- Award Size
- Award Term
- Program Funding
- Application Process
- Proposal Guidelines
- Selection Criteria and
The purpose of the CAS Instructional Improvement Fund is to give departments and units in the college incentives for planning and implementing significant undergraduate instructional improvement projects addressing one of the following needs:
- Propose or enhance innovative (e.g. interdisciplinary) instructional practices, sequences, or designs that promote efficiency and excellence in line with college and university strategic goals (e.g. recruitment, retention, time to degree);
- Meet curricular demands created by anticipated undergraduate enrollment increases;
- Develop a new curricular sequence or pedagogical approach to improve instructional efficiency and reduce reliance on temporary instruction funds while continuing to ensure a high quality learning experience for undergraduates;
- Address barriers to student achievement in courses with high D, F, and W rates through specific instructional or curricular enhancements;
- Improve preparation of graduate students to teach and support undergraduate classes;
- Address barriers to students’ academic achievement by improving services offered through an established academic resource/support center.
Proposals should request a maximum of $10,000 based on projected costs, complexity of project undertaken, and scope of impact.
Projects can last up to two years.
Funding is limited and awarded on a competitive basis. The number of awards given will depend on the size of awards and the quality of the proposals.
Half of the funds will be dispersed after notification of the award; the final half will be dispersed within two years of the start date once project objectives have been met and a report on the project has been submitted to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences. The College will be transferring Distance Funds for each of these awards; as such, all expenses associated with these awards must comply with UNL policies for spending state-aided funds. Projects that go over time will not be given the balance of funding.
The CAS Instructional Improvement Fund application should be completed in NUgrant by individual applicants (tenure-line or PoP) or teams (may include graduate students, post-docs, lecturers, and staff, as well as faculty). Proposals must be endorsed and approved by the appropriate chair/director(s), and routed to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Applications open in NUgrant on October 1 and close at 5pm on November 1. Departments and programs may submit multiple proposals; Chairs and Directors will be asked to rank proposals submitted by their units after all proposals have been submitted.
A committee composed of a subset of members of the College of Arts and Sciences Curriculum and Executive committees will review applications and make recommendations to the Dean.
Proposals are limited to three pages (single-spaced, not including the budget).
Proposals should include the following:
- a title for the project, the name of the program or unit forwarding the proposal, the names, departments, and contact information of the team leader and all team members as well as a list of other participating units (if applicable);
- An overview of the problem or need being addressed;
- Steps that will be taken to address the problem or need and who will be responsible for implementing those steps;
- Outcomes for the project and relationship to one of the goals articulated for this funding;
- Plan for assessing the success of this curricular/instructional project;
- A brief letter of endorsement from any external units whose participation is necessary to the success of the proposal (e.g. OASIS, First-Year Experience and Transitions Program, Innovative Instructional Design, the College of Arts and Sciences Academic and Career Advising Center);
- Articulation of the scope and impact of the outcomes (this will be used to determine the award amount);
- Reference to any institutional or national studies that help document the merit of the proposed project (as appropriate);
- A short budget narrative that explains how the money will be used.
- Examples of allowable expenses include funds to support a GRA or lecturer to gather and analyze course data and/or develop curricular materials, a course release for a faculty member undertaking a significant role in developing a course that meets an important department or program objective.
- Some projects may not incur direct expenses tied to them but might demand the involvement of multiple faculty members; for these projects the funds can serve as an incentive to departments/programs to undertake significant curricular development/redesign and can be used to meet other department needs. In such cases, it is sufficient to clarify how the money will be used as an incentive by the department or program to address the problem or need.
Proposals will be judged on the potential impact of the project in terms of the goals articulated for the funds. Proposals with a broad impact will be favored over those that address a small group of students. The program will not typically fund proposals for single-semester projects. Please note: awardees will provide a brief written report at the conclusion of the grant, detailing the project and results. Remaining funds will not be dispersed until the report is submitted and objectives have been met.