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  Cornell University

Request for Proposals (RFP) 2016

Note: The deadline for applications has passed; award notifications were sent May 2016.

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Purpose

To create, expand, and strengthen curricula that integrate community engagement and disciplinary learning.

Engaged Curriculum Grants are intended to support:

  • community-engaged learning in any field of study;
  • teams of Cornell faculty and their community partners;
  • processes of curricular planning, development, or advancement;
  • development of courses and curricula designed to achieve mutual benefits for both students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional) and community partners;
  • courses and curricula that are sustainable beyond the period of the grant.

Engaged Curriculum Grants are not intended to support:

  • course development or research conducted by a single faculty member (See forthcoming “Engaged Faculty Fellowships.”);
  • proposals to develop co- or extra-curricular activities;
  • undergraduate research except as part of a course or curriculum (See ”Undergraduate Engaged Research Programs” for that opportunity);
  • graduate student research (See “Engaged Graduate Student Grants” for that opportunity.”);
  • Ongoing or course-based activities that will be unsustainable beyond the period of the grant.

Learn more about Engaged Curriculum Grants at upcoming information sessions; details about dates, times, and locations are available on this page.

Eligibility

Proposals will be submitted by departmental or cross-disciplinary teams comprised of three or more Cornell faculty members together with a representative or representatives of the community partner, or the organization that is facilitating the partnership.

Membership of the Cornell team will be comprised of 50 percent (or more) actively tenured/tenure-track faculty. Participation by junior faculty members is encouraged.

Engaged Curriculum Grant projects will be embedded within, or integrated with, a major, minor, or a graduate field in order to address major/minor/graduate field curricular goals. Courses and curricula developed through this grant program must serve to meet a requirement for a degree.

Collaboration across colleges/schools is encouraged. The faculty member leading a collaborative project must be a member of the department responsible for the course/curriculum.

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

Teams that have completed Development Grants will be eligible to apply for an Advancement Grant after a two-year period following the completion of the Development Grant.

Funding and Types of Grants

To aid in selecting the appropriate grant mechanism for your proposal, please see the decision trees.

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

Planning Grants

Duration: one year, non-renewable

Purpose:

  • exploring a new partnership that would serve as the basis for a course;
  • or exploring a new course concept from an existing partnership.

Funding available: Up to $10,000

Eligibility of 2015 Planning Grant teams to apply for a Development Grant in 2016 is dependent upon favorable review of the Planning Grant interim progress report.

Development Grants

Duration: one year, renewable for additional one year

Purpose:

  • develop and implement a curricular concept created with a Planning Grant;
  • create new or develop existing courses and curricula from an existing partnership.

Funding available: Up to $80,000 in the first year

Eligibility of 2015 Development Grant teams to renew for a second year of support is dependent upon favorable review of the interim progress report for year one.

Advancement Grants

Duration: one year, non-renewable

Purpose:

  • improving existing community-engaged curricula.

Proposals must articulate clear goals for further development of their curricula. Some examples of possible goals for Advancement proposals are to:

  • identify, integrate, and advance the public purposes of the discipline;
  • develop strategies and plans to significantly grow the scale of the number of students involved in a course;
  • supplement existing courses with other curricular and co-curricular offerings to create coherent developmental sequences;
  • enhance or introduce interdisciplinary collaboration;
  • implement and assess overarching learning outcomes appropriate to the discipline;
  • develop rigorous tools for assessing outcomes and/or impacts;
  • create research and publication within and about the curriculum.

Funding available: Up to $60,000

Application Process and Timeline

Prospective applicants are encouraged to consult with Engaged Cornell at any time and should use this contact form. Learn more about Engaged Curriculum Grants at information sessions.

ECG-2016-timeline

Proposal Guidelines

Overview

Engaged Curriculum Grants enable departments, programs, and collaborative cross-disciplinary groups to enrich diverse Cornell curricula with community engagement. Proposals are invited from any field of study for the purpose of designing or strengthening curriculum that connects the methods and inquiries of the discipline with a relevant public partner, context, or challenge. There is no restriction on the geographic location of the partnership.

By collaborating with a partner or community toward goals of mutual interest, successful proposals will present an understanding of the intersection of community engagement with teaching, learning, and knowledge-creation. Applications will include narratives describing key learning outcomes and assessment plans, the mutual benefits of the partnership, and the sustainability of the course(s) beyond the grant period.

