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  Cornell University

Request for Proposals (RFP) 2015

NOTE: The information on this page is related to the 2015 grant cycle which were awarded in June 2015. Go to this page for information about the 2016 grant cycle.

 

Engaged Curriculum grants enable departments, programs, and collaborative cross-disciplinary groups in any field of study to design courses that connect the materials and inquiries of their disciplines with a relevant public venue, context, or challenge, through direct interaction with a community.

Proposals are invited from any field of study to design or strengthen courses that connect the methods and inquiries of their disciplines with a relevant public venue, context, or challenge, by collaborating with a partner or community toward goals of mutual interest.

What’s in a Successful Proposal

Successful proposals present an understanding of the intersection of community engagement with teaching, learning, and knowledge-creation, including narratives describing how learning outcomes will be reached, the mutual benefits to the partnership, and sustainability of the course(s) beyond the grant period.

Successful proposals will describe curricula that support learning outcomes specific to the major or discipline, and, in addition, one or more of the following personal and professional learning outcomes:

  • civic engagement
  • critical reflection
  • ethical practice
  • integrative learning
  • intercultural competence

Not Supported by Grants

Engaged Curriculum Grants do not support:

  • individual faculty endeavors
  • community-engaged activities that are not intentionally designed to support the learning outcomes of a curriculum
  • activities that are not intended to be sustained beyond the period of the grant.

Overview

Funded projects are embedded within or integrated with a major, minor, or a graduate field in order to address curricular goals; therefore, proposals are submitted by teams with department (chair) and college (dean) endorsements.

Non-academic units of Cornell (e.g., centers, institutes, programs, extension divisions, museums, laboratories) may participate with faculty from an academic unit.

Composition of Team

Proposals are submitted by department-based or cross-disciplinary teams comprised of Cornell faculty members together with individuals representing community partners or organizations.

Teams must include three or more Cornell faculty members and be comprised of 50% or more active, tenured/tenure-track (TTT) faculty.

Collaboration between colleges/schools is encouraged. In such a collaboration, the team composition from each collaborating unit must follow the conditions above (teams of three or more, 50% TTT from each department).

For a collaborative project, the faculty team leader must be a member of the department named on the grant application.

For a team to remain eligible after receiving feedback on its letter of intent, at least three faculty team members (50% TTT) must attend a preparatory workshop prior to submitting the full grant application.
LOIs will be reviewed by Engaged Cornell leadership together with a subcommittee of the Public Engagement Council.

Full proposals will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Public Engagement Council. Awards will be made by the Engaged Cornell leadership.

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Proposed impact of the course(s) on departmental teaching with evidence of collaboration among departmental faculty
  2. Clear collaborative role of community partner(s) and description of the planned benefits of the partnership to the communities of interest
  3. Clear statement of learning outcomes, along with descriptions of how the community engagement(s) are designed to affect student learning
  4. Integration of the community engagement into the curriculum (i.e., major, minor, or degree program); for example, through preparatory and integrative courses or course elements
  5. Number of students and proportion of eligible students expected to participate in the community engagement. A central goal of Engaged Cornell is to provide opportunities for community-engaged learning to all Cornell students. Proposals that effectively address the challenge of scale and access, while also creating high-quality experiences, will be favored.
  6. Strategy for assessing outcomes for students, partners, and community members
  7. Justification for costs of course implementation and plan for sustaining the community engagement beyond the period of the grant award

Overview

To apply for an Engaged Curriculum Grant, a project team must prepare a Letter of Intent (LOI).

Engaged Cornell staff and Public Engagement Council members will review and provide feedback on, but not accept or reject, submitted LOIs.

Because the number of awards in the first year is limited, colleges are encouraged to consult internally as LOIs are developed in order to strategize and prioritize their applications.

Requirements

The LOI should:

  • be two pages in length
  • state which type of grant you intend to apply for
  • the first page should describe:
    • the team preparing the application
    • the curriculum involved (e.g., which major, minor, or professional program)
    • the form and purpose of the community engagement
    • the community partner(s)
  • the second page should include:
    • signed endorsements from department chairs or director(s) and college dean(s)
    • explanation of endorsements addressing how your LOI relates to other engagement efforts of your unit(s), including other LOI being submitted

Preparing to Submit an LOI

Attendance at a one-hour information session in which information regarding the goals of the program is strongly recommended prior to submission of a Letter of Intent.

Receiving Feedback and Next Steps

Teams will receive feedback on their LOI, and, from there, may choose to develop a full proposal.

