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For Faculty

Teaching Innovation Grants

Overview

Designing and implementing resource-intensive and high-impact pedagogies-- such as experiential, project-based, and community-engaged learning and course-based undergraduate research -- requires substantial resources -- including staff and faculty time for instructional design and development, purchase or development of new equipment and instructional materials, and staffing for instructional and assessment activities. The Teaching Innovation Grant provides the needed funds -- allowing AS&E faculty and academic departments to design, implement and assess high-impact and resource-intensive pedagogies in undergraduate courses.

Eligibility

A project is eligible for funding if it meets five criteria.

  • It must entail the development and pilot implementation of either a new course or substantial changes to the content of or instructional approaches used in an existing course. In either case, a substantial portion of the students projected to enroll in the course must be undergraduates in the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. Thus, projects involving courses offered by schools other than AS&E are eligible, as are projects involving AS&E graduate courses, as long as a substantial portion of enrollees in those courses will be AS&E undergraduates.
  • The funds requested must be for the purpose of supporting high-impact practices, such as experiential, problem-based, project-based, peer-led or community-engaged learning, or course-based undergraduate research. A non-exaustive list of practices we would consider high-impact can be found here: https://www.aacu.org/leap/hips.
  • The project must include (and request funds to support) pilot implementation and assessment of the new course or new instructional approaches during two successive offerings of the course. These two offerings need not occur during back-to-back semesters. For instance, many courses are offered during alternate academic years, and in such a case the two semesters during which the course will be piloted and assessed will be separated by a full academic year.
  • The innovations the project plans develop and implement must require resources greater than those already available for development and implementation of new courses within the budget of the academic department offering the course. Thus, development and implementation of the proposed innovations should require more funding and faculty or staff time than is typically allotted by a department to new or existing courses.
  • The activities and expenses for which the project requests support must not be eligible for funding through other AS&E programs that support educational activities and innovations -- such as the Discover Grant, the Student Course Development Projects, or the Community-Engaged Learning Mini-Grant.

Eligible Expenses and Award Amounts

These grants are available to fund any and all expenses required for the development, deployment and assessment of new courses. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • The cost of purchasing any required equipment or course materials;
  • Compensation for faculty, administrative staff and other instructional staff (e.g. teaching assistants) for all aspects of course development, implementation and assessment, with the limitation that no more than $6,000 will be awarded for the purpose of supplemental salary for each faculty member on a project;
  • Funds needed by a department to offset faculty time devoted to course development or implementation that would otherwise be used for teaching other courses;
  • Funds to defray any costs to students of participation in the course (e.g. travel expenses for courses that involve activities abroad).

Awards are available for any amount up to $16,000. In all cases, the amount requested should reflect the needs of developing the course and then implementing and assessing it during two successive course offerings. Thus, in the typical case, the total amount awarded will be spent during the course of more than one academic year. In no case will the program fund expenses associated with the implementation of a project after its two-semester pilot implementation. The program is intended to support only the development, pilot implementation and assessment of innovations.

Application Process and Deadlines

Proposals for the upcoming round of awards are due February 1, 2018. A proposal should include:

  • The name of at least one person who will serve as project leader -- taking primary responsibility for implementing the project;
  • A description of the new course or new instructional approach to be developed and deployed, including a description of the high-impact or resource-intensive practices to be developed and implemented;
  • A description of the activities to be undertaken to develop the course and implement the pilot offerings of the course;
  • A timeline that specifies when development activities will occur, and specifies the two semesters during which the innovations developed will be piloted.
  • A budget that specifies the total amount requested and estimates the amounts to be spent on each eligible expense;
  • A plan for how the innovations will be sustained after the two course offerings funded by this grant, including a plan for securing any funds needed to sustain the innovation.
  • Letters of support from the chairs or directors of the academic departments or programs that will offer the course, and from the chairs or directors of academic departments where any faculty involved in the project have their primary appointments.

Proposals should be sent via email to Stu Jordan at stuart.jordan@rochester.edu. Proposals will be reviewed and award decisions will be made by the Dean of the College, The Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences and the Dean of the Hajim School. The selection process will proceed in two stages. In the first stage, successful proposals will be given a provisional acceptance and award amount. The project leaders of the provisionally accepted proposal will then work with Josephine Seddon, Director of Educational Effectiveness for AS&E, to formulate a plan for assessing the proposed innovation. Once the assessment plan is formulated and agreed to by the project leader and approved by the relevant department chairs, a full budget (including any funds required to implement the assessment plan) will be specified, and a final award decision made. Project leaders will be notified of provisional acceptances by March 1, 2018. Final award decisions will be made by April 1, 2018.