CU NEXT Awards: Writing Your Proposal
Have you heard about the CU Next Awards?! This enthralling systems-wide award invites applications for innovations, especially with technology, in teaching and learning. This is right down ASSETT’s alley! And, along with the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL), we’re here to support you in writing a proposal and possibly even write letters of support.
An upside to the many challenges we’ve all faced over the last couple of years is that we’ve been forced to re-examine how we teach. It’s opened our eyes to possibilities that were previously rejected or brushed off until another time. Many have recognized that there are benefits to teaching and learning online. With these experiences, fresh in our minds, think big and put your wildest dreams out there in a CU Next Award proposal! What have you got to lose? I always draw teaching inspiration from my favorite feminist scholar who said:
"The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy."
Proposals are due April 4, 2022, at 11:59 pm. Below are a few pointers to help your proposal get noticed. A complete guide to writing a proposal is available on the CTL website.
- Technology and Innovation: Technology and innovation take a variety of forms, from discussion tools to virtual reality and everything in between. With that in mind, it’s critical to fully explain how your proposed technology and innovation will solve a teaching and learning challenge and improve student learning outcomes. The ASSETT team is ready to brainstorm ideas with you.
- Collaboration: Collaboration between at least two CU system campuses is essential for a proposal to be considered. So, an early stage activity of your grant proposal process should be identifying and planning with a partner(s) from at least one other campus.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): DEI is a campus priority and should be a defining characteristic of your proposal. It’s important to think about the accessibility of a technology and who might be left out with the implementation of particular technologies. Ask yourself: Does the use of a technology place undue stress or burden on a particular student demographic?
- Backwards Design a Proposal Timeline: Create a timeline by working backwards from one week before the due date (i.e., March 28th in this case). Plan when drafts will be complete and when feedback should be submitted from team members, when supporting documents (like Letters of Support, CVs) need to be collected. This gives you an extra week of wiggle room for inevitable delays and hiccups.
- Assessment: A comprehensive assessment plan is a crucial component of a winning proposal. Start designing your assessment plan early! Stephanie Foster, the CTL’s Assessment lead, is available to help answer your assessment questions and to help strengthen your plan.
- Budget Justification: Beware of bloated budget requests. Try to align your requests with other areas of your proposal and commitment letters from other campus support units. Be sure to look at the budget template early in your proposal writing process and engage your departmental finance lead in drafting and finalizing your budget and budget justification.
- Communication Strategy: How will you share your experiences and results? By sharing loudly and proudly more people can be impacted by your project and that extends the reach of the award funds. ASSETT can help you design your communication strategy too!
- Formatting: Among the many “cross-checks” you’ll want to do before handing in your final proposal is ensuring that you’ve followed formatting guidelines to a “T”. Incorrectly formatted proposals are grounds for rejection.