Workshops will be given to provide guidance and support for grant preparation. At least three faculty members (50% of which must be active, tenured/tenure-track faculty) from prospective applicant teams are required to attend one 90-minute workshop.
Below are specific instructions for each of the three types of Engaged Curriculum Grants and links to the applications.

Planning Grants

The proposal should be submitted online, and should contain the following information, within the space limits described on the form.

  1. Names of department(s) or graduate field(s) and college(s)
  2. Names of team members and their affiliations (Reminder: Teams must be comprised of three or more members with no fewer than 50% tenured or tenure-track faculty.)
  3. LOI number and title; please refer to top left hand corner of LOI feedback
  4. Abstract: executive summary of the proposal that conveys its rationale, key features, goals, and intended benefits to students, faculty research/scholarship, and the community partner(s)
  5. Major, minor, concentration, degree program, or graduate field that is the focus of the planning
  6. Configuration of team and roles of team members
  7. Description of the community partnership, including rationale for proposed type of community partner, the role the partner will play in developing the plan, and potential benefit to that community
  8. Proposed structural model (See: Useful Information for Developing Proposals)
  9. Learning outcomes for the course(s) and proposed level of achievement
  10. Project timeline
  11. Budget justification aligned directly with budget categories on the budget spreadsheet
  12. Endorsements from the department chair or unit director and dean, as described for the LOI

Development Grants

The proposal should be submitted online, and should contain the following information, within the space limits described on the form.

  1. Names of department(s) or graduate field(s) and college(s)
  2. Names of team members and their affiliations (Reminder: Teams must be comprised of three or more members with no fewer than 50% tenured or tenure-track faculty.)
  3. LOI number and title (please refer to top left hand corner of LOI feedback)
  4. Abstract: executive summary of the proposal that conveys its rationale, key features, goals, and intended benefits to students, faculty research/scholarship, and the community partner(s)
  5. Major, minor, concentration, degree program, or graduate field that is the focus of the grant
  6. Roles of team members
  7. Estimated number and type of students targeted by the proposal
  8. Description of the community partnership, including rationale for proposed community partner, the role the partner will play in designing and delivering student activities, and potential benefit to that community
  9. Course description/details
  10. Intended learning outcomes and proposed level of achievement
  11. Prerequisites and related coursework to be taken pre- and post-community engagement (strongly encouraged)
  12. Proposed integration of the community engagement into the curriculum (i.e., major, minor, or degree program); for example, through preparatory and integrative courses or course elements
  13. Plan for developing assessment tools for the proposed course. Include consideration of impacts on students, faculty participants, and community partners, issues or their constituents (e.g., how you will measure what participants have learned or accomplished). This guidance will be provided by Engaged Learning + Research.
  14. If research by students and/or faculty is incorporated into the structural model, describe plans for evaluating and reporting research results. If students will be conducting research, describe their activities, supervision, and the goals of the research experience. If the research involves community participation/data, describe their involvement and potential benefits/outcomes.
  15. Description of research funding that complements the community-engaged learning activities proposed
  16. Description of any comparable or related course offered on campus and opportunities to partner with other departments
  17. Description of any enabling technologies that are under consideration for teaching this course (e.g., Web conferencing, online learning, electronic presentations, video, etc.)
  18. Project timeline
  19. Describe the plan for securing the necessary approval from college or department curriculum committee(s) for implementation of the course proposed.
  20. Budget, formatted into categories as described in budget guidelines
  21. Budget justification that is aligned directly with budget categories on the budget spreadsheet
  22. Description of strategy to support the curriculum; resources needed and plan for securing and sustaining
  23. Endorsements from the department chair or unit director and dean, as described for the LOI
  24. Letter of collaboration from the partner(s)

Advancement Grants

The proposal should be submitted online, and should contain the following information, within the space limits described on the form.

