What do you mean by "new directions"?
This program seeks to provide faculty members with opportunities to renew their interest in and broaden their understanding of higher education in the tradition of the liberal arts and sciences. A project proposal should seek to explore a topic or field of study that does not fall within the realm of one's existing expertise. The proposal could focus on a topic that represents a substantially different emphasis or specialty within one's academic discipline. It could be a project that engages the methods and data of other fields of study to examine a subject from a cross-disciplinary perspective. It may involve having an experience outside one's accustomed activities that has the potential of developing new intellectual perspectives or ways of thinking about one's own work. It may also be an exploration of new pedagogical modes, or of an academic interest that at first glance bears only tangential relation to a faculty member's current realms of teaching and scholarship.
The key element in each case would be for a project that yields new insights and modes of thinking that can be a source of professional renewal for faculty members in mid-career. The program seeks to make it possible for faculty members to consider approaches to fields of knowledge and ways of thinking that they have not been able to pursue in a concerted way. In a sense the program seeks to provide opportunities for faculty members to push the reset button - to explore ideas in new contexts and develop insights that yield an enrichment of an individual faculty career, and thereby contribute to the richness of the liberal arts learning environment for faculty and students alike.
What qualifies a faculty member as being at mid-career?
Faculty members are considered to be mid-career if they are in the period between receiving tenure and thinking seriously about retirement. There is an expectation that there will be sufficient time following the completion of a project for it to have a positive effect on the grant recipient's professional activities, scholarship, teaching, and/or their institution. A proposal that involves a faculty member quite near retirement as well as younger faculty who will be around for a longer period is encouraged.
Are non-tenured faculty members eligible to submit a proposal?
No, however they may be part of a proposal submitted by a tenured faculty member. As with all proposals, the proposer must clearly make the case that the proposed work will provide an opportunity for renewal for the tenured member(s) of the project.
Can retired faculty participate in a project?
Retired faculty cannot submit a proposal. However, at the discretion of the institution's chief academic officer, they can be part of a proposal submitted by a tenured (not-yet-retired) faculty member.
Can a proposal involving multiple faculty members include non-tenured faculty?
Yes, however the project proposer must be a tenured faculty member and the proposal must clearly make the case that the proposed work will provide an opportunity for renewal for the tenured member(s) of the project.
Can part-time faculty who are tenured participate (for example, spouses who split a single tenured faculty position)?
Can untenured, part-time faculty participate?
Untenured, part-time faculty cannot submit a proposal. However, at the discretion of the institution's chief academic officer, part-time faculty can be part of a proposal submitted by a tenured faculty member.
Can funding for students be included in a proposal?
The inclusion of students is permissible, but it must be shown that their contribution is integral to the purpose of the proposal. As with all New Directions proposals, the purpose of the proposal should encourage a "new direction" for the proposer outside of his or her normal disciplinary or sub-disciplinary work and will help develop a new frame of reference.
Are administrators also eligible for the New Directions if they decide they want to develop their expertise in a new area?
Administrators who also maintain active faculty responsibilities (teaching, advising, research, etc.) are eligible to submit a proposal.
What do you mean by a "phased project"?
A large project with multiple sequential parts should be broken up into phases, with each phase resulting in a separate proposal. A Phase I proposal should put the work to be done in Phase I in the context of the larger project's objectives and briefly describe what would be done in subsequent phases. A Phase II proposal would build on the experiences of the Phase I proposal. The argument for newness must be made in the original proposal with subsequent proposals demonstrating that they represent a logical continuation of the new direction pursued in original work. As with all proposals, the budget should reflect the work to be done.
An Exploration Proposal can be considered a Phase I proposal whose goal is to develop sufficient expertise to be in a position to submit a Full Proposal.
How long should a proposal be?
Proposals should be short and succinct, ideally about three pages and no longer than five pages.
What about formatting details such as margins and line-spacing?
Must a proposal be submitted to a particular theme?
No. The themes are provided as a general framework for conceiving the nature and focus of a proposal and the kinds of benefits a project would confer - to participating faculty members, in the first instance, and indirectly to their students, and the extended academic community of which they are part.
If my project will require Human Subjects approval, do I need to have that approval when I apply?
If a proposed project will involve research on human subjects, proposers must comply with their home institution's policies regarding IRB review and approval. The New Directions Initiative does not require an institution's IRB approval prior to submitting a proposal. If a proposal is approved for funding, however, the project must obtain approval from the home institution's IRB before GLCA funds are disbursed.
