About the fund
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 specified objectives.
- Maximum $5,000. Funding is limited and awarded on a competitive basis.
- Projects can last up to one-and-a-half (1.5) years.
- Applications open in NuRamp on November 15 and close at 5 p.m. on February 1.
Awardees will provide a brief written report at the conclusion of the funding cycle, detailing the project and results. Funds will be dispersed within one-and-a-half (1.5) years once project objectives have been met and a report on the project has been submitted.
Email the report to:
- Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education June Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sr. Budget/Financial Analyst Alycia Harden (email@example.com)
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:
- Develop an ambitious plan for CAS UP! (The Challenge for Achieving Success in Undergraduate Programs) that will assist your program in keeping students enrolled as majors or graduating more students in 4 years.
- Address barriers to student achievement in courses with high D, F, and W rates through specific instructional or curricular enhancements.
- Reduce achievement gaps in courses in your department/program.
- Improve the 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.
- Develop a new Experiential Learning Course consisting of opportunities to apply learning in an outside-the-classroom context or to design and implement original research. Typically, these will be 300- and 400-level courses because students should enter these disciplinary courses with at least a foundation in the discipline.
Proposals should request a maximum of $5,000 based on projected costs, complexity of project undertaken, and scope of impact.
Projects can run until the end of the following fiscal year (e.g., June 30, 2024 for awards made in February 2023).
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.
Awardees should work with their department business manager to set up a cost object to fund expenses. Expenses must comply with university policies for state-aided funds. Funds will be dispersed once project objectives have been met and a report on the project has been submitted to and accepted by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the College of Arts and Sciences. Late reports will result in no funds being dispersed. Faculty and staff whose work would constitute an overload must complete the CAS Overload Form (available on the Overload Policy page) in compliance with CAS policies prior to funding being dispersed.
Projects that go over time will not be given the balance of funding.
The CAS Instructional Improvement Fund application should be completed in NuRamp 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 NuRamp on November 15 and close at 5 p.m. on February 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 opportunity being addressed;
- Steps that will be taken to address the problem or opportunity 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, Center for Academic Success and Transition, Innovative Instructional Design, the College of Arts and Sciences Academic and Career Advising Center, Center for Transformative Teaching);
- Articulation of the scope and impact of the outcomes (be sure to include evidence of impact, e.g. number of students who will be affected);
- 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, resources for materials to support student learning in a class or resource center.
- 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 funding cycle, detailing the project and results. Remaining funds will not be dispersed until the report is submitted and objectives have been met.
- Go to NuRamp
- Select "Internal Competitions" from the upper left menu
- Select "Applications"
- Select "Add a New Application"
- Search for "Instructional Improvement Fund"