of applications or scalability of your project. Please make your budget out to the full amount you believe is needed.



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

While a hope for these funds are DDCSP Alumni collaboration, these funds do not need to be used for solely reunion type events. 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.

When do the projects need to be completed by?
  • Projects themselves can be ongoing, however final reporting on budget and project outcomes are due by October 2023.
  • If your project may be impacted by changing Covid regulations, please keep in mind what might be potential alternatives. Live stream? Asynchronous participation? Etc.
What can I spend this grant money on?

Money can be spent on things like:

  • Shipping costs
  • Transportation
  • Equipment, Equipment rentals
  • Materials for whatever you’re making/creating
What about labor costs? Can we pay ourselves? Can we pay others?
  • You can pay yourself and pay contractors (not your own grantees), speakers as well others! We encourage you to include in your budget links to websites or articles supporting these cost estimates. If you choose to pay yourself and others, please research the tax implications for filing your tax returns. If needed, please reach out to a free tax prep provider in your area for assistance. 
  • This website gives a basic overview of things people should take into account when charging for their services: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/business-services-charge-how-much-30158.html
What can I not spend this grant money on?

Money cannot be spent on things like:

  • Alcohol
  • Political lobbying 
  • Issuing re-grants
How will funds be processed?
  • Grantees will receive a grant agreement form as well as a W9 (ITIN or Social Security Number needed).
  • After completing the grant agreement and W9, you will receive a check by mail.
  • You’ll receive a 1099 form from ELP, so make sure to save receipts! Work with a free tax prep provider if needed.
What are the complications or tax implications of these funds?

We highly recommend working with a tax provider if you are choosing to pay yourself. Please make sure to save receipts.

If we work with an organization, who will the funds be distributed to initially?

Funds will only be distributed to DDCSP Alumni not non-profit organizations. If you choose to pay a business, non-profit, or contractor for services, you may redistribute the funds to them directly.


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