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: EXTENDED TO APRIL 27, 2020

Notification of Awards: By the end of spring semester

Award Implementation Period: 2020-2021



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. This internal grant competition is seeking proposals that explore innovative approaches to enhancing student success. Funds may be used to pilot new programming or enhance existing programming that increases student course completion in high-enrollment courses at UIC (100-200 level).  Proposed projects should target activities and approaches that have high potential for increasing student success as measured by first-to-second-year retention and/or graduation rates and/or academic achievement parity among racial, ethnic, low-income, and/or first-generation student groups.

Proposed projects must:

  • Promote, support, and advance student success;
  • Contain measurable project outcomes and 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.

Priority for funding will be given to proposals that:

  • Impact a significant number of students and/or a particular underrepresented student population.
  • Increase student course completion in high-enrollment courses at UIC (100-200 level).
  • Include cross-campus collaborations with student success units to enhance services.


Application Process

(1) Proposals must be emailed in the form of a single PDF file to on Monday April 27, 2020.

(2) Proposals must include the following:

  • Project title
  • List of key project personnel
    • Include title, affiliation, role(s) on 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. Degree to which proposed project, if successful, has 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. Degree to which proposed activities are specific, clearly outlined, and aligned with project goals. Degree to which 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 proposed project is feasible and can be implemented. Degree to which 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.


Award Process

Applicants of projects selected for funding will be notified by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Academic Programs after May 11, 2020. 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.


Reporting Requirements

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 the final report will be shared with awardees via email.