ACES Course Grants

The American Cultures Engaged Scholarship Program supports the development of courses and initiatives that emphasize public scholarship and engage students in community-based projects.

The American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) Program:

Launched in January 2010, the ACES program is a partnership between the American Cultures Center ( and the Public Service Center ( is external)). This program aims to transform how faculty’s community-engaged scholarship is valued, to enhance learning for students through a combination of teaching and practice, and to create new knowledge that has an impact both in the community and the academy.

The American Cultures (AC) requirement—the only campus-wide breadth requirement on the UC Berkeley campus—was passed by the Academic Senate in 1989 and instituted as a campus requirement in 1991 to help students gain a deeper understanding of the diverse cultures of the United States through an integrative and comparative framework. These goals are extended through community-focused and collaborative research and teaching.

In the 2017 proposal cycle, several priorities have been emphasized to support community-engaged scholarship directly benefiting undergraduate education. Including the ongoing support for AC courses which engage students directly in community-based projects, the ACES program expands its consideration of community-based teaching and research. Proposals are therefore welcomed in ONE of the following five categories.

Application Categories for 2017-2018 ACES Program:

  • The development of a new or revised American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) course to be taught in Fall 2017, Spring 2018, or Fall 2018 (Funding: $3000 grant to faculty, $1500 for student fellow, $1500 to support community project implementation)

  • Continuation of existing ACES courses and projects where learning goals are met using community-engaged scholarship and are integrated in a significant manner within the course curriculum. (Funding: up to $3000)

  • A departmental initiative, e.g. brown bag or workshop series, to consider the role of existing and development of future community-engaged programs.  (Funding: up to $3000)

  • The appointment of a graduate student to support community-based outreach, teaching, and course partnership development. (Funding: up to $15,000)

  • Multi-disciplinary efforts engaging the same community-based partnerships. (Funding: up to $15,000)

Benefits of Participation:

The ACES program is designed to provide faculty with the opportunity to develop, broaden, or deepen their research and teaching of community-engaged scholarship.

Participants receive and gain:

  • intensive training and consulting from and with the ACES and Public Service Center staff

  • funds of up to $15,000 for costs related to course community projects, graduate student hire, and community-based project development (as detailed per application category above)

  • opportunities to present research and best practices at an on-campus ACES seminar

  • new relationships with an interdisciplinary cohort of faculty

  • enhanced capacity to build and sustain long-term relationships with community partners

  • the opportunity to mentor undergraduate and graduate students in the development of community-based partnership

Application Process and Selection Criteria

Please refer to the ACES 2017-18 Application and submit by June 26th at 5 pm, to sends e-mail).

Any questions can also be directed to ACES Program Director, Victoria Robinson at sends e-mail)

Additional Resources:

There are a number of substantial course development and partnership project support documents available through the UC Berkeley Public Service Center, including: