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  Cornell University

Request for Proposals (RFP) 2017

Application deadline is March 29, 2017. (New applicants were required to submit a letter of intent (LOI) by January 17.)

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Engaged Curriculum Grants were explained at a recent information session. Watch below or on CornellCast.

PURPOSE

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

Engaged Curriculum Grants are intended to support:

  • modification of existing courses or curricula to add or deepen community-engaged learning and teaching in any field of study;
  • development of courses and curricula designed to achieve mutual benefits for both students (undergraduate, graduate, and professional) and community partners;
  • teams of Cornell faculty and their community partners;
  • processes of curricular planning, development, or advancement for community-engaged courses and curricula;
  • 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;
  • proposals to develop co- or extra-curricular activities;
  • undergraduate research except as part of a course or curriculum;
  • graduate student research;
  • ongoing or course-based activities that will be unsustainable beyond the period of the grant.

Learn more about Engaged Curriculum Grants at an information session; details about date, time, and location 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 community partners involved with the proposal. Community partners may be community-based individuals and/or organizations, or Cornell-based organizations that facilitate 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 one year of Development Grant funding are eligible to apply for a second year of Development Grant funding.

Teams that have completed one or two years of Development Grant funding will only be eligible to apply for an Advancement Grant two years following the completion of the most recent Development Grant.


FUNDING AND TYPES OF GRANTS

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

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:

  • explore a new community partnership that would serve as the basis for a course;
  • or explore a new community-engaged course concept that would develop from an existing partnership.

Funding available: Up to $10,000

Development Grants

Duration: one year, renewable for additional one year

Purpose:

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

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

Advancement Grants

Duration: one year, non-renewable

Purpose:

  • improve existing community-engaged courses and/or 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 the Office of Engagement Initiatives at any time and should use this contact form. Learn more about Engaged Curriculum Grants at information sessions.


PROPOSAL GUIDELINES

Overview

Engaged Curriculum Grants enable departments, programs, and collaborative cross-disciplinary groups to enrich diverse Cornell curricula with community-engaged teaching, learning, and research.

Proposals are invited from any field of study for the purpose of strengthening existing or designing new courses and/or curricula that connect the methods and inquiries of the discipline with a relevant community partner, context, or challenge. There is no restriction on the geographic location of the partnership.

Community-engaged teaching, learning, and research 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.

By collaborating with a partner or community toward goals of mutual interest, successful proposals will articulate ways that Cornell courses and curricula will be transformed by community-engaged teaching, learning and knowledge-creation. Applications will include narratives describing key activities, learning outcomes and assessment plans, the mutual benefits of the partnership, and the sustainability of the course(s) beyond the grant period.

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

Successful proposals will describe curricula that support learning outcomes both specific to the major or discipline, and to community engagement:

  • 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 through an Engaged Curriculum Grant) must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) by January 17, 2017. Leadership and staff in the Office of Engagement Initiatives 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.

The LOI should include:

  • project title;
  • type of grant being sought;
  • student population;
  • curriculum involved (e.g., which major, minor, graduate field, or professional program);
  • faculty/staff team composition;
  • community partner(s);
  • narrative describing rationale, key features, goals, and intended benefits to students and community partner(s);
  • and include:
    • signatures of department chair(s) 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 expert staff from the Office of Engagement Initiatives. 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 consultation with the Office of Engagement Initiatives, 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.

Renewals – only for Development Grant recipients with one year of funding

Currently funded Development Grant recipients interested in applying for a second year of Development Grant funding must apply using the renewal application found on
this form.

Note: Teams that have completed one or two years of Development Grant funding will only be eligible to apply for an Advancement Grant two years following the completion of the most recent Development Grant.


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EXPECTATIONS AND DELIVERABLES

During the course of the funded year, all grant recipients will be required to attend a day-long Community-Engaged Learning Summer Institute and one of the following additional professional development programs offered by the Office of Engagement Initiatives:

  1. a three-hour workshop to support the work of the team and report progress (fall and spring semesters)
  2. a consultation with the Office of Engagement Initiatives 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, staff in the Office of Engagement Initiatives 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 at Cornell, 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 the Office of Engagement Initiatives.

