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New grant program seeks innovative teaching and learning projects

The Center for Teaching Innovation (CTI) is offering funding for the Cornell teaching community to implement new projects that will facilitate challenging, vibrant and reflective learning experiences for undergraduates.

All faculty and full-time instructors engaged in teaching at Cornell are invited to submit proposals exploring new and emerging tools and technologies, approaches and teaching strategies.

The Innovative Teaching and Learning Awards were announced by Julia Thom-Levy, vice provost for academic innovation.

“These innovation grants are meant to encourage experimentation – for example, using a new technology in class, even developing a new technology, or bringing together concepts in new and unexpected ways,” Thom-Levy said.

Pre-applications are due by May 4, accompanied by a letter of intent and a signature from a department head or academic dean. Pre-application formsand details of the process are available online. For more information, email cti-awards@cornell.edu or call 607-255-7224.

At least four awards of between $5,000 and $25,000 will be granted to individuals each academic year. Funding levels will vary depending on the type of project and resources required for implementation.

Projects funded for this cycle should be completed within the 2018-19 academic year. Community-engaged projects are not eligible under this program.

“The innovation grant program is one way the CTI supports faculty in bridging the gap between what is known about how people learn and how we teach,” said Mathew Ouellett, CTI executive director. “The question we aim to address is: How do we create and sustain a vibrant, inclusive climate for teaching and learning at Cornell?”

To that end, he said, the center “actively engages colleagues in exploring, piloting and assessing a range of pedagogical strategies and curriculum design methods that act to best engage and promote the sustained success of all of our students.”

From May through early June, faculty and instructors who pre-apply are required to attend a consultation with CTI staff to think collaboratively through their project ideas and initiate the application process before submitting a full proposal. Final applications are due by June 15, and award notifications will be sent June 30.

Proposals should have one or more of the following objectives:

  • Develop innovative pedagogical strategies for the undergraduate learning environment that actively engage students and improve their success.
  • Explore creative and critical thinking about disciplines, examine diverse perspectives and processes, and integrate approaches to solving complex problems for undergraduates.
  • Reimagine the undergraduate learning experience within a department, or improve teaching and learning universitywide.
  • Employ inclusive learning practices.
  • Build upon research-based learning and teaching practices.

Thom-Levy said details of a department-level grant program will be announced before the fall semester.

This article also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.