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Distinction through Discovery Undergraduate Curriculum Grants Program


Curriculum Grant Program Purpose:

The Distinction through Discovery (DTD) Undergraduate Curriculum Grant Program provides support for the incorporation of undergraduate research and inquiry (URI) projects and assignments summer retreat 2014into courses/programs. Faculty are encouraged to take a holistic, programmatic approach to implementing research and inquiry into their curricula. The curriculum grant program supports revisions to both upper and lower division courses.  Questions related to the curriculum grant program should be directed to Dr. Donna Chamely-Wiik at dchamely@fau.edu or 561-297-1019. 


Timeline for Curriculum Grants Program 

Pre-Proposal Deadline:  Thursday, October 15th, at 5:00pm
Pre-proposals selection for full proposal submission: December 2015 
Distinction through Discovery workshops: Spring 2016 
Full proposals due: May 16, 2016 by 5:00pm
Full proposals selection:early July 


Distinction through Discovery Research Definition and Student Learning Outcomes 

Research Definition

The DTD Steering Committee articulated a working definition of “research” (adapted from the Council of Undergraduate Research, CUR):  An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline or practice. 

Student Learning Outcomes

Research and inquiry learning activities can be incorporated into the curriculum through a series of targeted Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs).  These include:  

SLO 1: Knowledge.  Students will demonstrate content knowledge, core principles, and skills.
SLO 2: Formulate Questions.  Students will formulate research questions, scholarly or creative problems with integration of fundamental principles and knowledge in a manner appropriate to the discipline (this learning outcome is a requirement of ALL research and inquiry curriculum grants).
SLO 3: Plan of Action.   Students will develop and implement a plan of action to address research and inquiry questions or scholarly problems.
SLO 4: Critical Thinking.   Students will apply critical thinking skills to evaluate information, their own work, and the work of others.
SLO 5: Ethical Conduct.   Students will identify significant ethical issues in research and inquiry and/or address them in practice.
SLO 6: Communication.   Students will convey all aspects of their research and inquiry (processes and/or products) in appropriate formats, venues, and delivery modes.   
For further SLO information and a comprehensive definition of research and inquiry please click here

Funding Levels:

Below you will find the five levels of funding.




NEW Assignment



For faculty who wish to develop or redesign a portion of their course (including the assessment) to incorporate a research and inquiry learning activity.  This is an excellent opportunity for faculty who wish to start small and build up to course and program level changes at a later time.


Single Course

For faculty who wish to develop or revise the entire course to incorporate multiple research and inquiry assignments throughout. This is ideal for faculty who wish to create a course that bridges student skills and knowledge between courses in a program or those who want to revise their course first before attempting larger program changes.

Up to $5000

Dept/Program Level (Multiple Courses)

For faculty who wish to build connections between courses to ensure students engage in research and inquiry learning activities throughout their program experience, by incorporating research and inquiry assignments within multiple courses throughout a program.  This is also for departments who have general research-related targets independent of their programs. 

Up to $10,000

College Level (Multiple Courses-Single College)

For colleges who wish to ensure that courses across their programs deliver research and inquiry experiences to their students.  This is an excellent option for colleges who target similar research-related targets independent of their programs or that have key courses that need to be interconnected.

Up to $15,000

Inter-College Level (Multiple Courses-Multiple Colleges)

For colleges who wish to cooperate by enhancing courses shared in specific programs or who have interdisciplinary majors.  The funding provided is designed to augment resources for colleges already attempting this cooperative endeavor.

Up to $20,000

Budget Considerations:   

Lead authors should request funding for up to two years.  Total funding should not exceed the funding limits related to funding levels.  Budget should align with curricular initiatives and should coincide with project and assignment implementation proposed in the application.  Proposals primarily seeking to add assessment methods and tools to courses without revising extant teaching strategies and learning experiences will not be funded.