Community-engaged learning is founded upon collaborative relationships. Key definitions are provided here and examples of community-engaged models are provided here. Note that these models are not meant to be prescriptive, and teams should develop models that best support their disciplinary focus.

In addition to funding, teams receiving grants will be supported by expert staff and faculty peers throughout the university.

Successful Proposals

Successful proposals will describe curricula that support learning outcomes both specific to the major or discipline, and in one or more community-engaged student learning outcomes:

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

The Letter of Intent (LOI) – for new applications only

New project teams (not previously funded by Engaged Cornell) must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). Engaged Cornell leadership and staff will review and provide feedback on LOIs.

The LOI process is intended to aid in the development of the full application, and there is no selection of proposals made as a result of LOI review.

Teams submit LOIs through this online form. (Download a PDF preview of the form, which includes character limits.)

The LOI should include:

  • type of grant being sought;
  • the team preparing the application;
  • the curriculum involved (e.g., which major, minor, graduate field, or professional program);
  • the community partner(s);
  • narrative describing rationale, key features, goals, and intended benefits to students and community partner(s);
  • and include:
    • signatures of department chairs or director(s) and college dean(s);
    • letter(s) of endorsement from the community partner(s), if known.

Consultation Prior to Applying

Prior to submitting a full application, teams that have submitted LOIs are required to attend a 90-minute consultation with Engaged Cornell staff. All new Cornell team members must participate; substitutions are not accepted. Team members that have met this requirement in a previous application process are encouraged to participate, but may opt-out. Consultation times will be posted on this page.

Having received feedback on the LOI and completed a faculty development consultation with Engaged Cornell staff, teams may proceed to develop a full application by completing the proposal form.

Team composition may change as a project advances into a new year of funding. New team members are encouraged to attend a one-hour information session on the goals of the program. See info sessions page for more information.

The Interim Progress Report – for current Engaged Curriculum grantees only

The interim progress report form allows teams to update Engaged Cornell on the status of their current grant. This section of the application should be submitted by:

  • currently funded Development Grant recipients interested in applying for a second year of funding;
  • currently funded Planning Grant recipients interested in applying for a new Development Grant.

Expectations and Deliverables

  • During the course of the funded year, all grant recipients will be required to attend a day-long Community-Engaged Learning Institute (summer) and one of the following additional professional development programs offered by Engaged Cornell:
    1. a three-hour workshop to support the work of the team and report progress (fall and spring semesters)
    2. a consultation with Engaged Cornell to address specific needs of the project (fall and spring semesters)

All Cornell team members must participate; substitutions are not accepted.

Sessions will provide opportunities for interaction and learning among peers from different project teams. Content for these sessions will include discussion and resources on the theory and practice of community-engaged learning, including good practices of community partnership; developing an engaged course or curriculum; formulating learning outcomes; reflective integration of academic and community-based learning; and creating meaningful assessments. Resources related to professional development, scholarship, and publication will be provided. Teams will be linked to relevant expertise across the university to assist them as needed throughout the year.

Additionally, Engaged Cornell staff will be available for ad-hoc consultation to address specific project needs.

  • Grantees are expected to write and present on their projects by sharing curricular plans, course materials, and approaches to community engagement—on and off campus, in their disciplines, and within the larger realm of higher education.
  • Grantees will provide documentation and evaluation of the partnership, using a Partnership Assessment Tool to be provided by Engaged Cornell.
  • Grantees will report on progress and provide financial reports.

Budgeting

Unallowable Expenses

  • overhead or indirect costs (IDC)
  • equipment
  • salary for team members or other faculty
  • external consultant fees
  • capital projects
  • speaker or speaker series travel, fees, honorarium

No-cost Extensions

Grantees will have the opportunity to apply for a one-year extension with justification.

Planning Grants

Planning Grants of one-year duration will provide teams with up to $10,000.

Funding requests for Planning Grants may include:

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

Development Grants

Development Grants of one-year duration will provide teams with up to $80,000 in the first year; renewable for additional one year up to $60,000.

