WSU Foundation accepting applications for Students First grants


FAIRBORN — For the third consecutive year, the Wright State University Foundation is accepting applications for the Students First Fund — a grants program designed to support innovative ideas that help students thrive, graduate, and begin their careers.

“We are pleased to continue the Students First Fund grants program, which provides valuable financial support for student success initiatives,” said Scott Rash, president and CEO of the WSU Foundation. “With the Students First Fund grants program, the board has taken a more active role in supporting projects that further enhance the student experience while reinforcing the university’s commitment to recruitment, retention and relationships.”

All Wright State students, faculty, and staff with a creative concept to promote student success are welcome to apply for a Students First Fund grant. Grant applications must be submitted on the Students First Fund website by Feb. 26, 2021.

The Students First Fund grants committee, which consists of members of the Foundation Board of Trustees, will review all applications and make the final decision on how to distribute $50,000 in grant funding. Recipients will be announced in April, and funding will be available for use in Fall Semester 2021.

“Ideally, we are looking for projects that will become self-sustaining,” said Dave Deptula, chair of the Students First Fund grants committee and vice chair of the Wright State University Foundation Board of Trustees. “The foundation board views the Students First Fund as one-time seed money to help launch a new program or initiative. It’s been very gratifying to help many innovative projects get off the ground during the last two years.”

In its second year of funding, the Students First Fund grants committee received 26 grant applications. The committee approved 12 of those projects for funding, with grants ranging from $2,000 to $8,000. Projects that received funding include a micro Raman spectroscopy instrument for the Department of Chemistry, an experiential learning project for agriculture students at the Lake Campus, and new pianos for the Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures.

“The last two years have been a highly competitive process,” Deptula said. “We have received applications for so many worthy projects; it’s never easy deciding which ones to fund. We hope to receive many more applications for this third round of funding and look forward to seeing all of the innovative ideas that our students, faculty and staff develop and present.”

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