Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions.

Q: Is there a limit to the amount of funding that can be requested from EOPC?
A: While there is not a limit to the amount of funding that can be requested from EOPC, proposal reviewers are more inclined to fund a program that exhibits good stewardship of University funds. When developing your proposed budget, consider if the cost of the program meets the need. Determine if the cost per participant is reasonable. Also consider the amount that your unit will be able to contribute to the program. 

Q: Does my unit have to contribute funds or can they offer in-kind support?
A: EOPC will not consider in-kind support from a unit as part of their contribution toward a program. In-kind support is defined as any contribution that does not involve direct dollar support that would not ordinarily have been made unless the program occurred. Please see click here for more information on in-kind support. 

Q: Can EOPC funds be used for faculty buyout or research grants?
A: No, EOPC funds cannot be used to support faculty buyout or research grants. 

Q: Can EOPC funds be used to hire staff?
A: EOPC will consider funding graduate and/or undergraduate students on wages or wages/honoraria for nine- or ten-month full-time Penn State faculty and staff if they work on an EOPC program during their “noncontract” period. EOPC funds cannot be used for wages or honoraria for 12-month full-time Penn State faculty/staff or graduate assistantships. 

Q: What is the suggested decrease in EOPC funding requests for renewal proposals?
A: EOPC provides seed grant funding and it is expected that the amount of funding requested from EOPC decrease with each year a program is renewed. Each year a program applies for a renewal, we suggest a 20 percent decrease in the request for EOPC funding while the unit support should increase each year. Programs funded initially by EOPC that prove to be successful should, in time, become part of a unit's regular operating budget, or obtain support through external funding sources.

Q: Could someone review a draft of my proposal and provide feedback before the submission deadline?
A: The Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity will review proposal drafts to provide feedback in advance of submission deadlines as time and capacity permits. If interested, please email us at  

Q: Can EOPC funds be used for graduate assistantships?
A: No, EOPC funds cannot be used to fund graduate assistantships or scholarships. EOPC will consider funding part-time graduate student hourly wages. 

Q: Can EOPC funds be used to purchase gift cards?
A: No.

Q: If the in-person program I was planning needs to be held virtually, can I still use EOPC funding?
A: With certain rules and regulations in place due to the pandemic, we understand that some programming may be altered or changed to be offered virtually. For those planning to submit an EOPC proposal, consider how learning can occur through a virtual format. Some ideas for engaging virtually include hiring engaging speakers to hold virtual workshops and purchasing e-books and materials to engage participants. For programs that have been funded by EOPC, approval to alter the format of the program must first be obtained by EOPC. Contact us at with any questions. 

Q: Will EOPC fund student conference participation and travel?
A: EOPC will consider funding student conference participation ONLY if the student is making a presentation at the conference, and this support must be equally shared with the academic department. Faculty or staff conference attendance also must be shared with the unit and can only be included in the proposal budget (for either EOPC or unit costs) if it is for the purpose of facilitating student presentations at a conference.

Q: Can I choose more than one funding category for my proposal? 
A: Only choose one funding category for your proposal. The funding categories are broad in order to provide room for different kinds of programming. Before choosing a funding category, reflect on the goals and learning objectives of the program to guide which funding category you choose. 

Q: May I submit more than one proposal during an EOPC cycle?
A: Yes, you may submit more than one proposal during an EOPC funding cycle. 

Q: Are there other sources of funding through the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity?
A: The Campus Access and Success Grant provides seed funding for new and/or pilot programs and is open to all Penn State Commonwealth Campuses that serve undergraduate students. Funding should be used toward programmatic support for new initiatives to recruit, retain, and support students under Campus Access and Success Grant guidelines. Programs may not receive funding from both EOPC and the Campus Access and Success Grant.