Student Success Innovation Fund
Request for Proposal Sponsored by the Office of Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs
Estimated Number of Awards: Five or more depending on availability of funds
Award Amount: up to $20,000
Proposal Submissions Due: APRIL 2, 2021
Notification of Awards: By the end of the Spring semester
Award Implementation Period: 2021-2022
Program Description and Purpose
The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs Student Success Innovation Fund supports projects that closely align with UIC’s goal of assuring the timely graduation of all UIC undergraduate students.
The internal grant competition is open to all campus units. Funds may be used to pilot new programs or enhance existing programming. Proposed projects should focus on activities and approaches that have a high potential for closing equity gaps among racial, ethnic, low-income, and first-generation students, and increasing student success and degree attainment.
Proposed projects must:
- Promote, support, and advance student success;
- Contain measurable project outcomes with an eye on the first-to-second-year retention or graduation rates;
- Include an assessment plan to measure expected outcomes and determine project success;
- Include unit executive officer support for the proposed project and a commitment that the unit will continue to fund the proposed activities if deemed successful;
- Be sustainable, scalable, and produce deliverables that will be supported by the unit or college at the end of the funded period.
In this cycle, priority for funding will be given to proposals that address at least one of the following goals:
- Impact a significant number of students and/or a particular underrepresented student population;
- Promote innovative programmings that enhance student support services with the use of technology;
- Leverage cross-campus collaborations with student success units to develop programming that will enhance student experience and success.
(1) Proposals must be emailed in the form of a single PDF file to firstname.lastname@example.org on Friday, April 2, 2021.
(2) Proposals must include the following:
- Project title
- List of key project personnel
- Include title, affiliation, role(s) on the project: for each key personnel team member, a one-page CV must be provided as appendix material; the CVs will not count toward the four-page proposal limit.
- Specify a project lead and provide contact information. For collaborative proposals, the lead individual’s UIC department/unit will serve as the lead department/unit for the proposal.
- Significance of the proposed project
- Project outcomes and deliverables
- Expected student populations and estimated number of students served
- Unique features and innovation of the project
- Activities to carry out and manage the project
- Project timeline, including the project start and completion dates
- Budget information
- Brief budget justification should be provided for all items
- In cases where matching and/or in-kind funds have been secured, these should be included and clearly identified in the budget
- Assessment plan
(3) Proposals must be no more than four (4) single-spaced pages in length; this page limit covers all parts of the proposal. Please use one-inch margins and font size 11 points or larger.
Review Criteria and Evaluation
The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs will form an Application Review Committee. Proposals will be reviewed, evaluated, and scored by the committee based on the following criteria:
- Need: Degree to which proposal identifies a clear and compelling student success challenge.
- Rationale and Significance: Degree to which proposal presents sound, logical justification for the proposed student success project, including brief connections to the literature base and/or best practices. The degree to which the proposed project, if successful, has the potential to increase the retention and graduation rates of undergraduate students and promote parity among racial and ethnic groups.
- Project Goals and Outcomes: Degree to which applicant articulates clear, realistic, and measurable project goals and project outcomes, including project deliverables.
- Activities: Degree to which proposal presents sound and targeted activities and methods to solve a clear and compelling student success challenge. The degree to which proposed activities are specific, clearly outlined and aligned with project goals. The degree to which the project timeline is clear and identifies specific activities and milestones, along with associated dates of completion.
- Innovation: Degree to which proposal reflects creativity and originality in the use of resources and talents to achieve success.
- Implementation: Degree to which the proposed project is feasible and can be implemented. The degree to which the applicant articulates a clear implementation plan that includes leadership, qualified team members, and sound project management.
- Budget: Degree to which proposed budget is realistic, directly related to the proposed goals and objectives, and includes appropriate justification.
- Assessment Plan: Degree to which proposal includes clear metrics and methods to evaluate the success of the project and to measure project goals and impact (e.g., to analyze the project’s process and strategies; to measure the development and effectiveness of a developed product, tool, resource, initiative, or intervention, including its impact on students).
- Sustainability: Likelihood of project activities being implemented and continuing to offer benefits after funding ends.
Applicants of projects selected for funding will be notified by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs by the end of the spring semester. Funds will be transferred to the department/unit designated as the lead on the application. Project funds must be used for expenditures that align with the project goals and budget. Unused funds must be returned to the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs at the end of the award period.
Grantees are required to provide a final report within a month after the project completion date. The final report should describe the process and the impact of the project activities on improving student success. The report should include a delineation of the project budget as it was estimated in the application as well as actual project costs.
A template with further details about the final report will be shared with awardees via email.