Budgets for Development Grants will 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, staff support, or other forms of budget relief related to the grant.
    • Piloting the course: Teams may propose a one-year pilot of the new curriculum. Funds may be requested to support student travel, meals, and lodging associated with learning off campus, as well as systems that support the student experience (software, enrollment in online training, etc.). Note that Engaged Cornell will not commit to supporting a course beyond a one-year pilot.
    • Total department/unit support not to exceed $40,000 per year
  • Operating budgets that include funding support for the community partner, student interns, graduate assistants, and/or academic staff to assist with course development, funding for travel to the partner or vice versa, 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.

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, staff support, other forms of budget relief related to the grant, or piloting the course.
    • Piloting the course: Teams may propose to pilot an advancement of the curriculum. Funds may be requested to support student travel, meals, and lodging associated with learning off campus, as well as systems that support the student experience (software, enrollment in online training, etc.). Note that Engaged Cornell will not commit to supporting a course beyond a one-year pilot.
    • Total department/unit support 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.

Review Process and Selection Criteria

Engaged Cornell leadership and staff will review LOIs. Full grant proposals, including progress reports, will be reviewed by a committee that includes members of the Public Engagement Council. Awards will be made by the leadership of Engaged Cornell.

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Proposed impact of the course or curriculum 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 that includes at least one community-engaged student learning outcome, along with descriptions of how the community-engaged activities are designed to affect (undergraduate and/or graduate and/or professional) student learning
  4. Strategies for assessing outcomes for students, partners, and community members
  5. Integration of the community engagement into the course or curriculum (i.e., major, minor, or degree program); for example, through course elements or preparatory and integrative course sequencing
  6. 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.)
  7. Justification for costs of course implementation and plan for sustaining the community engagement beyond the period of the grant award

Instructions

Planning Grants

After receiving LOI feedback, the full proposal should be submitted online and should contain the following information, within the space limits described on the form. (Download a PDF preview of the form, which includes character limits.)

  • LOI number and project title which can be found in the LOI feedback
  • Names of department(s) or graduate field(s) and college(s) offering course
  • Names of team members and their department(s) and college(s) (Reminder: Eligible teams must be comprised of three or more Cornell members with no fewer than 50 percent actively tenured or tenure-track faculty.)
  • Endorsements from the department chair or unit director and dean, including the relationship of this grant to other curricular work in the department or college
  • Identity of community partner(s) (if known)
  • Letter of collaboration from the community partner(s) (if known); could include length of time known, previous collaborative activities and their impact, potential benefits from developing the partnership further, and a description of partnership roles, responsibilities, and resources in support of the proposed community-engagement activities
  • Abstract: executive summary of the proposal that conveys its rationale, key features, goals, and intended benefits to students, relationship to faculty research/scholarship, and benefit to the community partner
  • Narrative that includes:
    • description of the major, minor, concentration, degree program, or graduate field that is the focus of the planning;
    • configuration of team and roles of team members;
    • description of the community partnership, including the rationale for proposed type of community partner, the role the partner will play in developing the plan, and potential benefit to that community;
    • proposed structural model and learning outcomes;
    • project timeline.
  • Description of the team members’ or community partner’s involvement in any other funding received from Engaged Cornell and how it relates to the community-engaged learning activities proposed
  • Budget following budget guidelines
  • Budget justification aligned directly with budget categories

Development Grants

Projects not previously funded with a Planning or Development grant must receive LOI feedback before submitting the full proposal. For all projects, the full proposal should be submitted online and should contain the following information, within the space limits described on the form. (Download a PDF preview of the form, which includes character limits.)

