CUNY Advance Startup, Greenhouse, and Scale Up Grants
Call for Proposals
Applications Due March 23, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.

FAQ Available here

Program Description

CUNY Advance supports campus-based innovations and projects that have transformative potential across the University. The campuses oversee the initiative through a subcommittee of the Council of Presidents, with guidance from leading thinkers on instructional technology at the University.

Our pilot projects so far have included supporting a high-enrollment undergraduate chemistry course to create a hybrid, flipped-classroom and the creation of Science Forward, a new undergraduate science course focused on scientific literacy that features an open educational resource (OER) video library.

In 2015-16 we seek to support new projects of varied scope, focus, and function through a competitive process open to CUNY faculty and staff. Winning proposals will have a well-defined agenda for addressing a specific need within CUNY and supporting student success. Projects might include course creation or adaptation for hybrid, web-enhanced, or online delivery; new approaches to student services such as advisement; piloting and supporting new pedagogical methods; and more.

Projects supported by CUNY Advance will be developed under the leadership of the proposing party, but benefit from access to a project management and instructional design team.

Funding for awards may include release time (or equivalent, such as summer salary or non-teaching adjunct hours); consultation with an instructional technology fellow (ITF), specialized assessment and institutional researchers, technical and coding experts; and project management. Specific awards and award periods will vary with the scope and goals of individual projects. All grant recipients will participate in an annual symposium and are strongly encouraged to pursue publication opportunities. Please note that all local campus and department guidelines for reassigned time, along with PSC workload reporting rules, will be observed. Awardees will be responsible for obtaining necessary permissions.

CUNY Advance has three categories of awards.

1. Startup Grants
Startup Grants are for projects that are in a conceptual or exploratory stage. Awardees will collaborate with an ITF to help shape and implement a limited proof-of-concept pilot for the project. Startup grant recipients will also participate in faculty workshops and benefit from regular interactions with other startup grant recipients to brainstorm best practices, assessment, sustainability, and future plans.

2. Greenhouse Grants
Greenhouse Grants are for projects that are beyond the conceptual stage and are already established as pilot projects. Greenhouse Grant funding allows the project to grow beyond its home base, through strategic partnerships that might include other departments, campuses, cultural or community based organizations, the Department of Education or the private sector. Greenhouse Grant recipients will benefit from an ITF project coordinator and project management services from the CUNY Advance staff. At the Greenhouse stage, special attention will be paid to assessment, scale, and sustainability.

3. Scale-up Grants
Projects that have had successful proof-of-concept and show promise for more widespread adoption will receive support to grow across CUNY. The CUNY Advance project team will work with the project leads to coordinate logistics, digital infrastructure, professional development, and other needs of scale-up.

About Instructional Technology Fellows

Instructional Technology Fellows (ITFs) are CUNY doctoral candidates and/or post-docs from a wide range of disciplines who have expertise in pedagogical applications of technology. ITFs typically work one-on-one with faculty members to articulate goals and integrate digital projects, train faculty and students in using tools, and promote a culture of innovation on campuses. ITFs are selected by a competitive application process overseen by leading thinkers on academic technology at CUNY.

Application Procedures

All applications must be submitted electronically via this form. Applications are due on March 23 at 5:00 p.m. Some finalists may be invited to give oral presentations at a later time. We expect to announce awards in late spring.

Each application must include:

  1. Name, campus, and contact information
  2. Project title
  3. Type of award requested
  4. A single PDF with the following:
  • Primary contact name, email and project title
  • Project narrative (max 500 words) that explains your goals and how support from CUNY Advance would benefit the project.
  • Anticipated needs, such as personnel with specific technical skills.
  • Proposed timeline and/or workflow, including your projected deliverables at 3 months, 6 months, 1 years, and 2 years (as applicable).
  • Simple budget (see note below)
  • Statement of any prior and/or ongoing funding (if applicable)

A note on budgets

Expecting proposals for projects that have different needs, our philosophy is to fund according to need, rather than specifying a set cash award. For smaller projects in the Startup phase, support will come primarily through release time and ITF support, but other monetary support may be possible. For Greenhouse and Scale-Up awards, there will be greater investment of in-kind project management and instructional design consultation, along with ITF support. We also understand that other kinds of funding may be necessary. Because needs can vary so widely, we will evaluate each proposal based on its merits. If the viability of your proposed project depends on certain kinds or levels of funding, feel free to specify that in your proposal.

Budget information in proposals should include: requested reassigned time (or equivalent), project team needs, product development costs, equipment, training/implementation costs, and any other necessary expenditures specific to your proposal. Funding types will be determined based on individual needs and timelines. Allocations will be coordinated by CUNY Advance.

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