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

  • After a one-year waiting period, teams that have completed one or two years of a Development grant can apply for an Advancement grant
  • Fewer restrictions on the use of Advancement grant funding
  • Applications no longer require a dean’s signature

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:

Standalone 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 not part of a course or curriculum

But take a look at the Engaged Undergraduate Research Grants.

Graduate Student Research

For that, see Engaged Graduate Student Grants.

Ongoing or course-based activities that aren’t sustainable beyond the period of the grant

Grant Categories and Funding

There are three categories of Engaged Curriculum Grants — Planning, Development and Advancement — that support curriculum development projects at various stages. It is typical, though not required, for projects to 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 allowable funding for a curriculum project, from all Engaged Curriculum Grants, is $150,000.

At the end of the approved grant period, grantholders will return remaining funds to the Office of Engagement Initiatives.

Planning Grants

Purpose:

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

Funding available: Up to $10,000

Duration: one year, non-renewable

Before applying: Teams with new Engaged Curriculum Grant proposals must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).

Development Grants

Purpose:

  • create new or develop existing community-engaged courses that serve a curriculum in collaboration with established partners;
  • or develop and implement a community-engaged curricular concept (which may or may not have been created with a Planning grant).

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

Duration: one year, renewable for one additional year

Before applying: Teams with new Engaged Curriculum Grant proposals must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).

Advancement Grants

Purpose:

  • strengthen sustainability or otherwise improve  existing community-engaged courses or curricula.
    Some examples of possible goals for Advancement proposals are to:

    • identify, integrate and advance the public purposes of the discipline;
    • map existing curriculum to strengthen engagement pathways within the major, minor or graduate field;
    • develop and implement strategies to significantly increase the number of students involved in community-engagement opportunities;
    • supplement existing courses with other curricular and co-curricular offerings to create coherent developmental sequences;
    • enhance or introduce interdisciplinary collaboration with a curricular unit;
    • implement and assess one or more Engaged Cornell student learning outcomes or learning outcomes appropriate to the discipline;
    • develop and use rigorous tools for assessing student learning outcomes and/or community-based outcomes/impacts;
    • create research and publication within and about the curriculum.

Funding available: Up to $60,000

Duration: one year, non-renewable

Before applying: Teams with new Engaged Curriculum Grant proposals must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI).

Planning Development Advancement
It’s for…
exploring new partnerships and/or new curricula creating new or developing existing curricula improving, assessing or publishing research about existing curricula
Letter of Intent (LOI) needed
Yes, for new proposals Yes, for new proposals Yes, for new proposals
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 and, as appropriate, community partner(s) and/or representative(s).

  • Faculty member leading a collaborative project must be a member of the department responsible for the curriculum.
  • Membership of the Cornell team must be comprised of at least two actively tenured/tenure-track faculty. Participation by junior faculty members is welcomed and 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 one year after the completion of the Development grant.

Total allowable funding for a curriculum project, from all Engaged Curriculum Grants, is $150,000.

Expectations, Deliverables and Benefits

  • During the course of the funded year, all grant recipients are required to attend a one-day Engaged Learning Summer Institute and one of the following professional development programs over the course of the year:
    • A two-hour workshop to support the work of the team and report progress (opportunities provided in both fall and spring semester)
    • Or, a customized consultation with the Office of Engagement Initiatives to address specific needs of the project (opportunities provided in both fall and spring semester)

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 need throughout the year.

Additionally, staff in the Office of Engagement Initiatives will be available for ad-hoc consultation to address specific project needs.

  • Grantees will provide documentation and evaluation of the partnership, including community partner voice and feedback. Grantees may use a Partnership Assessment Tool of their own devising or one of those provided by the Office of Engagement Initiatives.
  • Grantees will report on progress and provide financial reports.

Applying

Application Process and Timeline

Call for Proposals
Sept. 1, 2018
New Applications
LOI Submission Deadline Jan. 17, 2019
LOI Feedback Sent Early February 2019
All Applications Proposal Deadline April 9, 2019
Notification of Awards May 2019
Earliest Start Date for Awards June 16, 2019

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 of grant (planning, development, advancement) 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);
    • student learning outcomes and initial assessment strategies;
    • narrative describing rationale, curricular goals, key features and intended benefits to students and community partner(s);
    • and include:
      • signatures of department chairs or director(s)*;
      • letter(s) of endorsement from the community partner(s), if known.