  • LOI number and project title which can be found in the LOI feedback
  • Names of department(s) or graduate field(s) and college(s) offering course
  • Names of team members and their department(s) and college(s) (Reminder: Eligible teams must be comprised of three or more Cornell members with no fewer than 50 percent actively tenured or tenure-track faculty.)
  • Endorsements from the department chair or unit director and dean, including the relationship of this grant to other curricular work in the department or college
  • Identity of community partner(s)
  • Letter of collaboration from the community partner(s); could include length of time known, previous collaborative activities and their impact, potential benefits from developing the partnership further, and a description of partnership roles, responsibilities, and resources in support of the proposed community-engagement activities
  • Abstract: executive summary of the proposal that conveys its rationale, key features, goals, and intended benefits to students, relationship to faculty research/scholarship, and benefit to the community partner
  • Details about students:
    • major, minor, concentration, degree program, or graduate field that is the focus of the grant;
    • estimated number and type of students targeted by the proposal.
  • Narrative that includes:
    • description of team and roles of the team members;
    • description of faculty research or scholarship that complements the proposed community-engaged learning activities;
    • description of the community partnership, including the rationale for proposed community partner, the role the partner will play in designing and delivering the curriculum and student activities, and potential benefit to that community;
    • course information, including title, proposed launch date, position of the course in the academic calendar, rationale for this placement, length of course, list of prerequisites to the proposed course(s), brief course description;
    • 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;
    • intended student learning outcomes (what participants will leave the course knowing or being able to do) and proposed levels of achievement; plan for developing assessment tools for the proposed course; consideration of impacts on students, faculty participants, and community partners’ issues or their constituents (i.e., how you will measure what participants have learned or accomplished);
    • plans for evaluating and reporting research results, if research by students and/or faculty is incorporated into the structural model; 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;
    • list of any comparable or related course offered on campus and opportunities to partner with other departments;
    • description of enabling technologies that are under consideration for teaching this course (e.g., Web conferencing, online learning, electronic presentations, video, etc.);
    • project timeline.
  • Description of the plan for securing the necessary approval from college or department curriculum committee(s) for implementation of the course proposed
  • Description of the strategy to support the curriculum beyond the period of the grant; resources needed, and plan for securing and sustaining those resources
  • Disclosure of team members’ involvement in any department funding received from Engaged Cornell that complements the community-engaged learning activities proposed
  • Budget, following budget guidelines
  • Budget justification that is aligned directly with budget categories

Advancement Grants

Projects not previously funded with a Planning or Development grant must receive LOI feedback before submitting the full proposal. For all projects, the full proposal should be submitted online and should contain the following information, within the space limits described on the form. (Download a PDF preview of the form, which includes character limits.)

  • LOI number and project title which can be found in the LOI feedback
  • Names of department(s) or graduate field(s) and college(s) offering course
  • Names of team members and their department(s) and college(s) (Reminder: Teams must be comprised of three or more Cornell members with no fewer than 50 percent actively tenured or tenure-track faculty.)
  • Endorsements from the department chair or unit director and dean, including the relationship of this grant to other curricular work in the department or college
  • Identity of community partner(s)
  • Letter of collaboration from the community partner(s); could include length of time known, previous collaborative activities and their impact, potential benefits from developing the partnership further, and a description of partnership roles, responsibilities, and resources in support of the proposed community-engagement activities
  • Abstract: executive summary of the proposal that conveys its rationale, key features, goals, and intended benefits to students, relationship to faculty research/scholarship, and benefit to the community partner
  •  Details about students:
    • major, minor, concentration, degree program, or graduate field that is the focus of the grant;
    • estimated number and type of students targeted by the proposal.
  • Narrative that includes:
    • description of team and roles of the team members;
    • description of faculty research or scholarship that complements the proposed community-engaged learning activities;
    • description of the community partnership, including the rationale for proposed community partner, the role the partner will play in designing and delivering the curriculum and student activities, and potential benefit to that community;
    • course information, including title, proposed launch date, position of the course in the academic calendar, rationale for this placement, length of course, list of prerequisites to the proposed course(s), brief course description;
    • intended student learning outcomes (what participants will leave the course knowing or being able to do) and proposed levels of achievement; plan for developing assessment tools for the proposed course; consideration of impacts on students, faculty participants, and community partners’ issues or their constituents (i.e., how you will measure what participants have learned or accomplished);
    • proposed advancement of the existing engagement; clearly state how you will improve your community-engaged curriculum, and how you will achieve those aims in a one-year project period.
  • Description of the plan for securing the necessary approval from college or department curriculum committee(s) for implementation of the course proposed
  • Description of the strategy to support the curriculum beyond the period of the grant; resources needed, and plan for securing and sustaining those resources
  • Disclosure of team members’ involvement in any department funding received from Engaged Cornell that complements the community-engaged learning activities proposed
  • Budget, on form supplied, following budget guidelines
  • Budget justification that is aligned directly with budget categories

Checklist

  • Progress Report (continuing grants)
  • Proposal
  • Signatures/Endorsements
  • Letter(s) from community partners
  • Budget and Budget Justification

On this page

[Download a PDF of this announcement.]