Curriculum Development and Instructional Improvement Guidelines

 

Proposal Submission

Email a single PDF document including all proposal elements (discussed below) to grants@nmu.edu. Note faculty applicants are responsible for obtaining appropriate department head signature on the cover sheet. Hard copies of the cover sheet are acceptable, if submitted by the April 6 due date, if you do not have means to scan/email electronic copies. Electronic signatures from Adobe documents are acceptable and binding signatures. See instructions here if you are familiar with creating and saving PDF documents.

Synopsis

NMU recognizes that curriculum development and instructional improvement are ongoing activities in all academic departments on campus. It is the hope of every department that internal resources will be adequate to support these development and improvement efforts, including the purchase of equipment or educational supplies that are routinely processed through administrative channels. Unfortunately reality dictates that major development and some instructional improvement efforts cannot always be accomplished with available department resources. There may be a need for additional funds to cover the cost of faculty release time or summer support for faculty travel, training and materials.

Requests for funding will be accepted in the following categories:

1.  Curriculum Development Grants are intended to support efforts at the departmental or inter-departmental level and focus on modifications, advancements or improvements in the curriculum. Proposals must clearly demonstrate how the proposed work exceeds those curriculum development activities normally expected from an academic unit to adequately justify additional funding.

2.  Instructional Improvement Grants are intended to support projects that offer one or more faculty members the opportunity to improve their instructional skills, implement new teaching methodologies, or develop innovative materials. Course development for international courses are included in this category.

Eligibility

All full-time faculty on term, continuing, tenure track, and tenured appointments are eligible. Although individual faculty members initiate the proposal, they will require endorsements as detailed in the guidelines below. 

Deadlines

April 6, 2015

Submit application to the Grants and Contracts Office by 8 a.m..

April 24, 2015

Faculty Grants Committee makes recommendations to the Senate.

May 8, 2015

Senate makes recommendations to the Provost.

May 22, 2015

Provost announces award.

 

 

Award Information

Both the Curriculum Development Grants and the Instructional Improvement grants provide a maximum award of $3,000, exclusive of absorbed release time.

Application Instructions

Applicants must submit a cover sheet (available here) signed by appropriate Department Head.

  • Document Format.  Proposals for all grants must be double-spaced, have one-inch margins, be printed in Times New Roman font, with 12 point font size with page numbers and last name in footer of each page.

Applications include the following: Curriculum development grants

Project abstract: Limit 250 words, with a clear concise statement about the need and the project

Project Narrative: Limit 6 pages double spaced. Appendices are not included in 6 page limit.

  1. Project description and objectives: This should be a concise statement of the nature and objectives of the proposed project.
  2. Statement of need: This will justify the need and significance of the proposed work and explain why funding is required.
    1. NOTE: Both the "Statement of Need" and "Project Description and Objectives" sections must clearly demonstrate how the proposed work exceeds those curriculum development activities normally expected from an academic department and thereby justifies additional funding.
    2. Plan and Timetable:  This should be a description of how and when the project objectives are to be achieved.
  3. Budget: Budgets should provide only for direct costs, such as funding of released time, travel, etc. Fringe benefits must be included for university employees receiving remuneration under the grant. A detailed budget justification must be included; a sample budget justification can be found here. (If there are questions regarding the budget, contact Erica Lynn Franich (efranich@nmu.edu or ext. 2456) or Kristin Beck (krbeck@nmu.edu or ext. 2440).

