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UNO application deadline set for Feb. 24

UNO Application Deadline Set for Feb. 24
Mission Science has been funded by USC Neighborhood Outreach grants for 10 years.

A new Web-based application system will make it easier to apply for the USC Neighborhood Outreach (UNO) grant. The deadline is Feb. 24.

When UNO accepted its first request for proposals in 1995, multiple hardcopy forms were required from each of the potential grant recipients. Staff members then had to make copies for the grant review committee, requiring the use of even more paper.

Fast forward to 2012. UNO now has gone completely online.

“UNO exists for the sole purpose of enhancing the quality of life for our neighbors,” said program director Carolina Castillo. “Why not extend the same courtesy to our environment?”

In the 17 years since UNO began, more than 450 university-community partnerships have been awarded over $12 million to help surrounding communities by improving health and education, and encouraging physical fitness and participation in the arts.

USC faculty, staff, students and friends fund UNO through the USC Good Neighbors Campaign with one-time donations and payroll deductions. Because USC pays for administrative costs, 100 percent of the proceeds go to the programs.

In addition to the new online system, UNO staff members held a webinar and a series of public informational sessions designed to provide technical support and grant-guideline information.

As the Feb. 24 deadline approaches, additional office hours are being offered at Leavey Library.

“We expect the office hours to be particularly popular,” said project specialist Dawn Kita. “Unlike the past, applicant attendance at the informational meetings was not mandatory.”

Castillo and her staff chose a Web-based system for the new common grant application that, according to its website, “simplifies the art and science of giving.”

The “greener” process also enables UNO applicants to file for other non-USC grants.

“With increased interest in UNO funding and the added volume of applications that accompany it, the new application will benefit those who are interested in applying for grants from multiple sources,” Castillo said.

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