Minerva Programs

Minerva Exploration Grant

Grant Program

The Minerva Exploration grant (formerly Learn Something, Teach Something Grant) allows students to explore new areas of learning, acquire new skills or knowledge, and then share what they have learned with other members of the campus community.

You can apply for a grant to learn almost any kind of skill or area of knowledge, as long as it isn't currently offered at Union. For example, you might learn:

  • A style of dance or song
  • An academic topic not taught at Union
  • A language
  • How to create or fix something - a style of knitting, pottery, origami, weaving, car repair, etc.
  • A form of sport or game
  • An interest - antique cars, slam poetry, birding, graffiti artists, anything you can come up with!
  • A social skill - creativity, political organizing, leadership

Sharing What You Have Learned

All students who receive a Minerva Exploration Grant are required to participate in a knowledge showcase that will occur in the Spring term at which they will display a poster and/or demonstrate what it is that has been learned. Failure to participate in this knowledge showcase will result in the student being required to return the funds awarded back to the College.

Applying for a grant:

  • A grant can be awarded to a maximum of two students.
  • Grants will be used to cover the costs of the learning component. This includes, but is not limited to, registration, travel, materials, etc.
  • Maximum grant awards will be $500 per person.
  • Grants will be awarded to no more than two students for the same experience.
  • Applications are due on Friday of weeks 4 and 7 of fall term, week 4 of winter term, and week 3 of spring term. All applications must be submitted electronically and will be reviewed shortly after. All students will be notified of the status of their application within two weeks of the application deadline.
  • Grants cannot be used to fund academic travel or extracurricular activities that would normally be covered by other funds available at the College (e.g. student research grants, department funds, club funds, etc.) If partial funding is sought, the applicant should describe other funding sources and justify the need for additional funding.
  • For seniors applying in the spring term, they must complete the learning portion of their experience and be able to participate in the knowledge sharing showcase, which typically happens during Week 8.
  • Proposals will receive highest priority insofar as they:
    • Further the goals of the Minerva program:
      • Bring together students and faculty/staff
      • Foster shared intellectual life
      • Create social alternatives
      • Bring together students who don't normally interact
    • Offer something that and brings something new to be shared back to the campus community

Grant Funding Guidelines

  • Applications which describe requests for funding for activities that already exist on campus or where there are already viable campus funding streams will not be funded.
  • Grants will not be funded if more than 50% of the request is spent on travel.
  • Grants will not be funded for experiences that involve or could lead to criminal behavior (use of weapons, graffiti, lock picking, etc.).
  • Grants will not be funded for experiences that would lead a student to profit financially (professional certifications, etc.).
  • Applications for more than two individuals to participate in the same workshop/event in a year will not be accepted.
  • The experience must occur in the term you are applying unless your application is in the spring for an experience over the summer. Contact the Minerva Office if you believe your experience warrants an exception.

COVID-19 Grant Funding Guidelines Addendum

  • We have learned since March that there is much that can be learned in an online environment. We will consider proposals for students to learn things virtually or other creative ways to explore new things.
  • All travel for Minerva Exploration Grants is suspended at this time. Please contact minervaprogram@union.edu if you believe what you want to do warrants an exemption. They may be granted in rare circumstances.
  • Health and safety guidelines related to social distancing, hygiene, mask wearing, etc. must be followed for any approved Minerva Exploration Grant.

Sample Budget