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Departmental Innovation Grant Proposals

Your department can apply to receive one-time funding for innovative projects that benefit the students at the University of Nevada with money from the Student Technology Fee. 

Purpose & Use of the Student Technology Fee

The Student Technology Fee at the University of Nevada, Reno is dedicated to the acquisition, installation, maintenance, and use of state-of-the-art technology for the purpose of supporting and enhancing student learning.

Technologies funded from the Student Technology Fee can be used to support innovative instructional applications as long as the primary emphasis is in support of student learning as was outlined in consultation to the leadership of student government, the University administration, and the Board of Regents in fall 1999.

The intent of these internal grants is to provide funding to try new things with technology for instruction or student services. For example, proposals could include requests for using blockchain technology for authentication for student work, or a chatbot for interaction, or new software for simulation work, or IoT devices for student use. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive but are intended to help illuminate possible uses. In the "Proposal Eligibility and Restrictions" section below, you'll find a short list of limitations of the funds. In the future, we will provide examples of projects that have been approved and awarded Departmental Innovation Grants with a summary of how the funding was used.

As outlined in the original proposal, the primary purpose of this funding is to serve only as a supplement to general funds in order to provide technologies used in support of student learning.

Definitions

The term "technology" or “technologies” in this document denotes computer hardware, software, or other equipment used to invent useful things, solve a problem, or achieve a practical purpose.

The term “innovation” or “innovative” in this document denotes the introduction of something new, as in a new idea, method, or device.

Proposals & Selection Criteria

Each proposal requesting funds from the departmental portion of the Student Technology Fee must specify how the funds will be used. Innovative instructional projects or requests for “seed” money to support pilot technology projects are encouraged.

Academic and administrative departments, colleges and schools, and Student Services units (no applications from individuals will be considered) should submit proposals to the Departmental Innovation Grant Proposal Online Submission Form. All departmental proposals should be submitted through the department chair and the respective Dean or department head, who will prioritize the proposals from their respective areas. In the case of Student Services units, the proposals should be submitted through the Vice President for Student Services, who will prioritize proposals submitted from Student Services units.

Proposals must include:

  • Title Page – this should include the name(s) of the principal applicant(s)
  • Project Abstract – this should provide an overview of the proposal and its scope (approximately 100 words)
  • Student population to be served/Impact statement – Include all that apply: undergraduate, graduate, department/program majors, non-majors, etc. How many students would benefit from this proposal each year (estimated)? What is the potential scalability?
  • Courses that would directly benefit from this proposal, if approved – List course titles and numbers.
  • Budget & Timeline– Provide an itemized list of expenses and costs associated with the project, as well as a time period during which the funds will be used. It is preferred that any financial documents such as quotes or pricing estimates be included in the proposal as an attachment.
  • Other Resources – If you have obtained or requested commitments for funds or services from other sources to help with this project,  include the source, amount, and intended use of these funds.
  • Departmental approval/prioritization – Approval from Dean or department head must be included. For departments submitting multiple proposals, they must be prioritized by the Dean or department head.
  • Follow-up report – Acknowledge and commit to providing a summary report outlining the overall outcome of the funded project to the Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee within one year from the proposal award.

Office of Information Technology, Teaching & Learning Technologies, and Libraries technical staff will provide consulting advice upon request.

Priority of Proposals

Proposals that impact greater numbers of students will be given priority.

Priority will generally be given to proposals that have matching funds available through the department or supplemented by other funds.

Proposal Eligibility & Restrictions

Only proposals that will ultimately meet the purpose and use of the Student Technology Fee are eligible for submission.

Proposals will be considered from academic departments, administrative departments, colleges and schools, and Student Services units (individuals may not apply).

Only proposals for projects greater than $5,000 but no more than $50,000 will be considered.

Student Technology Fee funds for departmental innovation grant proposals are one-time-only and will not cover recurring costs such as maintenance, technology refresh, or replacement costs.

Student Technology Fee funded projects must meet all University policies and guidelines for accessibility, authentication, security, and baseline system configuration. It is encouraged to include a VPAT for any proposals that include new software. Please see the University's Accessibility Procurement Webpage for more information about accessibility guidelines.

When a proposal is accepted, it is the responsibility of the requesting department to coordinate with any and all other departments or units that will be involved with the project to establish an appropriate and realistic timeline for the project.

Innovative or experimental projects proposed for shared spaces (classrooms, labs, etc.) cannot adversely affect normal instructional activities and services.

Student Technology Fee proposal funds cannot be used to cover faculty stipends or salaries for undergraduate/graduate assistants.

Student Technology Fee proposal funds cannot be used to cover consumables.

Student Technology Fee proposal funds cannot be used for core infrastructure costs, such as construction, renovation, electrical, HVAC, or other facilities-related activities.

In the spirit of transparency to the students paying the Technology Fee, the principal applicant(s) must provide a brief written report outlining the results and overall outcome of the project to the Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee within one year from the proposal award. Failure to submit a follow-up report may result in future ineligibility of Student Technology Fee funding.

Questions regarding proposal eligibility can be referred to the Vice Provost for Information Technology & Chief Information Officer or the Dean of the Libraries. Email the Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee.

Awards

The Student Technology Fee Advisory Committee will review all proposals and make recommendations on award amounts and priorities to the Vice Provost for Information Technology & Chief Information Officer and the Dean of Libraries. 

Since there are limited funds available, proposals may not be fully funded by Student Technology Fees.

The Vice Provost for Information Technology & Chief Information Officer and/or the Dean of the Libraries will notify the departments awarded Student Technology Fee funding.

Important Dates

The Departmental Innovation Grant Proposal process will take place during the spring semester.

  • Proposal Due Date: March 1st
  • Notification of the Results: April 30th 
  • Funds Availability: Immediately upon notification of award
  • Funds Expended: Within 1 year of notification of award
  • Project Completion: Typically within 1 year of notification of award
  • Final Report Due to Committee: Within 1 year of notification of award
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