Purpose

Departmental Initiative Grants provide an additional source of funds to help departments improve the quality of their curricular offerings in degree-credit programs.  Eligible academic units may request up to $5,000 each to underwrite the costs of projects that will involve a significant proportion of the unit's full-time faculty in curricular reform or in activities designed to improve teaching.  Part-time faculty should be included whenever appropriate.  Creativity and experimentation are encouraged, but the Quality of Instruction Council (QIC) also welcomes departmental use of techniques proven effective elsewhere.

Because of the substantial size of the awards there is a strong exepctation that competitive applications will demonstrate the relation of their work to university efforts and initiatives - for example, university-wide general education revision, college-based curriculum reform, university strategic planning, multicultural projects, and assessment of student learning.  Applications should also demonstrate efforts to coordinate offerings and projects across units where possible and explore linkages with other units offering comparable curricula, including inter-college efforts.  It is appropriate to use this program as a first step in the process of seeking outside funding for curricular or instructional projects.

Possible uses of Departmental Initiative Grants include:

  • developing assessment tools;
  • instructional workshops or seminars;
  • team attendance at pedagogical and assessment conferences;
  • teaching and assessment handbooks or other pedagogical materials;
  • teaching consultants;
  • mentoring programs for faculty;
  • videotaping of teaching;
  • faculty orientation activities;
  • instructional evaluation and assessment programs;
  • content-specific faculty development programs;
  • internship or experiential learning activities. 

Eligibility

All departments, colleges and schools may submit an application.  This program may also be used to support planning activities for academic units that do not yet exist.  Grant recipients who have overspent their grants will not be eligible until the overage is resolved.

Application Deadlines
 
Applications are accepted in the Fall and Winter with deadlines of October 15th and March 15th, respectively.  Late applications cannot be accepted.
 

How to Apply

Applicants should submit the following through Campus Connect (click on "Grant Proposals" in the "Faculty Center" section) by the appropriate deadline:
 
  • Project Title
  • Abstract - the abstract should describe the project clearly and completely in non-technical terms
  • Work Plan & Timeline - the work plan and timeline should be thorough, realistice, and feasible. Further, the specific outcomes for the project should be articulated.
  • Budget Narrative - the budget narrative should clearly justify all requested expenses and provide sources for estimated costs. Note: research participant pay is limited to $10/hour. Further, wages for requested personnel should account for fringe benefits at a rate of 10%.
  • Budget Form - the budget form should account for each item of expense discussed in the budget narrative.
  • Tentative Syllabus
Applicants will also be asked to attach the following to their application:
 
  • Narrative - the narrative should describe the project in clear, non-technical language. The narrative should also present a compelling argument in favor of the project which will include a clear description of the project's goals and objectives. Further, the narrative should explain the relationship between the project and the applicant's teaching, research, and/or service interests.
  • Current CV
  • Endorsement Letter
Expectations/Requirements of Recipients
 
Grant recipients should keep the following in mind:
 
  • Grant funds are made available to the faculty member upon completion of budget manager training.
  • All spending must comply with the Council's guidelines regarding eligible and ineligible expenses.
  • Funding is for 18 months after the grant is approved.
  • The council expects projects to be completed in a timely manner and will not fund projects beyond three years.
  • A final report must be submitted within 30 days of the grant's expiration. Failuer to submit the final report will result in the faculty member being ineligible for future funding from the councils. This report should delineate the activities conducted during the grant, describe the achievement of the project outcomes as outlined in the proposal, and list financial expenditures (include copies of all invoices over $100).