Seals B, Seals G, Ahsan A, Chaves A, Diogo A, Gibson T, Kennedy M, Kordomenos C, Mahapatra A, Moy S, Schablik J, Seo H. Experimental pedagogy and public health grant writing. Poster presented at the 2017 American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting; November 6, 2017. Atlanta, GA.

Introduction: Going beyond imagined scenarios for project proposals to taking on community-centered projects builds students’ leadership, interpersonal and academic skills. Involving community organizations and health agencies in experience-based courses like foundation grant writing provides win-win scenarios strengthening university-community relations.

Methods: Ten diverse health agencies and organizations were paired with 10 students to develop and complete a foundation grant using a common application. Over a semester students refined the fundable idea and provided reports including: 1) a literature review and copies of articles; 2) a list of potential funders and details for up to three potential funders; and 3) a review of best practices and intervention materials.

Lessons Learned: Agency buy-in was linked to minimizing the burden of working with students and receiving the report that would provide information on possible new funding streams. Agencies built infrastructure by expanding community partnerships and improving evaluation capacity, bi-products of the grant writing process. Some agencies focused on difficult to fund organization needs instead of more fundable ideas. Some agencies preferred supplemental compared to new programs. Development and executive staff were hard to contact, especially from small organizations. Students appreciated the opportunity to take on “real” projects yet struggled with delays that congested writing. Interpersonal skills, research techniques to find potential funders and writing as a consultant were unique skills.

Conclusions: Community based participatory approaches enrich student experience based learning, building organizational trust and support. Grant writing uniquely positions students for advancement. Bringing funds into communities gives students enduring “footprints” and, potentially, new positions.

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