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Office of the Provost

Summer Grants for the Improvement of Instruction


The University of Southern Mississippi has a long-standing commitment to new and innovative pedagogy that improves student learning and enhances faculty members’ experience of teaching. As part of this commitment, each year the Office of the Provost awards summer salary stipends through a competitive process. Award-winning proposals will provide faculty members with time to redesign or create new courses and/or assessment practices.  

For the 2019 Summer Grants for the Improvement of Instruction (SGII), the Office of the Provost calls for proposals from faculty for the redesign of high-demand courses for delivery in multiple academic session formats—full-term, half-term, and intersession. We are seeking proposals that will demonstrate:

  • Creative approaches to pedagogy, using evidence-based teaching and best practices
  • Consistency in learning outcomes across session formats
  • Equivalency in coverage of content across session formats
  • Plans for delivery of the course in multiple formats in the 2019-2020 academic year 


The 2018-2019 academic year calendar revision established new meeting patterns for classes and new lengths for terms. Regular semester classes are now roughly 15 weeks, with longer meeting times for each class period than in previous years. We also have half-term sessions (Session I and Session II) as well as intersessions (three-week terms in August, January, and May). Summer now consists of a single ten-week session or two five-week sessions.

The changes to the academic calendar have required faculty members to reimagine teaching, given the shorter terms, typically with longer class periods. In addition, as we look towards growing demand for intersession and half-term courses, we recognize that developing pedagogically rich and creatively designed courses for the varied meeting patterns can be time-consuming for faculty, particularly with the emphasis we place on evidence-based teaching practices, active learning, and robust student engagement. The 2019 SGII awards provide faculty with an opportunity to use time in the summer to redesign a course for effective, creative delivery in multiple formats and sessions.


Award Parameters

The SGII will be awarded to the strongest proposals for pedagogical innovation for high-demand undergraduate classes reconfigured creatively for delivery in different sessions of the academic calendar year. Faculty members should consult with their directors to discuss Platinum Analytics data on predicted course demand and include information about that demand in their proposal (see below for details of submission requirements).

The proposed project must be completed during summer 2019, and faculty members may request the equivalent of three or six hours of part-time teaching salary, depending on the amount of work to be done. The recipient is eligible to engage in other university employment (e.g., teaching or administrative duties), but total University compensation may not exceed three course equivalencies (nine hours).

The course proposed for revision must be delivered in at least two different session formats in the 2019-2020 academic year. If the proposal requires approval of Academic or Graduate Councils, those processes should be begun prior to summer 2019. Faculty who propose redevelopment of online courses will be expected to have participated in training on use of the Quality Matters course rubric through the Office of Online Learning before the course is offered.


Faculty Eligibility

  • Awards are open to full-time members of the Corps of Instruction who are teaching at least six hours of regularly scheduled courses during the 2018-2019 academic year. Faculty may receive a SGII every five years. Faculty members who received a SGII award in 2014 or later are ineligible for the 2019 grants. 
  • Preference will be given to faculty members who have actively utilized opportunities for faculty development (e.g., Teaching Forums, ACUE Faculty Development Institute) or engaged in other efforts to enhance their instructional skills.
  • A SGII proposal may be authored by one or more faculty members. If two or more faculty members are part of the proposal, include details about the role and time commitment for each faculty member in the proposal. The proposal may not require more than nine total credit hours of work (e.g., a six-credit hour reassignment for one faculty co-author and a three-credit hour reassignment for the other).
  • Award recipients must be employees at the University in fall 2019 in order to receive a SGII.  


Required Content for SGII Application Submission

Faculty members who would like to apply for a 2019 SGII should talk with their school directors about possible plans and craft proposals in line with school, college, and university needs. Proposals must include the following items to be considered for the award:


1. Cover page

  • Name, program, school affiliation, email, and phone number of faculty member(s) applying for the grant;
  • Title, course number, and credit hours for the course(s) to which the proposal refers;
  • Statement specifying demand for the course, as indicated by Platinum Analytics data. Please talk with your directors to get this information and provide context for how it relates to your proposal. Faculty may also note if the course fulfills a requirement for any major, minor, or other program.
  • Indication of whether Academic Council or other approval will be required prior to implementation of the course changes/creation as proposed.
  • If the course is online, statement regarding whether the faculty has completed any Quality Matters training and, if not, an indication of when the rubric training will be done.
  • Statement regarding whether the faculty applicants have completed training on active learning techniques and, if so, what (e.g., ACUE Faculty Development Institute, Service-Learning Faculty Fellows seminar).

2. Proposal (1000-1500 words)

  • In your proposal, write for a general academic audience such that faculty evaluators in a range of disciplines will understand clearly what your plans are, what exactly you will do to carry them out, and why your proposed innovations will contribute to the University of Southern Mississippi. More specifically, be sure to include the following elements:
  • Purpose: Which course do you intend to re-create, and for delivery in which sessions?
  • Method: Discuss the steps you will take to implement the project. For example, you might seek assistance from iTech, the Center for Faculty Development, the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, the Office of Online Learning, or other support areas/offices. You might also do research on best practices and creative work employed at other universities. If you are seeking funding beyond the salary stipend, indicate in the proposal the source and status of the additional funds. If you require instructional technology support or other academic support, indicate whether such support is available. 
  • Anticipated impact: Indicate the potential impact of the project on instruction. Which groups will benefit from the development and delivery of this project? In what ways?
  • Evaluation and assessment: Discuss how you will assess the course and the student learning outcomes across different sessions, and whether you anticipate any challenges or needs to adapt existing assessment practices for the redesign you are planning.
  • Progress and timeline: Outline any work already undertaken and provide a timetable for the anticipated completion of the project. Your timeline should be specific – what will be done before May 2019, then what will be done when each month during summer 2019. You may break the timeline into week or into other time periods as appropriate to your work plan. Note that compensation can be requested for three- or six-hour equivalents and proposals should clearly demonstrate to the evaluation committee that the work being done in the summer requires the amount of time being requested. 
3. Letters of Support
  • The submitted proposal must include letters of support from the director and the dean of the college. In their letters, the director and dean should address the level of need and possible impact of the project.  It is the responsibility of the faculty member(s) offering the proposal to provide their application to the director and dean and request the letters of support be sent to the Office of the Provost no later than October 19, 2018.  Letters should be emailed directly to Christina.ForemanFREEMississippi.
4. Other Materials
  • Curriculum Vitae: Submit a CV pulled from Digital Measures using the “SGII CV Report” template. You will find this option under “reports.” If you have questions, please contact Senior Associate Provost Dr. Douglas Masterson at Douglas.MastersonFREEMississippi.
  • Additional supporting materials (optional, maximum 2 pages)


Submission Procedure

  • All materials must be submitted through the Mach form here by October 31, 2018. Faculty members applying for the SGII should upload required materials as individual PDF documents through the form. Letters from deans and directors should be sent directly to the Office of the Provost by emailing by the deadline.
  • For additional information please contact Christina Foreman in the Office of the Provost at (601) 266-6579.



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