Leahy Institute for Rural Partnerships

The Leahy Institute for Rural Partnerships will operate alongside the Office of Engagement with the mission to provide engagement opportunities and partnerships with the University of Vermont for the benefit of our rural places. The Leahy Institute will bring financial and technical assistance, access to UVM research, faculty expertise, student projects and internships, and established UVM startup and engagement programs. Together, we will collaborate on impactful solutions that drive positive change for Vermont and beyond.

We envision a Vermont where all communities have an opportunity to thrive.

The institute offers partnership and grant opportunities including:

  • Seed and Capacity Grants: Grant funds for partnership-driven rural development proposals and projects;
  • Engagement Initiatives: Partnerships with UVM that provide direct and ongoing service to Vermont communities;
  • Convenings: to build connections and share knowledge.

Who We Are

The Institute helps Vermonters to connect with university faculty, students, and resources to create impactful change for Vermont’s rural communities. Through engagement initiatives, convenings, and grants, the Institute supports partnerships that move the needle on key challenges. With funding from USDA, we will support partnership activities in rural areas that address health care access, transit and communication challenges, regenerative agriculture, community schools, and resilient energy. 


How We Work

Our team will work across the state to develop partnerships with Vermont organizations.  UVM can provide technical support, access to research and faculty expertise, internships and service learning projects, seed grant awards, and access to UVM’s startup and engagement programs to partners.   

Our Impact

The Institute will identify quantifiable progress with our partners’ solution-oriented ideas each month to ensure that we make a positive impact on our state’s agriculture, education, transportation, housing, healthcare, communications systems work, natural resources, and policies and governance sectors.