Empowering Small Minnesota Communities

How to Apply

ESMC is currently accepting Rapid Response Task proposals from communities on a rolling basis. These are small, distinct efforts that would require a few hours of work. 

If you have an idea, please submit it via this intake form, selecting Rapid Response. A member of the ESMC team will get in touch with you about the fit and feasibility of the proposal.

No other proposals are being accepted at this time, but another full round of project solicitation is expected. Work in the program will run through June 2026. 

Complete the intake form to submit your Rapid Response proposal

Preview the intake form (PDF) 

Application Process by Pathway

There are three different project pathways that communities can pick from to engage in the program, and the application process varies by pathway. 

Rapid Response Pathway

Applicants interested in the rapid response track may submit an intake form at any time. These proposals will be evaluated on a rolling basis by the ESMC program team and reviewed based on the same evaluation criteria as the other pathways. The ESMC program team will also base decisions on ESMC capacity for this part of the program.

Tactical Action and Community Futures Pathways

The application process for tactical action and community futures projects will take approximately four months from submission to finalist selection and award. The process includes the following steps:

  1. Submission of a brief intake form describing the proposed idea and the community or communities in which it is to take place. 
  2. A follow-up conversation with the ESMC team to confirm eligibility and discuss the frame of proposed work in more detail.
  3. Review by regional working groups comprised of community and University of Minnesota (UMN) members who will prioritize projects based on ESMC evaluation criteria and recommend a selection of finalists across the state.
  4. Meeting(s) between community project leads and UMN research team(s) for joint scoping and plan development. 
  5. Development of a statement of work by UMN research team(s); review and approval by community project leads. 
  6. Review of statement of work by ESMC core team and selection of final awarded communities. 

The initial round of review will occur between February 2024 and April 2024. Selected projects will begin in either May 2024 or August 2024 depending on ESMC capacity, project schedule and community needs.

Those not selected in the first round are eligible for and encouraged to apply during subsequent rounds.