Faculty Funding

Engaged Curriculum Grants

Create, develop or improve curricula that connect community engagement with disciplinary learning

What’s new in this year’s RFP

  • Reduced requirements for grantees
  • Simplified application process for new and renewed proposals

Purpose

For community engagement to be central to Cornell, it has to be a core part of the curriculum (e.g., a major, minor, master’s degree program or graduate field). Engaged Curriculum Grants create, expand and strengthen research and teaching fields by funding teams that are integrating community engagement into curriculum exploration, development and improvement.

Engaged Curriculum Grants are intended to support:

Modification of existing courses and curricula to add or deepen community-engaged learning and teaching in any field of study

Development of new 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

Courses and curricula that are sustainable beyond the period of the grant

Engaged Curriculum Grants are not intended to support:

Stand-alone course development or research conducted by a single faculty member

For that, see Engaged Opportunity Grants.

Proposals to develop co- or extra-curricular activities

If that’s what you’re looking for, see Engaged Opportunity Grants.

Undergraduate research except as part of a course or curriculum

But take a look at the Undergraduate Engaged Research Grants.

Graduate Student Research

For that, see Engaged Graduate Student Grants.

Ongoing or course-based activities that will be unsustainable beyond the period of the grant

Grant Categories and Funding

There are three categories of Engaged Curriculum Grants — Planning, Development and Advancement — with each supporting curriculum development projects at various stages. It is typical, though not required, that over a few years, projects progress from Planning to Development or from Development to Advancement as the curriculum becomes sustainably integrated into the college’s offerings. As such, funding levels, project design and deliverables are sized to meet each category.

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

Planning Grants

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

Duration: one year, non-renewable

Development Grants

Purpose:

  • create new or develop existing community-engaged courses in a curriculum from an existing partnership;
  • or develop and implement a community-engaged curricular concept created with a Planning grant.

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

Duration: one year, renewable for additional one year

Advancement Grants

Purpose:

  • improve existing community-engaged courses within a curriculum.
    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 increase the number of students involved in a course(s);
    • 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 student learning or community-based outcomes and/or impacts;
    • create research and publication within and about the curriculum.

Funding available: Up to $60,000

Duration: one year, non-renewable

Planning Development Advancement
It’s for…
Exploring new partnerships and/or new curricula Creating new or developing existing curricula Improving existing curricula
Funding maximum
$10,000 $80,000 (1st year); $60,000 (2nd year) $60,000
Duration 1 year 1 year 1 year
Renewable No Yes, for a second year No
No-cost extension 1 year with justification 1 year with justification 1 year with justification

Eligibility

Teams of three or more Cornell faculty members together with a representative or representatives of community partners.

  • Faculty member leading a collaborative project must be a member of the department responsible for the curriculum.
  • 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.

Proposals are invited from any field of study.

Faculty and staff from non-academic units of Cornell (e.g., centers, institutes, programs, extension divisions, museums, laboratories) may participate on a team led by faculty from an academic unit responsible for the curriculum.

Partners may be community-based non-profits, government entities, corporations, unions, health facilities or Cornell-based organizations that facilitate external partnership. There is no restriction on the geographic location of the partnership. Applicants are encouraged to consult the Office of Engagement Initiatives about eligibility of partners they are considering.

Teams That Have Already Been Funded

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 be eligible to apply for Advancement grant funding at least two years after the completion of the Development grant.

Total allowable funding for a curriculum project, from all grants, is $150,000.

Expectations and Deliverables

  1. During the course of the funded year, all grant recipients will be required to attend a one-day Engaged Learning Summer Institute and one of the following additional professional development programs:
    • One, two-hour workshop to support the work of the team and report progress (opportunities provided in both fall and spring semester)
    • Alternatively, a workshop may be substituted with a consultation with the Office of Engagement Initiatives to address specific needs of the project (opportunities provided in both fall and spring semester)
  2. All Cornell team members must participate in the above institutes, workshops and consultations.

    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 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.

    1. 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.
    2. Grantees will provide documentation and evaluation of the partnership, using a Partnership Assessment Tool to be provided by the Office of Engagement Initiatives.
    3. Grantees will report on progress and provide financial reports.

    Applying

    General Information

    Letter of Intent (LOI) – for new proposals only

    New project teams (not previously funded through an Engaged Curriculum Grant) must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). Leadership and staff in the Office of Engagement Initiatives will review and provide feedback on LOIs.

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

    The LOI should be submitted online and include:

    • project title;
    • category (planning, development, advancement) of grant being sought;
    • student population being served;
    • curriculum involved (e.g., which major, minor, graduate field or degree program);
    • faculty/staff team membership;
    • 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 proposal, teams that have submitted LOIs are required to attend a 60-minute consultation with staff from the Office of Engagement Initiatives. All new Cornell team members must participate. Team members that have met this requirement in a previous application process are encouraged to participate, but may opt out. More information about consultations will be sent together with the LOI feedback.