Allowable Expenses: (Can be recurring for 2 years)

  • Graduate and Undergraduate Student Research Assistants. (e.g., assist/mentor undergraduates on course-based projects)
  • Grant-specific materials and supplies, equipment etc. to support research and inquiry assignments and projects.
  • Marketing materials for your program, if appropriate
  • Assessment of DTD SLOs (e.g., surveys, instruments)
  • Faculty stipends/ course release support for:
    • Curricular design/redesign
    • Summer funding (if appropriate and justified)
    • Salaries (including fringe rate)

Non-Allowable Expenses:

  • Summer salary, if not aligned with the timeline
  • Additional faculty to lower course enrollment
  • Student or faculty travel to present the results of their scholarly work (funding for student travel is available through Student Government)
  • Food and meals

Applications Process

There are two stages for applying to the Curriculum Grants Program.  The first stage is the Curriculum Grant pre-proposal, with a deadline of October 15th, 2015.  Reviewers will evaluate the pre-proposals, and those selected can move forward to the full proposal phase.  The Curriculum Grant full proposal is due May 16th, 2016.  Faculty submitting pre-proposals who are invited to submit a full proposal will be guided through the development of the full proposal during the spring. Participating in these opportunities and time commitments are expected of funded proposal teams.  Please view the Full-proposal guidelines for more details.  Note:  Faculty submitting applications for the Intellectual Foundations Program (IFP)/General Education courses are not required to submit a pre-proposal.  Questions can be addressed to Dr. Donna Chamely-Wiik at dchamely@fau.edu.

Curriculum Grant Pre-Proposal Application

Faculty can submit a curriculum grants pre-proposal by completing the online application form.  Note:  Faculty submitting applications for the Intellectual Foundations Program (IFP)/General Education courses are not required to submit a pre-proposal. 

Application Requirements

Please complete the following by Thursday October 15th

  1. Curriculum Grants Pre-Proposal online application
  2. Please have your department chair/program director email ouri@fau.edu endorsing this application.

See budget and feasibility section for budget conditions below.  To assist you in completing the pre-proposal application we have provided the judging rubric for your consideration.  Additionally if you would like copies of previously approved pre-proposals, please contact your college OURI Liaison.

Pre-proposal judging rubric

Curriculum Grant Full Proposal Guidelines and Application 

Application Requirements:  

Curriculum Grant Full Proposal Guidelines and Application .  Proposals must be single spaced, with a font size no smaller than 11-point; minimum 1-inch margins; tables and figure legends can be in 10-point font size. Faculty whose pre-proposals were selected to continue to the full proposal stage must complete and submit to ouri@fau.edu by 5:00 p.m., May 16, 2016

