What is the goal of the Instructional Improvement Grant Program?

The Instructional Improvement Grant Program supports innovation, experimentation, and development of undergraduate curricula and pedagogy. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of undergraduate education through pedagogical experimentation in areas such as student-centered learning, course design, diversity and inclusion in the classroom, and instructional technologies. The program especially values innovations that will have a lasting impact on undergraduate education.

How long should the proposal be?

Proposals should not exceed six (6) pages. If the cover forms are filled out correctly, then most proposals present a problem to be solved and a proposed solution within three to five pages. Length is not rewarded, but neither is vagueness.

How much budget detail is necessary?

There should be no element of the budget that is unexplained. A proposal which, for example, requests $8,000 but doesn’t specify how it is to be spent is not likely to pass scrutiny. At the other end of the spectrum, a highly detailed budget is not necessary.  An expense for “materials - $200,” for example, or “GSR II - $4,000,” does not need any further breakdown.

What kinds of assistance are available?

Funds can be provided for staff, undergraduate, or graduate assistance. The type of assistance should be consistent with the level of goals to be accomplished. Consult with the departmental MSO regarding appropriate funding levels or pay scales for Staff Research Associates (SRA), undergraduates, or Graduate Student Researchers (GSR). Teaching Assistant support can also be provided, but only when it is exclusively for direct instruction of undergraduate students. Please include in the proposal how TA funding will be provided in the future. Again, the departmental MSO can advise on the appropriate levels for TA funding. Please be aware that GSRs and TAs are not interchangeable positions and requests for each will be evaluated on different terms.

Who will pay for mandatory GSR and/or TA benefits?

Remissions will be the responsibility of the hiring department. Whenever funding is available, the IIP grant will allocate 19900 funds for GSR and TA salaries. You may be eligible for GSR remission reimbursement provided your division/school has allocated funding. There is no direct fee remission support provided for GSRs hired through Instructional Improvement Program (IIP) major grants. Worker’s compensation and other fees are the responsibility of the hiring department, and will not be provided. These funds should not be included in the budget.

How are faculty (full time equivalent), or course release time calculated?

Departmental workloads vary, usually from .11 FTE to .17 FTE for one course release. The departmental MSO can provide the department’s equivalent release time per course.

Can replacement time above the Assistant Professor Step IV level be requested?

No. The intent is to provide replacement costs, not to fund salaries directly. The requesting department should fund any needed salary above the replacement cost.

Why is there a $6,000 limit on hardware acquisition?

Hardware purchases come from a separate and limited account. The CIIP is willing to support developmental activities, which in most cases can be covered by $6,000. The Committee will not fund individual laptop computers for presentation needs. They are also not willing to fund labs or provide equipment, the cost of which is so great as to indicate that a major redirection of departmental funds to other priorities has occurred. The CIIP feels that decanal and departmental resources are necessary to fund such requests.

Can a department submit a request for funding?

Yes! The CIIP looks favorably on projects that involve collaboration among faculty. The project will need a “principal investigator” to contact for specific information, but the proposal can represent a department-wide initiative.

Can more than one request be submitted by a person or department at one time?

Yes. There is no penalty for submitting more than one request, although the CIIP will look for evidence that priorities are clearly understood, and that sufficient time and other resource allocations are allotted for each proposal. Each proposal will be considered separately.

Why are proposals shared with Local Support Centers?

While IIP funds may assist in the development of projects, it is often the responsibility of Local Support Centers (such as the Center for Digital Humanities or Social Science Computing) to maintain or further develop such projects. It is important that they have the capability to do so in terms of personnel and/or expertise. Sharing proposals ensures such linkages and sometimes results in “co-developed” projects, which the applicant might not have anticipated as being possible.

Can projects be used for evaluation and assessment needs?

Yes. Projects which are intended to have assessment of classroom learning or evaluation of instructional methods are particularly encouraged.

How SOON are applicants notified of the status of a proposal?

Every effort is made to provide a response as soon as possible. Even under ideal conditions, however, it may require several weeks to notify all applicants. Because many of the proposals may also include further negotiation with the appropriate Dean(s), no specific date can be provided for the response. The CIIP meets twice a year to consider proposals and most applicants are notified by the end of the quarter.

If approved, how and when are the funds handled?

Funds are transferred to the requesting department and placed in the FAU as given by the department’s MSO to OID via a funding form provided by OID. Once transferred, the department is responsible for administering and monitoring the funds.

If the project is not completed by June 30th of the grant year, can funds be carried forward to the next fiscal year?

Yes, but carrying funds forward is not automatic. Permission is granted when it is not reasonable for the project to be completed as originally specified.