Does a proposal to the New Directions Initiative need to involve more than one GLCA member college?
No. A project can have either a single- or a multiple-campus focus. Projects begun on a single campus could result in a subsequent proposal to involve faculty at other GLCA member colleges.
Does a proposal to the New Directions Initiative need to involve more than one faculty member?
One of GLCA's core purposes is to foster collaboration and build communities of shared interest among faculty members. As such, the Broadening Intellectual Perspectives and Stimulating Innovation in Pedagogy themes deliberately encourage faculty members to work together in groups to enhance their collective understanding. Faculty members seeking to pursue an individual project may do so within the Singular Explorations theme.
Would New Directions fund collaboration with colleagues beyond the GLCA?
Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the purpose of the New Directions Initiative is to provide opportunities for the professional renewal and revitalization of GLCA faculty. While collaborative projects with non-GLCA faculty may help achieve this goal, under the terms of the Mellon grant, funds for non-GLCA participants are restricted. In situations where a proposer seeks to work with an expert outside the GLCA, a case may be made to provide that person with a modest stipend or to cover modest direct expenses. Such costs will be viewed more favorably if they are supplemented by another source of funding.
Can I be part of multiple simultaneous projects funded by New Directions?
In concept a faculty member could be an active participant in more than one project, with a few cautions. To the extent that one's involvement has institutional implications in terms of course release, such matters would need to be discussed with the home college's chief academic officer and the chairs of the department(s) affected. It needs to be clear that the faculty member has the time to commit to such projects. Finally, while the different projects can have some connection, it needs to be clear that each project will provide unique opportunities for growth.
I submitted a proposal that received a "revise and resubmit" evaluation. Do I submit an entirely new proposal? Can I resubmit the original proposal with a separate document responding to the reviewer comments?
You should submit a rewritten proposal that responds to the comments in the review. If you wish, you can submit a cover letter that explains that the proposal is a resubmission. The resubmission should be made on a scheduled submission date. That is, resubmissions are not taken on an open schedule.
Will equipment be funded? If so, are there any restrictions?
To a limited extent equipment may be funded, although this program will not support the purchase of equipment for routine or general institutional purposes. The equipment requested must be integral to the purpose of the proposal, enabling a faculty member to pursue a "new direction" outside of his or her normal disciplinary or sub-disciplinary work and develop a new frame of reference. If the equipment is not necessary to support that development then it should not be requested. We also encourage matching fund equipment requests whenever feasible.
Is there an institutional match requirement?
Can I include grant overhead in the proposal?
Do you fund planning grants, that is, a smaller proposal to do some initial exploring of an idea with the intention of submitting a larger proposal later?
Yes. This is especially appropriate if the project leader(s) conceive a major set of activities that would benefit from a staged approach in which a smaller initial idea is pursued first, with the results of that initial investigation being used as the basis for a follow-up proposal.
Under what circumstances would you fund the development of a new course or the redesign of an existing course?
The work must be collaborative involving faculty from multiple disciplines in a way that genuinely brings each participant beyond the realm of his or her current expertise.
A course in which each faculty member's participation simply involves delivery of material in his or her current expertise in discrete lectures is not regarded a true act of collaboration or a significant new direction.
Does New Directions grant money need to be used in the current fiscal year or can it roll over to the next fiscal year?
Roll over of funds is acceptable, but it is the responsibility of grant recipients to assure that the institution's accounting practices manage the account in a way that allows a roll over to happen.
How much money may I request? How large a proposal may I submit?
While there are no absolute limits to the amount a proposal can request, every funding request will be evaluated in part by the suitability of requested funds to the activities proposed and the impact those activities will have on achieving New Directions objectives. In determining project costs, proposers should consider: the number of faculty members involved; the costs of each participant's engagement in terms of stipends, release time, etc.; the number of institutions involved (including estimates of travel and related costs for a multi-campus project); the length of the project; the activities planned; and the effort and costs of producing deliverables or a final report. Proposers are strongly encouraged to work with their Campus Facilitator to develop proposal ideas.
Will you fund attending a conference?
GLCA will consider proposals for a variety of activities, including attending a conference, domestic or international. It is important, however, that proposers make the case for any proposed activity, including a conference, as a necessary component that helps achieve the project's broader stated purpose and contributes significantly to a "new direction." A conference should be considered a means to an end rather than an end in itself. Generally, faculty should not make requests to the New Directions Initiative that typically would be submitted to their institution's faculty development office.
