Here are answers to questions that often arise. This page is updated regularly as more questions come in.

  • How can I increase my chances of being funded?
    Sharing your ideas with ACS staff is highly encouraged. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your ideas, especially in the early stages. Because all pre-proposals and final proposals require the signature of chief administrative officers, we also recommend early discussions with the dean, provost, or vice president for your area as well as our campus grants officer.
  • Will the grant cover and not cover?
    For information about fundable expenses as well as limits to funding, e.g., for stipends, please see our Guidelines for ACS Grant writers.
  • Are pilot projects fundable?
    Some projects may need to be scaled so that adjustments can be made before an expanded version of the project is attempted.  In the pre-proposal, applicants should explain the reasons for choosing to pilot.
  • Will Mellon fund proposals from STEM fields?
    ACS has limited funding from non-Mellon sources that could be used for collaborative STEM projects. While STEM fields traditionally fall outside of Mellon’s mission, the Foundation is dedicated to diversity and inclusion in all disciplines. Thus, we encourage colleagues in STEM to focus on diversity and inclusion in their proposals in order to avail themselves of this funding source.
  • Can staff apply for grant funding?
    We want to advance collaboration in new, creative, and experimental ways. Faculty regularly work with staff – in teaching and learning centers, our libraries, and IT, study abroad, and diversity offices. Staff contribute to whole-student learning, institutional development, and community-building. Note that, due to institutional policies, staff typically are granted professional development awards rather than stipends.
  • How can ACS help with projects that involve technology?
    Please see for tutorials on helpful software, including low- and no-cost tools, produced by ACS faculty and staff. We offer our Technology Guide as an additional resource.
  • My project requires that collaborators share the same academic calendar. What should I do? 
    Some grant projects will require alignment between academic calendars. To provide you with that information, this page contains the most recent available academic calendars. Additionally, some collaborations may need alignment between course schedules. If you would like that information, please email, and ACS will send it to you.