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Innovation Fund Tracks I-III

The McCausland Innovation Fund is designed to inspire and support bold, creative, and groundbreaking advances in the College of Arts and Sciences’ teaching and research to meet the emerging needs of our students and make the university a model of interdisciplinary, interactive learning.

2021-2022 Proposal Tracks I, II & III

Download the 2021-2022 McCausland Innovation Fund Program Guidelines [PDF] (printer-friendly version). 

(*Information about McCausland Innovation Fund Track IV can be found here.) 

Application Deadline  January 31, 2022

Proposals are invited that foster partnerships with community-based and/or nonprofit organizations that serve South Carolina communities, especially those that support underserved communities. We seek initiatives that involve students in projects that not only demonstrate the college’s genuine commitment to community engagement but expand our students’ horizons of what is possible when we both learn from and learn with the broader community. 

Examples of possible projects:
  • 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.

Proposals are invited for innovative teaching and classroom projects that combine the research methods, critical frameworks and intellectual traditions of multiple disciplines in pursuit of new knowledge. 

Proposed projects should make meaningful connections across subject areas that demonstrate to students how different scholarly perspectives and techniques can be used to explore big questions. Priority will be given to initiatives that emphasize the benefits of collaboration and demonstrate the applications of interdisciplinary research for wider audiences. 

Examples of possible projects: 
  • 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 single issue or set of problems.
  • Workshops and symposia that allow students to apply what they are learning to new contexts in creative and unexpected ways. 

Proposals are invited for projects or activities that fall outside the scope of the other program tracks but have the potential to impact the student experience within the college in new and creative ways. The proposed projects may relate to activities in or out of the classroom. 

Examples of possible projects: 
  • Development of new or experimental in-person courses (rather than online or hybrid).
  • Creative redesign of a high-impact existing course to incorporate cutting-edge pedagogical approaches or innovative course content.
  • Purchase of experimental or unusual instructional equipment, a piece of software or other curricular resource to support a current college course, not supported by lab fees.
  • Funding to improve student participation in course-related activities such as field or research trips or course-related travel opportunities such as study abroad.

Information for Applicants

  • Project proposals may respond to a single track or multiple tracks under Tracks I, II or III.  Track IV proposals will follow a different deadline and review schedule.
  • All awards will be made on a competitive basis.
  • Full-time faculty and staff in any College of Arts and Sciences unit (department, school, program, center, or institute) are invited to submit proposals.
    • Projects may be sponsored by an individual faculty or staff member, or by a group.
    • Multiple proposals may be submitted by an individual or group if they are for different tracks; however, each individual or group may only receive one award per application cycle.
    • Proposals must be endorsed/approved by the unit chair or director. 
  • In Tracks I-III, total awards will range from $10,000 to $50,000. 
    • Funds will be awarded for the 2022-2023 academic year. 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 by the due date: 

  • A project proposal of no more than four pages. The proposal should be in PDF format and include: 
    1. a brief description of the proposed project and its goals;
    2. a list of individuals who will contribute and their roles; 
    3. a timeline of activities and deliverables; and 
    4. a rationale describing how the project will fulfill the fund priorities. 
  • An itemized budget, including fringe when personnel are involved, with justification detailing how the funds will be spent. Budgets also should list resources sought or acquired from other sources. Approved technology purchases and other supplies are the property of the College of Arts and Sciences.  
  • A two-page curriculum vitae or resume in PDF format for each project lead and faculty partner. 

The associate deans will comprise the selection committee chaired by Dean Samuels. Funds will be awarded based on which proposed projects best meet the overall goals and expectations of the program, including impact on the student experience as well as the quality, significance, creativity and potential scaling of the proposed project. 

McCausland Innovation Fund Tracks I-III Application



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