Will New Directions provide a full semester release from teaching?
This is possible, particularly as part of the Singular Explorations theme. Most often release time will be given for one or two courses. Proposers are encouraged to explore pooling multiple sources of support to gain greater release time.
If I apply for leave time, will my institution automatically grant me time off?
The GLCA cannot guarantee that the home institution will provide the leave at the time it is requested. Proposals which include leave time should be developed in close coordination with those responsible for academic planning and budgeting (chief academic officer, department chair, etc.) at the proposer's home institution.
If I'm awarded funding for a leave, how should I account financially for my absence (% of salary or per course)?
GLCA standards customarily consider the cost of replacement (e.g., adjunct(s) or part-time faculty member to cover courses), not your salary.
Does support for a course release include benefits for the faculty member receiving the release?
If a faculty member applies for a course release, the New Directions Initiative will fund the cost of an adjunct replacement to teach a course that faculty member would otherwise teach. The program will not pay salary or benefits for the faculty member.
What pay rate is used for summer stipends?
The summer stipend rate for proposals New Directions Initiative is $600 per week. As with every aspect of your proposed budget, the amount of the summer stipend must be justified and is subject to adjustment as part of the review and approval process.
** At what rate is mileage for driving reimbursed?
GLCA reimburses mileage at $0.30 per mile.
Is there an official New Directions per diem rate we should use in proposals?
No, GLCA does not have a per diem rate. You should make a good faith estimate of the costs and include them in the budget.
How will proposals be reviewed?
In order to expedite the review process, proposals of smaller amounts will be reviewed by a small review panel led by the President of GLCA. Proposals requesting larger amounts will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the GLCA Deans Council (the chief academic officers of all GLCA member colleges). The judging panel for a given proposal will not include the chief academic officer of the proposer's home institution.
What is the role of the New Directions Initiative Campus Facilitator? Do I need that person's approval to submit a proposal to GLCA?
The Campus Facilitator's role is to be an advisor in preparing proposals, to help proposers think through institutional implications of a given project, and to help proposers make contacts with faculty members on other campuses. You do not need the Campus Facilitator's approval to submit a New Directions proposal. The Campus Facilitators do not participate in the review of proposals.
I am not an expert in the topic I am proposing to explore - for me it is truly a new direction. How much prior knowledge and understanding of the topic do I need to convey in order to make a credible case in the proposal?
Proposers should be able to demonstrate that they have had a significant and growing personal interest in the topic proposed and that some initial steps have been taken toward achieving the project goals - e.g., through reading and the development of contacts with programs, experts, or colleagues in other settings. Proposers need to make the case that they have done sufficient preparatory work that the proposed work will achieve the project's goals.
In some cases faculty members may propose an initial exploratory project whose results could lead to a subsequent grant request for a larger-scale project.
How long will the review process take?
The GLCA will make every effort to provide a timely response to proposals. Typically, a response will be provided within six to eight weeks of the submission deadline.
What is the procedure for making a change to my budget?
What do I do with funds leftover once the project completes?
Your post-project report to GLCA should include an accounting of how funds have been spent. Any funds remaining should be returned to GLCA. Make the check out to 'GLCA' and send it to the address below. Please put your name on the check's Memo line.
535 West William, Suite 301
Ann Arbor, MI
How much time should elapse between the receipt of funding and the commencement of a project?
Under "normal" circumstances the work would begin within a semester of the application. If the request involves release time, however, the projected start of a project may need to occur up to a year after the time in which funding is approved. Projects that involve release time from teaching must include a statement from the proposer's department chair and chief academic officer indicating an awareness of the project's institutional implications. In such cases it would be reasonable to allow the time between application and project start to be as long as a year.
I would like to propose a multi-campus project. How can I find faculty members with common interests at other GLCA member colleges who might participate in this work?
Your Campus Facilitator and GLCA program officers can help you locate faculty from other campuses who may be interested on collaborating of a project of mutual interest.
I have an idea for a project that falls outside the parameters of the New Directions Initiative. What other opportunities does GLCA provide to support faculty professional development?
The GLCA has a variety of opportunities for faculty to extend existing interests and develop new interests. Please visit www.glca.org to learn more. You can also contact your Campus Facilitator, your campus GLCA representatives, and GLCA program officers for more information and to discuss possibilities.
What sort of report is expected following the completion of the grant?
The final report should review the project goals and describe what was accomplished and the extent to which the goals were met. The report should also include a description of how the funds were spent.