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Curriculum Innovation Fund

Curriculum Innovation Fund

What is the fund?

As part of the PCIP-funded Curriculum Innovation Initiative, this fund is available for academic units to support curriculum innovation projects. The University Learning Centre (ULC) administers this Curriculum Innovation Fund of approximately $250,000 per year for 2012 to 2016.

What projects does it support?

Projects supported by the fund should have a curricular focus - changing or developing the content or methods of a collection of courses (major, theme, minor, specialization, certificate, etc.).

New or revised curricula should also focus on improving the student experience, with preference given to proposals that address identified institutional priorities:

  • experiential learning,
  • Aboriginal education,
  • internationalization,
  • and innovative uses of learning technologies.

This initiative is aimed primarily at programmatic innovation, but in some cases innovations at the level of individual courses within an existing program will be considered.

How can the fund be used?

It is anticipated that academic units will use the resources made available through the Curriculum Innovation Fund to support such things as: release time for faculty leading a curriculum project, support for student assistants involved in curriculum projects, costs associated with online or technology-intensive course development, support for consultants (such as travel costs for visiting scholars) required to inform/contribute to the project, as well as costs associated with data gathering, analysis, and program evaluation.

Please Note: The Curriculum Innovation Fund is not intended to fund research projects. While it is anticipated that units may include requests to support program evaluation work related to their curriculum, those requests will be supported from this fund only as related to the development or ongoing renewal of curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Funding Allocation Process

Every proposed project that generally meets the requirements above will be supported to some extent, at minimum through advice and consultation with GMCTE staff. Projects requiring funds to pay direct costs to the academic unit or funds required to pay for services from another unit (eg ITS, eMAP) will be considered for funding allocation.

Funding allocations from the Curriculum Innovation Fund to offset these types of direct costs incurred will be determined as follows:

  • Funding allocations up to the value of one 3-cu sessional stipend (approximately $6500) may be authorized by the Director of the University Learning Centre on the basis of a pre-proposal alone
  • Proposals for larger amounts of funding must be reviewed/approved by the Curriculum Innovation Committee, chaired by the Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning.
  • Membership on this Curriculum Innovation Committee will be established by the VPTL in consultation with the Associate Deans Academic.
  • The Curriculum Innovation Committee will meet regularly to consider project proposals and will make timely decisions.
  • The Curriculum Innovation Committee will determine a schedule for releasing funds to the unit, appropriate to the budget and project milestones.
  • All successful projects will be matched with a GMCTE staff curriculum specialist or instructional designer to support the ongoing work of the academic unit identified in the proposal.

Terms of Reference

Proposals must meet the following requirements:
  • Strong commitment by the department/college to the initiative (or colleges/departments if an interdisciplinary initiative).
  • A plan for implementation of some innovative practice in the curriculum, preferably connected to identified institutional priorities (experiential learning, Aboriginal education, internationalization, and innovative uses of learning technologies including online programs or courses).
  • A commitment of a lead person or team of people (whether disciplinary or interdisciplinary) to see the project through to implementation.
  • An expected positive impact on student learning or the student learning experience.

Past Recipients

For a list of past recipients and links to any publications about their projects, click the link below:

Curriculum Innovation Fund Recipients

How to apply

There will be a two-step process for project approvals. First, academic units wishing to pursue projects will submit an initial proposal of 1-2 pages outlining the project idea. Initial proposals may be submitted to the GMCTE at any time.

Please Note: The Curriculum Innovation Fund is not intended to fund research projects. While it is anticipated that units may include requests to support program evaluation work related to their curriculum, those requests will be supported from this fund only as related to the development or ongoing renewal of curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The initial proposal should include:
  • A brief description of the proposed activity, practice or innovation
  • An explanation of the level of faculty / staff involvement and a primary contact person
  • A rough estimate of the costs (both developmental and ongoing) anticipated with the project
  • A summary of the expected impact on students or the student experience
  • A preliminary plan for measuring success
Depending on the scope and funding requirements (amounts of more than $6500) of your project, additional documentation may be required, as a comprehensive proposal.

A more comprehensive proposal is prepared in partnership with staff from the Gwenna Moss Centre. These more detailed, comprehensive proposals are judged by the Curriculum Innovation Committee. Successful proposals receive funding to offset direct costs associated with curriculum or program development.

The comprehensive project proposal should be no more than 5 pages long and should include (click to expand):
  • A detailed description of the proposed activity, practice or innovation
  • An explanation of the level of faculty / staff involvement (ie. who will lead the project?, who will be involved?)
  • A description of the expected impact on students or the student experience
  • A timeline for the project
  • A proposed budget – details about what direct costs would be required from the Curriculum Innovation Fund and what costs would be contributed by the unit.
  • A rationale for how the innovation will ultimately sustain itself
  • A preliminary program evaluation plan to evaluate the impact of the curriculum change

It is expected that some projects will need no funding and will be able to proceed largely on their own with some GMCTE staff support and consultation. It is anticipated that funded projects will be eligible to receive between $5000 and $40,000 to offset direct costs in the unit.

 Curriculum Innovation Fund - Proposal Form

For more information, contact curriculum_fund@usask.ca.

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