ABCS Course Development Grants

The Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships announces course development grants to promote Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses that integrate research, teaching, learning and service. Over 150 courses from a wide range of disciplines and Penn schools have linked Penn undergraduate and graduate students to work in the community. The grants support University faculty to develop new courses or adapt existing courses that combine research with school and community projects.

Click here to see a list of the current ABCS courses.

Grants will be for no more than $10,000 over two years per project. These funds can be used to provide graduate and undergraduate support, course support and/or summer salary (amount is inclusive of employee benefits if taken as summer salary).

Funded by the Netter Center, course development grants are designed to assist faculty with developing new and substantially restructured undergraduate and graduate level courses that engage students in real-world problem-solving projects in partnership with schools and community organizations located in West Philadelphia.

The Netter Center will support the course beyond the duration of the grant by providing undergraduate work-study teaching assistants, transportation, and ongoing facilitation of community partnerships.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate proposals:

  1. Academic excellence
  2. Integration of research, teaching and service
  3. Partnership with schools, community groups, service agencies, etc.
  4. Focus on Philadelphia, especially West Philadelphia
  5. Evidence as to how the course activity will involve participation or interaction with the community as well as contribute to improving the community
  6. Evidence as to how the course activity will engage undergraduate and/or graduate students in real-world problem-solving research opportunities
  7. Potential for sustainability

Please format proposals as follows:

  1. Cover page
    • 1.1 Name, title, department, school, mailing addres
    • 1.2 Title of the proposal
    • 1.3 Total amount of funding you would like
    • 1.4 100-word abstract of the proposal (include a description of how the course will involve interaction with the community and benefit the community)
  2. A one-page biographical sketch of applicant
  3. A two-to-four-page proposal
  4. Budget detailing how you intend to use the requested funding

Please contact Anna Balfanz ABCS Coordinator, at for more information or to submit proposals.

—Dennis DeTurck, Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor;
Professor of Mathematics, SAS;
Netter Center Faculty Advisory Board Co-Chair;
Provost's Senior Faculty Fellow at the Netter Center

—Matthew Hartley, Professor of Education, GSE;
Board of Advisors Chair of Education;
Founding executive director, Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy  (AHEAD);
Netter Center Faculty Advisory Board Co-Chair

—Terri H. Lipman, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement; 
Professor Emerita
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Netter Center Faculty Advisory Board Co-Chair

—Loretta Flanagan-Cato, Associate Professor of Psychology, SAS;  
Co-director, Biological Basis of Behavior Program; 
Provost's Faculty Fellow at the Netter Center

—Ira Harkavy, Associate Vice President;
Founding Director, Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships