21 universities will research the nation’s community engagement, social cohesion, volunteerism and national service  

WASHINGTON, D.C.— AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, has selected 21 universities to receive more than $3.7 million for the 2022 National Service and Civic Engagement Funding Opportunity. Selected organizations will research five priority areas, including volunteer management, societal and national understanding of national service, civic infrastructure in communities, and AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps Seniors programmatic interests. See the full list of newly funded AmeriCorps research projects.

“National service is about local solutions to local problems, and through our unique structure, we are able to incubate innovative solutions to some of the nation’s most urgent challenges, while investing in proven solutions to provide results,” said Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO. “We have a responsibility to taxpayers to ensure every federal dollar invested in local communities brings the greatest return on investment.”

Research grants address knowledge gaps and develop innovative methodologies to investigate national service and volunteering. Since 2015, AmeriCorps research granteesand Office of Research and Evaluation have examined community engagement at the local, regional and national level. Past scholarly research projects have studied the economic benefits of national service, the motivations for service and participatory research to engage communities in identifying and solving pressing issues. The studies and findings have been published in peer-reviewed journals, books, conference papers and community handbooks, among other publications. AmeriCorps uses the findings to improve programs, and to better understand how national service helps unite community members. See past funded AmeriCorps research projects.

AmeriCorpswas recognized for outstanding performance in the Results for America’s 2021 Invest in What Works Federal Standard of Excellence that recognizes agencies using data-driven decision-making to get results for young people, their families and communities and improve the impact of federal investments. Specifically, AmeriCorps was acknowledged for the agency’s commitment to data and evidence to increase the impact of national service grants in more than 40,000 communities to make government investment as effective and efficient as possible.