Wisconsin Idea Collaboration Grants

November 30, 2021

In 2019 Cooperative Extension rejoined with UW-Madison as the Division of Extension after a 54-year hiatus from UW-Madison. The Division of Extension’s mission is to extend the knowledge and resources of the University of Wisconsin to people where they live and work. As part of that mission, Extension conducts applied research in support of educational programming and community engagement that addresses issues facing communities, individuals, families, and organizations across the state. The rejoining with UW-Madison provides new opportunities for faculty and staff at UW-Madison who haven’t historically partnered with Extension to engage in applied research, community engagement, and educational outreach programming.

Extension’s disciplinary breadth is large with six Institutes focused on Youth, Natural Resources, Families, Health, Community Development, and Agriculture ( The goal of the Wisconsin Idea Collaboration Grant (WICG) funding is to support projects that enhance the breadth and level of Extension engagement across campus while supporting the Wisconsin Idea. To better understand priority issues, we encourage those interested in applying for a WICG grant to reach out to the appropriate Extension Academic Associate Deans and/or Institute Directors (

Amount per Award: $10K-$60K.
Duration of Award: Up to 2 years
Amount of Funding Available: $600K

Review team: Division of Extension Leadership Team and the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE) Office.

Eligible: Faculty and staff who have not historically received recurring, annual salary funding from the Division of Extension.

Project Requirements

  • Applied research and/or development of innovative educational programming or community engagement to address an existing or emerging Extension priority.
  • A well-developed communications plan and engagement plan with the Division of Extension and relevant constituents.
  • Agreement to write and post initial proposal and regular progress updates on UW-Madison websites.
  • Engagement with Division of Extension personnel in proposal development and project implementation.
  • Creation of a final project report (maximum of ten pages) and impact summary that can be used to support external sharing of results (e.g., on a website).
  • Preference will be given to:

· Leveraging of funds and other resources

· A co-PI from the Division of Extension

Priority areas for new and developing collaborations with faculty and researchers on campus include:

• Community-engaged and culturally responsive approaches to advancing positive change in the areas of education, health, economy, and environment.

• Innovative approaches and examination of existing approaches that reach our target audiences of youth, parents, volunteers, and community leaders (both grassroots and elected) specifically to support our values of ensuring equity, justice, and fairness, and achieving thriving youth and communities.

• Topics of current community interest include the following, however, proposals outside of these areas but aligned with the two preceding bullets will also be accepted:

o Advancing health equity in behavioral health

o Youth-centered preparation for higher education and post-secondary work

o Methods and models to promote restorative justice

o Engaging audiences around water quality and emerging contaminants

o Strategies to promote digital equity

o Enhancing food production by Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color

o Strategies to communicate and adapt to changing climate patterns

Application Process:

PI’s should submit their proposal in a single PDF to Lisa Brennan ( by November 30th. Proposals are not to exceed six double-spaced pages that includes the following:

  • Cover page that includes PI and co-PI contact information, personnel who would work on the project (technicians, students, etc.) and an executive summary of the project (not to exceed 1 page)
  • Detailed project proposal including the priority issue identification, proposed work, and projected outcomes (not to exceed 3 pages)
  • Communications plan
  • Detailed Budget with justification and timeline (not to exceed 2 pages)
  • Partner involvement and leveraging of other resources (if applicable)


Contact Dr. JulieAnn Stawicki (, Dr. Patrick Robinson ( or Paul DeLong (