Appendices:

  1. Departmental Statement:  This statement should be prepared and signed by the departmental curriculum committee. It should contain a statement of how the proposed project would relate to the mission of the department. The statement should also address the feasibility of conducting the project under the released time option. The endorsement and continued commitment by the department to the proposed program modification should be indicated. Interdepartmental curriculum projects should include support statements from each department involved.
  2. Approvals:  Request for released time to be absorbed by the department must have the approval of the department head and appropriate dean.
  3. Any applicant that proposes to use human subjects (e.g., clinical or survey work) must have applied for approval of NMU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).   (Click here for the application for the conduct of research involving human subjects). Any project involving the use of animals must have applied for approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). (Click here for the application to use vertebrate animals in research, testing, or instruction [.doc]).  Applicants must attach a copy of their Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Animal Care (IACUC) approval letter, or confirmation of application from the Chair of IRB or IACUC, with their application to be considered for funding.
  4. Curriculum Vitae of the principal investigator (NOTE:  please limit to four pages).
  5. References Cited

 

Applications include the following: Instructional Improvement grants

Project abstract: Limit 250 words, with a clear concise statement about the need and the project

Project Narrative:

  1. Project Description and Objectives:  This should be a concise statement of the nature and objectives of the proposed project.
  2. Statement of Need:  This should describe the area of instruction which has been identified as requiring improvement and which faculty groups might benefit or participate. Also, describe the significance of the work and why funding is required.
  3. Plan and Timetable:  This section should describe how and when the project objectives are to be achieved. If a training session for faculty is involved, describe when such a session might be scheduled to ensure maximum participation, and detail how faculty will be chosen for the faculty development sessions.
  4. Budget: Budgets should provide only for direct costs, such as funding of released time, travel, etc. Fringe benefits must be included for university employees receiving remuneration under the grant. A detailed budget justification must be included. (If there are questions regarding the budget, contact Kathy Frazier at 227-1076).
  5. Project Staffing:  This section should include a description of the project's staffing needs.

Appendices:

  1. Approvals:  Instructional Improvement Grants must have the approval signature of the department head on the Project Summary Sheet. If release time is requested to be absorbed by the department, you must also have the appropriate dean's signature and a letter of approval signed by both the department head and appropriate dean.
  2. Any applicant that proposes to use human subjects (e.g., clinical or survey work) must have applied for approval of NMU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).   (Click here for the application for the conduct of research involving human subjects). Any project involving the use of animals must have applied for approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). (Click here for the application to use vertebrate animals in research, testing, or instruction [.doc]. Applicants must attach a copy of their Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Animal Care (IACUC) approval letter, or confirmation of application from the Chair of IRB or IACUC, with their application to be considered for funding.
  3. Curriculum Vitae of the principal investigator (NOTE:  please limit to four pages).
  4. References Cited

Application Evaluation

The Faculty Grants Committee will review the proposals, rank them, and report to the Senate. The Senate will forward its recommendations to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  While it is understood that the objectives of the grant categories vary, each proposal submitted will be reviewed and ranked by the Faculty Grants Committee in terms of the project's overall merit. The Committee will recommend only meritorious proposals for funding, and will make budget recommendations. The evaluation rubric used by the Faculty Grants Committee can be downloaded here.  Each proposal will be rated independently on the following criteria:

  • Each proposal will be reviewed as to the methods of the project, the appropriateness of the budget, and the probability of attaining its specified objectives.
  • Each proposal will be reviewed as to the innovative nature of the proposed objective and/or the impact the outcome will have on curriculum development or instructional improvement.
  • Proposals that are rated unacceptable with regard to either criterion by a majority of the committee will not be ranked.
  • Voting Policy:  Each proposal must be read and evaluated by a minimum of five (5) voting members of the Faculty Grants Committee. In the event that less than five committee members are available for grant assessment, alternate committee members will be called upon to fill in. Committee members who have a grant under consideration will be excluded from any deliberations. Alternates will take the place of these members. Ex officio committee members may contribute to discussions, but will not take part in the actual ranking of proposals.

Reporting

Grant recipients must file a Final Project Report by June 30 of the year following the year the award was recieved. The report guidelines can be found here.  All funds must be encumbered on or before the end of the one-year award period.

Sample proposals can be found here.

If you have any questions about the online submission process contact Erica Lynn Franich at efranich@nmu.edu or ext. 2456.