Initiatives and creative projects that demonstrate the college’s genuine commitment to community engagement and expanding our students’ horizons when engaging the broader community. Priorities will be given to initiatives that foster partnerships with community-based and/or nonprofit organizations that serve South Carolina communities, especially those that support underserved communities.
Interdisciplinary teaching and research
Innovative approaches to teaching and research that enable students to explore big questions by making meaningful connections across subject areas and disciplines. Priority will be given to initiatives that emphasize the benefits of collaboration and demonstrate the application of interdisciplinary research for broad audiences.
Innovative or creative projects that enhance the student experience
Initiatives and creative projects that have the potential for significant and sustained impact on student experiences within the college. Proposed projects may relate to activities in or out of the classroom. Priority will be given to initiatives that emphasize experiential learning and/or pathways from degree to career.
- All awards will be made on a competitive basis.
- Full-time faculty and staff in any CAS unit (department, school, program, center, or institute) are invited to submit proposals.
- Projects may be sponsored by a single CAS faculty or staff member, or by a group.
- Multiple proposals may be submitted by an individual or group; however, each individual or group may only receive one award per application cycle.
- Proposals must be endorsed/approved by the unit chair or director. Note that projects that cross multiple units should be endorsed by all related chairs and directors.
- Total awards will range from $10,000 to $50,000.
- Funds will be awarded for the 2024-2025 academic year, including summer 2024 and summer 2025 as appropriate. Multi-year projects of up to three years will be considered.
- Proposals for projects or equipment with a cost of more than $50,000 will only be considered if the department or program provides matching funds.
- Funds may be used for course buyouts, summer salary supplements, and student stipends if the need is clearly justified.
- Courses created through an awarded project must be approved through college and university processes as well as offered and taught at least once within 2 years from the award date.
- Recipients will be required to submit a 3-4 page report at the end of the award period summarizing the project, its accomplishments and challenges, and possible next steps in continuing to advance the project goals.
The following materials should be submitted using the online form.
- Project Proposal: A project proposal of no more than four pages. The proposal should be in PDF format and include:
- A brief description of the proposed project and its goals;
- A list of individuals who will contribute and their roles;
- A timeline of activities and deliverables; and
- A rationale describing how the project will fulfill the fund priorities.
- Project Budget: An itemized budget using the McCausland Innovation Fund Budget Template is required. Budgets should include fringe when personnel are involved, with justification detailing how the funds will be spent. Budgets including proposed course buyouts must comply with the CAS Course Buyout Policy [pdf]. Budgets should also list resources sought or acquired from other sources. Approved technology purchases and other supplies are the property of the College of Arts and Sciences. Applicants should contact their unit CAS Budget contact with any questions about budget development or allowable expenses. Please see the following examples of a completed Budget Justification and Sample Budget for guidance.
- Project Lead and Faculty Partner CVs: A two-page curriculum vitae or resume in PDF format for each project lead and faculty partner.
The Associate Deans comprise the selection committee, chaired by the Dean. Competitive proposals will have high impact and demonstrate innovation, sustainability beyond the project funding period, and the potential for scaling.
- Development of inventive classroom-centered, experiential learning opportunities that involve partnerships with nonprofit or community-based organizations.
- Development of unique internship opportunities with nonprofit or community-based organizations that involve hands-on faculty and community partner mentoring of students.
- Development of interdisciplinary student research projects that combine classroom instruction with applied or field research experiences that partner with organizations led by and/or targeting underserved communities.
- Development of creative approaches for increasing support to bridge undergraduates from degree to career.
- Development of a department-based infrastructure for internships that can articulate across the college.
- Development of a new interdisciplinary degree that prepares students for burgeoning career paths and areas of post-graduate study.
- Building or redesigning a new course around a team-teaching model that combines the expertise and objectives of two or more faculty to investigate a big question or set of problems.
- Development of new or experimental in-person courses. Note that projects focused on the development of new or existing courses or programs for online delivery should apply to the McCausland Online Learning and Course Development Program.
- Creative redesign of a high-impact existing course to incorporate cutting-edge pedagogical approaches or innovative course content.
- Programming and funding to improve student participation in course-related activities such as field or research trips or course-related travel opportunities such as study abroad.
A complete list of previously funded proposals can be found here.