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, or 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 the Office of Engagement Initiatives 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 to 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 the Office of Engagement Initiatives 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

Office of Engagement Initiatives leadership and staff will review LOIs. New grant and renewal proposals will be reviewed by a committee that includes members of the Public Engagement Council. Awards will be made by the leadership of the Office of Engagement Initiatives.

Proposals — including applications for Development Grant renewal — 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 effect (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 FOR 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.

  1. LOI number and project title
  2. Names of department(s) or graduate field(s) and college(s) offering course
  3. Names of team members and their department(s) and college(s)
  4. 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
  5. Identity of community partner(s) (if known)
  6. 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
  7. Abstract: executive summary of the proposal that conveys its rationale, key features, goals, intended benefits to students, relationship to faculty research/scholarship, and benefit to the community partner
  8. 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.
      1. Description of the team members’ or community partner’s involvement in any other funding received from the Office of Engagement Initiatives and how it relates to the community-engaged learning activities proposed
      2. Budget, following budget guidelines
      3. Budget justification aligned directly with budget categories

INSTRUCTIONS FOR 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 proposal should be submitted online.

New applicants, including Planning Grant teams seeking to move to a Development Grant, will include the following, within the space limits described on the form:

      1. LOI number and project title
      2. Names of department(s) or graduate field(s) and college(s) offering course
      3. Names of team members and their department(s) and college(s)
      4. 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
      5. Identity of community partner(s)
      6. 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
      7. Abstract: executive summary of the proposal that conveys its rationale, key features, goals, intended benefits to students, relationship to faculty research/scholarship, and benefit to the community partner
      8. 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.
      1. 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);
      • Planning Grant teams seeking to move to a Development Grant should describe how the proposed project relates to previously supported planning activities;
      • 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 courses 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.
      1. Description of the plan for securing the necessary approval from college or department curriculum committee(s) for implementation of the course proposed
      2. Description of the strategy to support the curriculum beyond the period of the grant, including resources needed and plan for securing and sustaining those resources
      3. Disclosure of team members’ involvement in any department funding received from the Office of Engagement Initiatives that complements the community-engaged learning activities proposed
      4. Budget, following budget guidelines
      5. Budget justification that is aligned directly with budget categories

Renewal applicants for teams seeking a second year of Development Grant funding will use the renewal application (available here), within the space limits described on the form inclusive of budget and budget justification aligned directly with the budget categories listed.

Note: Development Grants are capped at two years of funding, so previously renewed Development Grants are not eligible for renewal. Teams that have completed a second year of Development Grant funding will be eligible to apply for an Advancement Grant two years following the completion of the second Development Grant


INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADVANCEMENT GRANTS

Projects must receive LOI feedback before submitting the full proposal. The full proposal should be submitted online and should contain the following information, within the space limits described on the form.

      1. LOI number and/or project title
      2. Names of department(s) or graduate field(s) and college(s) offering course
      3. Names of team members and their department(s) and college(s)
      4. 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
      5. Identity of community partner(s)
      6. 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
      7. Details about students:
        • major, minor, concentration, degree program, or graduate field;
        • estimated number and type of students targeted by the proposal.
        1. Abstract: executive summary of the proposal that conveys its rationale, key features, goals, intended benefits to students, relationship to faculty research/scholarship, and benefit to the community partner
        2. 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.
          1. Description of the plan for securing the necessary approval from college or department curriculum committee(s) for implementation of the course proposed
          2. Description of the strategy to support the curriculum beyond the period of the grant, the resources needed, and plan for securing and sustaining those resources
          3. Disclosure of team members’ involvement in any department funding received from the Office of Engagement Initiatives that complements the activities proposed
          4. Budget, on form supplied, following budget guidelines
          5. Budget justification that is aligned directly with budget categories

GRANT-TYPE DECISION TREE

New Projects

Currently Funded Projects


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