Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose and objective of the EPICS in IEEE program?

EPICS in IEEE empowers students to work with local service organizations to apply technical knowledge to implement solutions for a community’s unique challenges. In this way, EPICS in IEEE not only assists communities in achieving their specific local community improvement goals but also encourages students to pursue engineering for community improvement as a career.

An IEEE Foundation Signature Program, EPICS in IEEE has proven its ability to deliver on the IEEE core purpose of fostering technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.

The EPICS in IEEE program connects engineering with community service in four categories of community improvement effort:

  • Access and Abilities—By bringing together student branches at universities, secondary students and non-profit organizations, there is a greater ability to solve accessibility issues within communities. As students learn to help their community or country through engineering projects, non-profit organizations establish themselves in order to maintain new and profound change. EPICS in IEEE Access & Abilities projects help enable adaptive services, clinics for those in need (such as children with disabilities), programs for adults and assistive technologies.
  • Education and Outreach—EPICS in IEEE strives to help young students to discover the benefits of science, math, technology and engineering for their futures. Many projects give students hands-on experiences in order to stimulate their interests in those fields. Through these EPICS in IEEE projects, communities and schools lacking in strong engineering programs gain new curriculums along with new facilities in which to explore new areas of the topic.
  • Environment—Engineering and science are key solutions to answering environmental issues. In communities in every region around the world, environments change with the evolution of technology and the need for sustainability. Many EPICS in IEEE projects concern themselves with new ways to create electricity and energy, recycling and the use of renewable energy sources. Through these EPICS in IEEE projects, young students learn about the impact of environmental issues and how engineering can be part of the solution. They also gain exposure to potential jobs with a growing demand for alternative energy and environmental solutions.
  • Human Services—Through their experiences in Human Services EPICS in IEEE projects, students find connections between engineering and the tremendous scope of community needs globally. This includes homelessness prevention, affordable housing, family and children agencies, neighborhood revitalization and local government. Even after an EPICS in IEEE project is complete, lasting impact continues to be felt through the local non-profit organization’s involvement.
Where would I read more on the history of EPICS?

The Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) was founded at Purdue University in 1995. Please view the Purdue University EPICS site for more information.

You may also learn more about the history of the EPICS program with the comprehensive bibliography on Service-Learning and EPICS.

Where can I learn about sample projects?

More than 50 socially innovative EPICS in IEEE projects are occurring around the world. A representative selection of projects made possible by EPICS in IEEE worldwide includes:

  • Solar water heater and photovoltaic power generation at Emasithandane Children’s Home in Nyanga, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Wireless water flow meter network to support restoration of oyster beds in the Great Bay of Eastern New Hampshire in the United States
  • Portable hand glove, equipped with text-to-speech technology, for 300 hearing-impaired students in Bangalore, India
  • Solar-powered phone chargers for residents of Kampala and Lueweero Town in Uganda
  • Air quality sensors in Philadelphia in the United States to investigate asthma incidence among neighborhood residents

For a detailed list of projects by region around the world, please visit <<PAGE LINK.>>

What is the role of the partners?

EPICS in IEEE fuels the specific community improvement solutions that local service organizations seek for their communities. It is directly through these organizations that EPICS in IEEE empowers secondary-school students to work with local service organizations to apply technical knowledge to implement solutions for a community’s unique challenges. Reliance on the intelligence of the local individuals with hands-on experience in the target community—as opposed to imagining solutions from afar for a local challenge—increases the likelihood that EPICS in IEEE projects are successfully supported, adopted and maintained on a long-term basis.

To learn more about partnering opportunities, please visit <<PAGE LINK.>>

Can projects span multiple years?

EPICS in IEEE funds approved multi-year projects are on an annual basis and reviews such projects for the following year if sufficient reporting is provided as required in the application.

What is the review process?

The EPICS in IEEE initiative team will review your submission and will contact you within 30 days of receipt for either more information or with an acceptance or rejection notice.

What are the submission due dates?

Applications are accepted anytime. There are no deadlines.

What is the typical amount of funding for a project?

All proposed budgets are reviewed for appropriateness according to the needs of the project. EPICS in IEEE awards can be used for project-related supplies (as opposed to personnel costs) and typically range from $1,000 to $10,000 apiece.

How is funding provided?

If EPICS in IEEE accepts the project proposal and budget, the local IEEE section handles the approach for remuneration.

What are the ongoing reporting requirements?

The project leader must submit a mid-term status report six months after initial funding is approved. The project leader also must submit a final report detailing the achievement of milestones and the expenditure of funds within one month of project completion.

Is academic credit awarded for EPICS projects?

There is no requirement from the EPICS in IEEE initiative to offer academic credit to students participating in a project.

Further Information

To learn more about EPICS in IEEE, please e-mail epicsineieee@ieee.org.