University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Resources for Faculty

Funding Opportunities & Awards

Interdisciplinary Experiential Engagement Funds

Deadline: January 31

Enhancing Excellence through Interdisciplinary Experiential Engagement Rationale and Objectives

High-impact learning practices (e.g., first-year seminars, learning communities, service learning, internship experiences, undergraduate research, capstone experiences) not only foster student engagement and deeper learning but also improve retention, persistence to degree completion, and postgraduate attainment. In turn, learning within an interdisciplinary framework facilitates the understanding and appreciation of the complexity and interconnectivity of phenomena and improves students’ ability to synthesize and integrate information. The Enhancing Excellence through the Interdisciplinary Experiential Engagement initiative hopes to promote high-impact educational experiences that address questions or topics using a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary approach (hereafter “interdisciplinary”). Whereas CAS already offers rich learning opportunities to UVM students, the intention is to increase the range of offerings that (a) expose students to multiple disciplines in an integrated or linked fashion, and (b) include “real-world” learning experiences (i.e., service, internship, or research/creative components).

This initiative capitalizes on a tradition of deep commitment by our faculty to the academic and personal growth of our students. However, the effort will also serve to motivate faculty to seek or cement interactions and collaborations across departments. This networking may lead to the development of new, meaningful, and fruitful personal and professional relationships, which would serve as a vehicle to renew, revitalize, and enrich the creativity of our faculty and their enthusiasm for teaching, learning, and discovery.

Resources and Award Limits

Funding by the college will be available to support the development of interdisciplinary courses or interdisciplinary curriculum-enhancement experiences. No a priori, unbending limitations will be set regarding the size and number of awards given; however, we anticipate that the average size of each award will be in the range of $10,000 to $15,000. Likewise, there will be no limits imposed on the purpose or use of the funding other than all expenses must be justified in a detailed budget plan. Allowable expenses include CAS teaching-buyout or overloads for course planning and preparation; this will be based on the CBA overload rate, currently $1900 per credit hour ($5,700 per person/3 credit course) plus 41.8% fringe.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Minimum/Essential Criteria

Any project funded should:

  1. Engage a minimum of 18 students per participating faculty member.
  2. Involve faculty from at least two UVM departments (with at least one with a primary appointment in the College of Arts and Sciences).
  3. Be interdisciplinary in nature and integrate a service, internship, or research/creative hands-on activity into the curriculum.
  4. Define specific learning outcomes and how they will be assessed and evaluated.
  5. (Important): specification semester/year when the course will be ready to be included in the Schedule of Courses

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed according to the following:

  1. Quality of the experience: Depth, uniqueness, and potential impact of the learning experience for the individual student and groups of students, if appropriate.
  2. Congruence of the experience: Extent to which the proposed experience fits the goals and mission of the curriculum and programs with which it is associated (alignment and quality of learning objectives, as well as assessment of learning objectives).
  3. Integration of research and/or creative activities: Extent to which participation in the experience will lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the research/scholarly/creative enterprise.
  4. Reach of the experience: Number of students impacted. Given equal quality, programs that impact larger student audiences will be evaluated more favorably.
  5. Sustainability Plan: Potential for successful implementation and continuation.
  6. Budget justification: Cost-effectiveness. Given equal quality, more efficient, less expensive programs will be evaluated more favorably.

Faculty Evaluation Committee

A committee of representative faculty will be charged with the task of evaluating and recommending proposals for funding.

Proposal Content, Submission Procedures and Deadlines

Please download the instructions for proposal content and format, including a list of resources, as well as the cover sheet template. If you have questions regarding the application instructions, completion of the application, or your budget, please contact the CAS Dean's Office.

All application packets must be emailed to to arrive no later than 4:30pm, January 31.

Last modified April 24 2015 05:04 PM