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Engagement and Outreach grant, UT Assistant Professor Sreedhar Upendram has launched an initiative that brings broadband internet to underserved rural communities across Tennessee.

“A lot of parents are pulling into McDonald’s parking lots in rural Tennessee to access free internet just to help their kids do homework,” Upendram said.

As education, professional training, and job seeking become more dependent on the internet, communities without affordable access are at risk of being left behind.

Upendram, of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in the Herbert College of Agriculture, started his work last year in Wayne County. He and a local community leader secured funds to purchase a set of mobile wireless hotspots for the area’s library.

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Office of Community Engagement and Outreach. It is primarily directed at faculty-led initiatives, though student involvement is encouraged.

Applicants should download and the full proposal guidelines and review previously funded projects before applying. Proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 2, 2018. Late proposals will not be accepted. Funding will be available during the 2019 fiscal year only, and must be fully spent by June 30, 2019.

Find more information on the Community Engagement Incentive Grants.