  1. Names of department(s) or graduate field(s) and college(s)
  2. Names of team members and their affiliations (Reminder: Teams must be comprised of three or more members with no fewer than 50% tenured or tenure-track faculty.)
  3. LOI number and title (please refer to top left hand corner of LOI feedback)
  4. Abstract: executive summary of the proposal that conveys its rationale, key features, goals, and intended benefits to students, faculty research/scholarship, and the community partner
  5. Major, minor, concentration, degree program, or graduate field that is the focus of the grant
  6. Configuration of team and roles of team members
  7. Estimated number and type of students targeted by the proposal
  8. Description of the community partnership. Rationale for proposed community partner, the role the partner will play in designing and delivering student activities, and potential benefit to that community
  9. Course description/details
  10. Intended learning outcomes and proposed level of achievement
  11. Prerequisites and related coursework to be taken pre- and post-community engagement (strongly encouraged)
  12. Proposed advancement of the existing community engagement. State clearly in what aspects you aim to improve your community-engaged curriculum, and how you will achieve those aims in a one-year project period.
  13. Description of research funding, if any, that complements the community-engaged learning activities proposed
  14. Describe the plan for securing the necessary approval from college or department curriculum committee(s) for implementation of the course proposed
  15. Budget, formatted into categories as described in the budget guidelines
  16. Budget justification that is aligned directly with budget categories on the budget spreadsheet
  17. Description of strategy to support the curriculum; resources needed and plan for securing and sustaining those resources
  18. Description of strategy to support the program after the grant ends
  19. Endorsements from the department chair or unit director and dean, as described for the LOI
  20. Letter of collaboration from the partner(s)

General Guidelines for Engaged Curriculum Grants Budgeting

Total funding for a project will not exceed $150,000 over four years (any combination of funding).

The following expenses are not allowable:

  • research equipment
  • capital projects
  • faculty salaries
  • external consultant fees (for individuals assisting in building courses)
  • indirect costs

Planning Grants

Planning grants of one year duration will provide teams with up to $10,000. Planning grants afford budget relief to the department and are used for:

  • staff/student/grad assistant activity in the planning process;
  • travel to/for community partners in order to coordinate planning;
  • other necessary expenses.

Development Grants

Development grants will provide teams with up to $80,000 in the first year, with a renewal opportunity for up to $60,000 in the second year.

Budgets for development grants follow these guidelines:

  • Faculty support. Each faculty member applicant will be granted no more than $5,000 to support his/her research or other university activities, as long as these are directly relevant to the course under development. Not to exceed $20,000 per year.
  • Department/Unit support. The department/unit(s) will be provided with funding (shared in the case of multiple departments or units) to partially offset the new Engaged Cornell effort. At the discretion of the department(s), funding may be applied toward teaching relief during the period of the grant, graduate teaching support, other forms of budget relief related to the grant, or piloting the course. However, Engaged Cornell will not commit to supporting a course beyond the period of the grant. Not to exceed $40,000 per year.
  • Operating budgets that include funding for student interns, graduate assistants, and/or academic staff to assist with course development, funding for travel to the partner or vice versa, support for the partner, and establishment of support structures may not exceed $40,000 per year.

Advancement Grants

Advancement grants of one year duration will provide up to $60,000 and are intended to strengthen existing community-engaged curricula (majors, minors, fields) through innovations in coursework, increased participation, or improving assessment of student learning, community outcomes, research on the impact of the work on the issue or community, or the partnership itself.

Budgets for advancement grants will follow these guidelines:

  • Department/Unit support. The department/unit(s) will be provided with funding (shared in the case of multiple departments or units) to partially offset the new Engaged Cornell effort. At the discretion of the department(s), funding may be applied toward teaching relief during the period of the grant, graduate teaching support, other forms of budget relief related to the grant, or piloting the course. However, Engaged Cornell will not commit to supporting a course beyond the period of the grant. Not to exceed $40,000 per year.
  • Operating budgets that include funding for student interns, graduate assistants, and/or academic staff to assist with course development, funding for travel to the partner or vice versa, support for the partner, and establishment of support structures may not exceed $40,000 per year.

Expectations and Deliverables

  1. Attendance of team members at the three meetings described below in Institutes and Meetings
  2. Curricular plans, course materials, and approaches to community engagement to be shared broadly across campus and in structured settings in the larger realm of higher education
  3. Documentation and evaluation of the partnership, using a Partnership Assessment Tool to be provided by Engaged Cornell
  4. For Development Grants of longer than 1 year, annual progress reports, including outcomes

Institute and Meetings

If your grant is funded, your team will be required to participate in the following professional development programs administered by Engaged Learning + Research.

  1. One-day Community-Engaged Learning institute (offered late summer)
  2. A three-hour meeting to support the work of the team and report progress (offered in fall)
  3. A three-hour meeting to support the work of the team and report progress, including outcomes (offered in spring)

Attendees can expect:

  • opportunities for interaction and learning among peers from different departments;
  • programmatic and pedagogical support, including assistance in formulating a community-based program partnership, developing a syllabus, formulating learning outcomes, organizing course content, and creating meaningful assessments;
  • resources related to professional development, scholarship, and publication;’
  • links to relevant expertise across the university (e.g., the Center for Teaching Excellence, Cornell Abroad, etc.)