Great Lakes Colleges Association

Strengthening Education in the Tradition of the Liberal Arts

Global Liberal Arts Alliance

Global Crossroads Frequently Asked Questions


What are the official start and end dates for the campus-based programs?

Funds need to be encumbered by the end of 2019. the money may be spent through to June 30, 2020.


How can the director money for the Campus Innovation Fund and Grand Challenge programs be used?

The purpose of the director money for the Campus Innovation Fund and Grand Challenge programs is to make time available to manage those programs; this can occur through release time or assignment of responsibility as part of an individual’s normal work responsibilities. If sufficient staffing time is allocated to support the program, then, at the discretion of the president or chief academic officer, the director funds may be reallocated to additional Crossroads programming (GLCA’s preference) or stipends in support of the program. A single person can serve as the director of both programs. How Crossroads funds are spent must be a part of each campus’ annual report, which is shared with the Mellon Foundation.


Innovation Fund Program

If Hogwarts does not spend $45k in a given year as part of its Innovation Fund grant proposal, will the difference between the money spent (say for example $30k) and the $45k be lost or will it carry over into the next years? (For example, could Hogwarts spend its Innovation Fund like this: 20, 25, 90, 45? It adds up to $180k).

The money can carry over. The four year spending scenario given above would be fine. What we don't want to see is a two year delay in submitting a proposal and an attempt to spend all $180k in the last two years.

When collaboration happens, does the college that applied for funding for the project pay for the collaborating college’s expenses? Should these be listed separately in proposals? Would these be on a separate application, submitted by the collaborator(s)?

Generally, when the collaboration is part of each institution’s Crossroads efforts, cost-sharing applies and this would be reflected in the budgets of proposals each campus submits.

If the collaborating institution’s contribution is not part of their own Crossroads efforts, then the proposing institution would cover those expenses and they would appear in the budget.

The proposing campus must cover expenses where the collaborating institution is an international Alliance partner. Contact the Alliance program officer ( to see if there are supplemental sources of funding that could be used in place of Crossroads money.

Is the Innovation Fund Director the same person as the Alliance Liaison?

These are separate positions with different responsibilities. There is separate Crossroads funding for these two positions with the expectation that they would be held by two people. A campus may choose, however, to have the same person fill both roles. The caution is that this is a significant amount of work. An Innovation Fund proposal that has both positions filled by the same person will be examined closely to see if appropriate time has been freed for the person to meet their responsibilities.

What sorts of things can be funded?

A wide range of items can be funded: faculty and staff development, course / program development, resources, speakers, undergraduate research, and so on.

An institution should begin by determining its goals with respect to internationalizing its curricular / co-curricular programs. A campus wishing to begin with a needs assessment could include a request to use the Internationalization Toolkit developed by the American Council on Education.

Once goals are identified, a plan to achieve those goals is created. In submitting a budget, a case should be made that each item in the budget is justified in terms of its role in achieving institutional goals.

Proposal authors are strongly encouraged to send their questions to the Alliance program officer (

Can the Innovation Fund proposal(s) exceed $180k when supplemented by other Global Crossroads grants or other GLCA grants?

Yes. An Innovation Fund proposal that incorporates elements of other Crossroads programs such as Grand Challenge, Themed Courses should have separate sections in the narrative and budget for each program.

What kind of assessment procedures are recommended?

No specific procedures are recommended. What we seek is evidence that the funded proposal had its intended effect.

What counts as collaboration?  Can it be something as simple as sharing a speaker?

Sharing a speaker or inviting a faculty member from another campus to speak would be a very simple form of collaboration. The Mellon Foundation wants to see more complex forms of collaboration, such as research (possibly involving undergraduates), course development, course offerings (via Global Course Connections or Shared Languages), and experiential learning.

Can collaboration be between two departments on the same campus?

Collaboration between departments can be part of the proposal, but we would not consider it to be sufficient. The Mellon Foundation is looking for collaboration across campuses, ideally with our international Alliance partners. Anything created through a collaboration that might be of interest beyond your campus should be shared.