*While a dean’s signature is no longer required for this grant, applicants are strongly encouraged to notify their dean of their intent to apply.

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, 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. Succinct summary, to be shared publicly, describing the project context, public purpose and what the project team will be doing
      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 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, learning outcomes and assessment plan;
        • project timeline.
      10. 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
      11. Budget, following budget guidelines
      12. Budget justification that aligns directly with budget categories

*While a dean’s signature is no longer required for this grant, applicants are strongly encouraged to notify their dean of their intent to apply.

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, 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. Succinct summary, to be shared publicly, describing the project context, public purpose and what the project team will be doing
      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. 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.
      10. Narrative that includes:
        • description of team and roles of the team members;
        • 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.
      11. 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
      12. Description of the plan for securing the necessary approval from college or department curriculum committee(s) for implementation of the course proposed
      13. Description of the strategy to support the curriculum beyond the period of the grant; resources needed and plan for securing and sustaining those resources
      14. Disclosure of team members’ involvement in any department funding received from the Office of Engagement Initiatives that complements the community-engaged learning activities proposed
      15. Budget, following budget guidelines
      16. Budget justification that aligns directly with budget categories

*While a dean’s signature is no longer required for this grant, applicants are strongly encouraged to notify their dean of their intent to apply.

Renewal applicants for teams seeking a second year of Development grant funding

Use the renewal application. 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 one year after 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, 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. Succinct summary, to be shared publicly, describing the project context, public purpose and what the project team will be doing.
      9. 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
      10. Course information, including title, brief description, proposed launch date, position of the course in the academic calendar, rationale for this placement, length of course and list of prerequisites to the course(s)
      11. Narrative that includes:
        • description of team and roles of the team members;
        • 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;
        • 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);
      12. Description of the strategy to improve your curriculum and support the curricular advancement beyond the period of the grant; resources needed and plan for securing and sustaining those resources
      13. Description of the plan for securing the necessary approval from college or department curriculum committee(s) for implementation of the course proposed
      14. Disclosure of team members’ involvement in any department funding received from the Office of Engagement Initiatives that complements the activities proposed
      15. Budget, following budget guidelines
      16. Budget justification that aligns directly with budget categories

* While a dean’s signature is no longer required for this grant, applicants are strongly encouraged to notify their dean of their intent to apply.

Budgeting

We encourage applicants to work with their department’s business administrator or budget director in the development of their proposal budget.

Unallowable Expenses*
      • overhead or indirect costs (IDC)
      • equipment over $5,000 (refer to Appendix B in the University’s Capital Assets policy) unless properly justified as being critical to the sustainability of the curriculum
      • salary for T/TT faculty team members
      • post-graduate wages or travel costs for students
      • external consultant fees
      • capital projects

* Projects proposing student travel to a country determined to be an “elevated risk destination” by the International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART), must obtain ITART pre-travel approval per Policy 8.5. Contact intlsafety@cornell.edu.

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 up to $5,000 to support their research or other university activities, as long as these are directly relevant to the course under development. These funds will be transferred to faculty’s associated research account.
        • Total support for all team faculty 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.
        • Delivering 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.). This request will only be considered once.
        • 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.
        • 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.

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. Collaboration across colleges/schools is encouraged, as are proposals that advance introductory (1000/2000-level) curricula. Proposals that support coursework in community-engaged research methods for undergraduates are especially welcomed.

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 impact of community-engaged teaching and learning on the faculty team’s research and scholarship
      7. Number of students and proportion of eligible students expected to participate in the community engagement
      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


During the course of the funded year, all grant recipients are required to attend a one-day Engaged Learning Summer Institute and one of the following additional professional development programs over the course of the year:

    • A two-hour workshop to support the work of the team and report progress (opportunities provided in both fall and spring semesters)
    • Or, a customized consultation with the Office of Engagement Initiatives to address specific needs of the project (opportunities provided in both fall and spring semesters)