Academic Innovation Fund 2011/12 through 2013/14
The purpose of this three-year fund is to address the following four general areas of innovation:
- To encourage faculty members to explore expanding their teaching and research expertise into new areas through training, discussion and collaboration with other colleagues, and through the development of class activities and course materials that draw on digital resources and technologies in new ways;
- To encourage discussion of existing models and exploration of new models for mentored undergraduate research, particularly regarding interdisciplinary projects and projects in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences;
- To experiment with teaching spaces and technologies, particularly in some of St. Olaf’s older academic buildings; and
- To support exploration of topics identified by the Dean, particularly as part of implementing academic elements of the strategic plan.
Faculty members are invited to develop proposals addressing one of the purposes outlined above. Examples of uses of innovation funds include acquisitions of technology and software; materials for faculty reading; visiting speakers; visits to view facilities; specialized workshops; and wages for student assistants including student peer mentors.
Funds must be expended in the academic year in which they are granted. In most cases, grants will be limited to $5,000 (but if you have a great idea that needs more funding, be sure to contact the Dean or an Associate Dean). Depending on the nature of the project, individuals and groups may submit more than one proposal over the course of the three years of the fund.
Deadlines for Academic Innovation Funds: October 15 and March 15.
Mutual Interest Lunches
To further facilitate collaboration and cross-fertilization of ideas, perspectives and methodologies and as a way to help faculty members identify opportunities for innovation, this fund will also support Mutual Interest Lunches. Faculty members can use these lunches to explore a topic of mutual interest related to research or pedagogy. Examples of the uses of such lunches include discussion and presentation of a method of analysis that can be used in a number of disciplines; developing new courses or course units; exploring interdisciplinary teaching collaboration; exploring interdisciplinary connections among existing courses; or exploring the potential for some of the activities listed above.
Faculty members can propose to host a Mutual Interest Lunch throughout the academic year simply by contacting the Dean’s office with a proposed date, title, brief description of the topic and aims for discussion. Organizers will submit a one-page report within a week of the lunch. The Dean's office will advertise the lunches to the entire faculty, assist in reserving a space for the lunch meeting and advise the host regarding lunch plans. Groups may use these lunches to meet up to three times on a given topic. (Organizers should identify a core of attendees in advance of proposing a lunch).