Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

II Experiential Learning Fund (ELF)

Designed to support faculty who wish to incorporate an education abroad experiential component into an ongoing course, group internship, or other academic program during either winter break or spring-summer terms. Applications are reviewed twice a year by a faculty committee. Grants are up to $10,000.

Application Deadlines:

The competition is on hold. No applications are being accepted for the 2018-2019 year.


Application Submission:

Applicants must first complete an online application form, then upload the following components via the online application system.


1. Description of the project (4 pages maximum) that explains the educational value of the experience to the participants. Project descriptions should be explicit about the experiential nature (hands-on component) of the trip, address what makes the activities substantially different than classroom lectures on the Ann Arbor campus, detail the academic objectives, and include the expected benefits to the host country institution(s).

2. ELF Budget Form that details per-student cost for airfare, lodging, food, local transportation, visas, and required immunizations. Budgets should include other sources of funding (on or off-campus), if any.

3. Detailed itinerary that provides a plan for the entire program/project, including all dates, locations, and brief description of planned activities.

4. Course syllabus that presents the program/project’s academic content, outlines student learning outcomes, and provides evidence and a framework for how students will be evaluated.

5. Endorsement from Chair/Dean of applicant's Department/School. Applicants will “Request an endorsement” from their chair/dean through their online application. Chairs/Deans will be sent a link via email to submit their endorsement through the online application system.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Proposals must be from faculty and must make clear the experiential component of the program—“experiential” meaning student learning through hands-on participation in course-related activities outside the classroom. Proposals must articulate how students will engage with local partners at the visit site and what the value of the interaction will be for both students and in-country partners.
  • Proposals must identify the faculty member(s) who will be actively involved in site selection, planning, and evaluation of the overseas experience. It is expected that faculty will lead the trip. In some cases (e.g., group internships) faculty may appoint a colleague or staff member in-country to manage the trip.
  • Proposals must demonstrate the opportunity for students to acquire and use insights about the society in which the project/program (or its overseas component) will take place.
  • Project/program participants may include undergraduate, graduate and/or professional school students. Projects/programs may be part of a non-credit experience, but must be part of a well-defined course or curricular program. Funding will not be awarded for humanitarian trips and projects with the primary purpose of service learning or conference travel.
  • Although grants are primarily for student costs and it is expected that most faculty costs will be covered by their home department, the International Institute will consider requests for no more than half of the cost of (non-student) expenses.


Selection Criteria:

  • Preference is given for projects/programs that include students from multiple units, as well as new initiatives that have potential both for a continuing contribution to students at the University of Michigan and for long-term engagement with host country partners and institutions.

  • The ELF is not intended to be a continuous funding source. Previously funded projects are eligible to apply in a new cycle, but please note that projects/programs that have received funding within the last 3 application cycles may be at a competitive disadvantage. For previously funded projects, the selection committee would like to see efforts to seek additional sustainable sources of funding. Please speak with an II fellowships advisor if you have questions.