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  • Writer's pictureKristin Cooper

The Council of Independent Colleges - Program Development Grants

Colleges and universities that are members of NetVUE are already committed to campus activities that encourage vocational exploration by students. These institutions are making significant investments of their own resources to develop and sustain vocational exploration initiatives. In order to support NetVUE member campuses in their work, Lilly Endowment Inc. has provided funding to CIC to be used for NetVUE Program Development Grants. Many NetVUE campus leaders have observed that grants for program development at even modest levels would enable their institutions to strengthen and expand existing programs significantly.

This initiative is being administered by CIC with generous support from Lilly Endowment Inc.


NetVUE Program Development Grants may be requested in amounts ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 for use over two years to deepen, expand, or otherwise strengthen programs that are already underway and supported by the institution itself. Funds may be used for a range of purposes, but not to substitute for faculty and staff costs that the institution is presently providing for its vocational exploration activities. Capital expenditures, new personnel lines, major equipment purchases, and indirect or overhead costs are not eligible for grant support. These expenses are to be covered by the institution. Rather, grants should be used to offset one-time costs of program development and implementation. For example, additional buyouts of faculty and staff time for initiation of new programs may be included as a part of an institution’s grant. In January 2013, awards were given to 33 NetVUE campuses. View summaries of the 2013 program initiatives.

In January 2014, an additional 32 NetVUE campuses received awards. View summaries of the 2014 program initiatives.

In May 2015, an additional 22 NetVUE campuses received awards. View summaries of the 2015 program initiatives.

In May 2016, an additional 19 NetVUE campuses received awards. View summaries of the 2016 program initiatives.

In May 2017, an additional 18 NetVUE campuses received awards. View summaries of the 2017 program initiatives.

In May 2019, an additional 25 NetVUE campuses received awards. View summaries of the 2019 program initiatives.

In May 2020, an additional nine NetVUE campuses will receive awards. View summaries of the 2020 program initiatives.

APPLICATION INFORMATION Grants will be awarded based on proposals that explain (a) the purpose and goals of the proposed activities and their relationship to the ongoing vocational exploration program of the institution, (b) the extent of institutional support for vocational exploration efforts to date, (c) the proposed enhancements to the program, and (d) the ways in which the NetVUE-supported program would be sustained by the institution after the grant period.

To submit an application, please refer to the invitation and online application form: NetVUE Invitation for Applications Grant Budget Guidelines Online Application Form Applications for the current round of Program Development Grants are due by September 11, 2020.


NetVUE member colleges and universities that meet all three criteria noted below are eligible to apply for funding:

  1. They do not hold another NetVUE grant at the time of application;

  2. They did not receive a Vocational Exploration Renewal Grant; and

  3. Any prior Program Development Grant must have been concluded by early 2016.

Institutions that were part of the Lilly Endowment’s Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation (PTEV) program are eligible to apply as long as they meet these same criteria.

This is the eighth round of selection for NetVUE Program Development Grants. In the first seven rounds, CIC awarded 159 grants to NetVUE members. Up to 20 awards will be made in this round. The application deadline for the eighth round is September 11, 2020. Decisions will be announced by November 30, 2020. Funds will be dispersed by May 1, 2021, for use between May 1, 2021, and April 30, 2023. An interim report will be due on March 31, 2022, and a final report will be due on June 15, 2023.

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