    Applying for a Planning Grant

    After receiving LOI feedback, the full proposal is 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 a description of 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 curricular structure and learning outcomes;
      • project timeline.
    9. 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
    10. Budget, following budget guidelines
    11. Budget justification aligned directly with budget categories

    Applying for a Development Grant

    New applicants

    The full proposal is 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 a description of 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, degree program or graduate field that is the focus of the grant;
      • estimated number and type of students targeted by the proposal.
    9. 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, format, 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.
    10. Description of the plan for securing the necessary approval from college or department curriculum committee(s) for implementation of the course proposed
    11. Description of the strategy to support the curriculum beyond the period of the grant; resources needed and plan for securing and sustaining those resources
    12. Disclosure of team members’ involvement in any department funding received from the Office of Engagement Initiatives that complements the community-engaged learning activities proposed
    13. Budget, following budget guidelines
    14. Budget justification that is aligned directly with budget categories
    Renewal applicants for teams seeking a second year of Development grant funding or Planning grant teams seeking to move to a Development grant

    Use the renewal application (available here). You’ll be asked to include details on your progress to date and submit a new budget request.

    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, provided they have not met the cap for total project funding of $150,000.

    Applying for an Advancement Grant

    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 project title
    2. Names of department(s), program(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, program 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, degree program or graduate field;
      • estimated number and type of students targeted by the proposal.
    8. 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
    9. 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 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, position of the course in the academic calendar, rationale for this placement, length of course, list of prerequisites to the 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 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.
    10. Description of the plan for securing the necessary approval from college or department curriculum committee(s) for implementation of the course proposed
    11. Description of the strategy to support the curricular advancement beyond the period of the grant; resources needed and plan for securing and sustaining those resources
    12. Disclosure of team members’ involvement in any department funding received from the Office of Engagement Initiatives that complements the activities proposed
    13. Budget, following budget guidelines
    14. Budget justification that is aligned directly with budget categories

    Application Process and Timeline

    Call for Proposals
    Sept. 23, 2017
    New Applications
    LOI Submission Deadline Jan. 17, 2018
    LOI Feedback Sent Feb. 6, 2018
    All Applications Proposal Deadline April 6, 2018
    Notification of Awards May 2018
    Earliest Start Date for Awards July 16, 2018

     

    Budgeting

    Unallowable Expenses
    • overhead or indirect costs (IDC)
    • equipment (refer to Appendix B in the University’s Capital Assets policy.)
    • salary for team members or other faculty
    • external consultant fees
    • capital projects
    • speaker or speaker series travel, fees or honoraria
    Planning Grants

    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

    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.
      • Total faculty support not to exceed $20,000 per year.
    • Department/unit/program support. At the discretion of the department/unit/program, 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/delivering the curriculum: 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 curriculum beyond a one-year pilot or initial delivery period. Teams should contact the Office of Engagement Initiatives if there are questions about this stipulation.
      • Total department/unit/program support not to exceed $40,000 per year
    • Operating budgets may include funding for student interns, graduate assistants and/or academic staff to assist with curriculum development, funding for travel to the partner or vice versa, support for the partner and establishment of support structures.
      • Operating budgets may not exceed $40,000 per year.
    Advancement Grants

    Budgets for Advancement grants will follow these guidelines:

    • Department/unit/program support. At the discretion of the department/unit/program, funding may be applied toward teaching relief, graduate teaching support, staff support or other forms of budget relief related to the grant or piloting a revised/improved curriculum.
      • Piloting the curriculum: Teams may propose a one-year pilot of the revised/improved 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.).
      • Total department/unit/program support not to exceed $40,000 per year.
    • Operating budgets may 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.
      • Total operating budgets may not exceed $40,000 per year.

    Review Process and Selection Criteria

    New and renewal awards will be made by the leadership of the Office of Engagement Initiatives following a peer review process.

    Collaboration across colleges/schools is encouraged, as are proposals that cater to introductory (1000/2000-level) curricula.

    Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

    1. Potential of the proposed course or curriculum to impact teaching culture in department/unit/program
    2. Clear collaborative role of community partner(s) and description of the planned benefits of the partnership to the community
    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, graduate, professional) student learning both specific to the field of study, and to community engagement
    4. Strategies for assessing outcomes for students, partners and community members
    5. Integration of the community engagement into the curriculum (i.e., major, minor, degree program, graduate field); for example, through course elements or preparatory and integrative course sequencing
    6. Articulation of the ways that Cornell’s faculty research will be transformed by community-engaged knowledge-creation
    7. 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.)
    8. Justification for costs of course implementation and plan for sustaining the community engagement beyond the period of the grant award

    Previous Recipients

    For Current Grantees

    Schedule for Engaged Learning Workshops for recently funded projects

    Questions about your project?

    Contact the Office of Engagement Initiatives. We’re here to help.

    Email: engagedcornell@cornell.edu

    Phone: (607) 254-4240