Leveraging Innovations in New Communities (LINC) 2021 Grant Program for Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship

Leveraging Innovations in New Communities (LINC) 2021 Grant Program

Leveraging Innovations in New Communities (LINC) 2021 Grant Program for Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship

The U.S. Department of State and IREX are excited to announce that applications for the Leveraging Innovations in New Communities (LINC) Grant program, a unique collaboration opportunity for Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now open.

The goal of LINC Grants is to facilitate deeper collaborative engagement between Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni across countries and cohorts.  LINC Grants provide Alumni of all cohort years funds to pursue professional collaborations within the Fellowship’s Alumni Network.   Examples of LINC collaborations include joint service projects or trainings, job shadowing or mentoring arrangements, or joint research or teaching.

In light of the global public health crisis, Alumni have the option to conduct their LINC collaborations in in-person, virtual, or hybrid formats. Alumni may apply for LINC grants of up to $4,000 for in-person collaborations in one partner’s home country, or up to $2,700 for virtual or hybrid collaborations.  Funds will allow Alumni to travel to each other’s organizations or communities or collaborate virtually to learn from each other’s best practices and expertise.  By providing for program costs of joint projects and learning opportunities, LINC Grants remove some of the most daunting obstacles to cross-cohort, cross-regional collaboration among Fellowship Alumni.

2021 LINC grant proposals must address one or more of the following themes:

  • Cultivating Economic Prosperity through Women’s Entrepreneurship
  • Fostering International Trade through Business Partnerships
  • Advancing Peace through Conflict Prevention and Reconciliation
  • Promoting Access to Quality Education
  • Innovating in Science & Technology
  • Promoting Inclusion through Disability Rights Advocacy

Eligible applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Clarity and feasibility of goals and planned activities;
  • Relevance to designated strategic priority areas;
  • Benefit to Team Lead and Collaborator’s communities, organizations, service initiatives, or professional or leadership development, or to the broader Mandela Washington Fellowship Community;
  • Continued impact of collaboration after the grant period;
  • Relevance of Team Lead and Collaborator’s experience to proposed activity; and
  • Persuasiveness of justification for need to travel (for in-person collaborations)

Please review the Application Guidelines for more information on eligibility and selection criteria.

Leveraging Innovations in New Communities (LINC) 2021 Grant Program Application Information

LINC Grant Timeline

  • Application Deadline | February 15, 2021
  • Notification of Award | March – April 2021
  • Grant Period | May 17 – November 30, 2021

To apply, Alumni are required to:

  1. Update their contact information in the Alumni Contact Information and Biography Form.
  2. Explore the Alumni Directory to identify possible collaborators.
  3. Complete and submit the online application, including a work plan, budget form, resume, and other required items, by 11:59 PM EDT on February 15, 2021.

Application Materials

For more Information: Visit the webpage for

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