Apply for an AccessERC Minigrant

AccessERC has a limited number of minigrants available to provide funding for direct costs of activities that promote AccessERC objectives. An NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) can seek funding to support a project that helps support the engagement of people with disabilities in ERCs and the development of ERC products, websites, facilities, and events that are welcoming and accessible to everyone.

Projects eligible for minigrant funding could

  • Support the inclusion of universal design (UD) practices (e.g., in courses, planning efforts, evaluation and research, physical environments, online resources, events) designed to meet the needs of all participants, including those with a wide range of disabilities.
  • Convene meetings of ERC faculty and staff to explore how they might better serve students with disabilities and/or incorporate relevant disability and UD content in curriculum and courses (e.g., room rental, food, materials, dissemination of results). 
  • Hire an intern to check relevant ERC websites for accessibility and make suggestions to webmasters that will improve accessibility to individuals with a wide range of disabilities and make programs more welcoming to potential students with disabilities (e.g., include pictures of students with disabilities) and identify places on their websites from which to link to AccessERC and other relevant resources.
  • Develop a product (e.g., video) or technique to encourage UD in curriculum or labs.
  • Deliver a webinar on topics that support the project goals and objectives.
  • Undertake a student design competition related to disability and/or universal design.
  • Provide stipends to students with disabilities to participate in panel discussions or to evaluate the accessibility of labs and facilities.

Proposal Requirements

We expect most requests to be under $3,000. Proposals can be submitted any time, but limited funding is available. To apply, email for an application. Recipients of AccessERC minigrants are required to submit an activity summary. This summary must include a completed evaluation form. Recipients are also encouraged to collect feedback from participants during or immediately following the event. For project evaluation forms and sample participant survey forms, see Minigrant Evaluation Forms.