Does the collaboration have to be between two or more GLCA campuses?

No, it could be between a GLCA campus and one or more international partners in the Alliance.

Does the collaboration to involve an international Alliance partner?

No, it could be between two or more GLCA campuses.


Grand Challenge Program

Is it possible to propose multi-year programs through the single-year Grand Challenge topic?

Crossroads is a four year program. There will be one Grand Challenge topic per year and it will change annually. A campus may submit a proposal that explores a Grand Challenge topic for two consecutive years. In this scenario a school might participate in two of the four grand challenge topics that will be funded under the grant.

For example, School X might explore the topic of water for two consecutive years, while other Alliance schools might explore water for one year and then migration for the next year. School X would pick up the topic of the third year and explore that for two years. Not all of the schools partnering in a topic need to agree to this arrangement, however it is expected that the second year spent exploring a topic would involve collaborators. This could be a set of schools different from the group that participated in the topic in the first year.

Is international collaboration sufficient for an international project (i.e., does the project have to have an explicit internationalization aim or is international collaboration sufficient)?

No, international collaboration is not sufficient. Generally, the purpose of Crossroads is to expand/improve a campus’ internationalization efforts, so just having international collaboration is not enough.

Will the amount allocated to each school depend on the number of participating institutions each year?

Generally, for each Crossroads program there is an upper bound on how much each institution may request in a year. If funding requests for a year are below that upper bound, the unused funds will be added to the pool of funds available for the subsequent year.


Themed Courses (Global Course Connections) Program

Is there an annual budget allocated to each campus for Themed Courses?

No. A proposal would include a budget specific to the needs of that themed course. This may include course material. GLCA will plan a faculty development workshop to bring themed courses instructors together to plan their courses.

Can the instructors be from the same institution?

There can be multiple instructors from the same campus participating in a themed course, but it must also include at least one instructor from another Alliance institution.

Must the instructors be from different countries?

Ideally the themed course has participants from different countries, but the requirement is that they are from different Alliance institutions.

Can the budget include a summer stipend for a faculty member from a non-U.S. Alliance schools?

A summer stipend for a faculty member from a non-U.S. Alliance school can be provided by the allocation of up to four weeks spread across both instructors. For example, the U.S. and non-U.S. course partners could each receive two weeks of stipend.


New Directions in Global Scholarship Program

Will the grant support student stipends and student travel?

Support for students includes travel and up to four weeks of stipend ($340/week at 40 hours/week).

Can the student be a recent graduate? For example, working in the summer immediately after graduation.

The strong preference is for a student who will be continuing, but a case could be made if the student is immediately going on to graduate school in the field in which the research is being done.

Will the grant provide funds for equipment?


Can a proposal involve a non-Alliance institution?

Collaboration should be with faculty (and possibly students) from one or more Alliance institutions – GLCA colleges plus the international institutions of the Global Alliance. Collaboration with a non-Alliance institution is acceptable when there are at least two Alliance schools also involved. In such cases the proposer needs to make the case that it is important to include the non-Alliance member.

Are proposals from the sciences supported?

Proposals involving the humanities and the non-empirical social sciences are of special interest, as are collaborative initiatives in any discipline that deepen and extend knowledge and inclusion of global topics across the consortium. Proposals from the sciences must involve issues of significant societal concern and will likely be interdisciplinary in character.


Mellon Fellows Program

How are the Mellon Fellows selected/decided upon? Are these positions the same as the Alliance Liaisons?

The Mellon Fellows and Alliance Liaisons are not the same. Mellon Fellows will be selected through a consultative process with the GLCA Chief Academic Officers.

The Global Liberal Arts Alliance
535 West William Suite 301
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Voice: +1.734.661.2350
Facsimile: +1.734.661.2349

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Great Lakes Colleges Association

Strengthening Education in the Tradition of the Liberal Arts

The Great Lakes Colleges Association
535 West William. Suite 301
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103

+1.734.661.2350 (voice)
+1.734.661.2349 (fax)