  1. Online Cover Page.  If any aspect of your proposal requires review for research compliance per university policies (see http://www.fau.edu/research/forms.php?expanddiv=researchint).
  2. Budget and Feasibility Section which includes:  Budget spreadsheet, budget justification, institutional resources and sustainability.
  3. Proposal Narrative : Maximum three (3) pages.  Include the following sections (with section headers).
    • Research and Inquiry Learning Activities:  Describe how you will implement URI into the course and curriculum to promote each targeted DTD student learning outcome.  Unless this is a new course, indicate how these activities differ from those in past course offerings, and why you chose to make these changes.  Make sure to express the degree that the research and inquiry learning activities are student-centered.  Please use the DTD Student Learning Outcomes (see http://www.fau.edu/ouri/curriculum_grants.php).
    • Learning Activity and Assessment Alignment:  Describe the alignment between the URI learning activities and the products (assessments) used to measure what students have learned.  Make sure to demonstrate a clear alignment between the teaching/URI learning activities and the assessments.  Clearly address the student learning criteria either by adopting or revising the DTD Student Achievement Rubric.  Ultimately, you need to demonstrate the assessment(s) capability to accurately differentiate between various levels of student performance.
    • Timeline:  Describe or illustrate the timeline to implement the URI activities.
    • Note: To be eligible for the grant, all projects must include the student learning outcome # 2 “Formulate Question” and at least two other DTD student learning outcomes.
  4. Course Plan Worksheet:  Please include the Course Plan Worksheet(s) you have developed with the DTD Assessment Team during the spring term.  The course plan worksheet should be completed for each course proposed through this grant program.  The Course Plan Worksheet is provided at http://www.fau.edu/ouri/curriculum_grants.php.
  5. Curriculum Inventory/Map (For Dept/Program, College, and Inter-College Level grants ONLY):Please include the Curriculum Inventory you have developed with the DTD Assessment Team during the spring term.  The inventory outlines the developmental progression of students’ URI knowledge and skills as they progress through the current curriculum and assists identifying gaps and overlaps within this progression.  Your Curriculum Inventory should:
    • indicate when and where DTD SLOs are addressed within the curriculum
    • establish the OURI intensity level covered by each SLO
    • identify any gaps and overlaps regarding student engagement in the DTD SLO’s
    • identify which courses are targeted for revision to address potential gaps and overlaps
    • Note: If the project includes more than one program, each program should have a separate curriculum inventory.  The method to represent the inventory is open, as long as all pertinent information is present.  Curriculum inventory resources are provided at http://www.fau.edu/ouri/curriculum_grants.php.
  6. Email Endorsement or Letter(s) of Support (According to your grant level):  Send an e-mail endorsement or letters of support, as appropriate for your funding level, to ouri@fau.edu.
    • Assignment:  Email endorsement from the Dept/Program Chair/Director.
    • Single Course:  Letter of Support  fromthe Dept/Program Chair/Director.
    • Department:  Letters of Support  fromthe CollegeDean and Dept/Program Chair/Director.
    • College:  Letters of Support  from the College Dean and Dept/Program Chairs/Directors.
    • Inter-College:  Letters of Support  from the College Deans,Department/Program Chairs/Directors, and collaborating faculty.
    • Note:  If the project involves collaboration with internal non-academic or external entities, additional letters of support from each must be provided.

Note: If you would like copies of previously funded proposals from your college, please contact your college OURI Liaison.  

Selection and Review Criteria:

Proposal Selection and Award:  All curriculum grant proposals will be peer reviewed and scored.  The DTD Curriculum Committee will make funding decisions based on the outcomes of the peer review and equitable distribution of available resources. 

Selection and Review Criteria: The proposals will be evaluated by the following criteria:

  1. Research and Inquiry Learning Activities: The clarity and student-centered nature of the research and inquiry learning assignment(s), and the degree that the URI learning activity(ies) promote the targeted DTD student learning outcomes (SLOs). Be sure to specify how each assignment incorporates targeted SLOs. 
  2. Assessment(s): The degree that the assessments measure the stated DTD SLOs and the URI learning activities. (see DTD rubric)
  3. Learning Activity and Assessment Alignment: The degree of alignment between the teaching strategies, URI learning activities and assessment measures for each of the identified SLOs. Be sure to specify how each SLO will be assessed within the URI learning activities.
  4. Curriculum Compatibility: The degree that the URI learning activities and the SLOs fit into the course/program(s), as indicated in the Assignment or Course Plan Worksheet (required for all applicants) and the Curriculum Inventory (required for Program and College level applicants only)
  5. Feasibility: The degree that: a) the budget (including in-kind funding) is appropriate for the activities and grant timeline, b) the timeline is appropriate for the intended goals, c) the enhancements are sustainable, and d) the department and, if appropriate, the college is committed to the project.
  6. Intensity and Impact: The number of DTD Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) implemented is appropriate for the assignment/course/program and scope of impact (i.e., how many students, courses, and programs are impacted annually).  Please see the DTD SLOs above. 

Questions about the Curriculum Grant Program can be directed to Dr. Donna Chamely-Wiik, Director of the Quality Enhancement Plan at 561-297-1019 or dchamely@fau.edu.

Additional Resources

Two essential parts of full proposals are the curriculum inventory and course plan worksheets.  The following resources will assist you in completing these documents.  

Introduction to the Curriculum Grants Program meeting

Course Plan Worksheet and Resources

Assessment Resources 

Curriculum Inventory


Curriculum Grants Program Previous Awardees and Courses Implemented

To view previous Curriculum Grant Awardees and Courses Implemented click here.


 Last Modified 2/17/16