How to Apply

Mellon Curricular Development Seed Grants

Bryn Mawr faculty and staff are invited to apply for curricular development seed grants that further the Mellon grant initiative’s goal of “Developing a Liberal Arts Curriculum for the Digital Age.” This grant was intended to support Bryn Mawr’s work with blended learning, with a particular focus on blending humanities and social sciences courses. The grant’s broader goal is to help Bryn College identify and develop curricular and co-curricular opportunities for undergraduates to develop the necessary technical competencies and critical perspectives needed for scholarship and careers in a digital age.

We are particularly interested in courses that:

  • Help students develop a critical framework for analyzing and discussing how digital technologies impact societies, economies, culture, human behavior, and/or scholarly knowledge production.
  • Introduce students to research methodologies that are enabled by digital tools (such as mapping, network analysis, textual analysis, etc.)
  • Help students develop skills and critical frameworks needed to analyze, critique and create non-linear, interactive and/or crowd-sourced narratives and arguments enabled by digital media.

To apply, fill out an online application.

We accept applications on a rolling basis.

What Support is Available?

When you submit an application, a member of the Educational Technology Services team will contact you to set up a consultation meeting to talk about your ideas in detail and how we can support them.

In addition to providing seed grant funding, the Mellon grant has enabled the college to strengthen our educational technology and instructional design support. We have hired two full-time Educational Technologists, who along with the educational technology support specialists in Library & Information Technology Services (LITS), can help grantees and other faculty research technological solutions, learn new technologies, test interactive materials such as quizzes, troubleshoot problems, and provide technical support for students during a course. In June and July, ETS hosts several summer interns, who can help with producing videos, digitizing materials, creating interactive quizzes, etc. for projects funded by seed grants

Seed grant funding can be used to cover expenses related to developing and implementing courses, digital course projects or other curricular initiatives. Courses can be new, or existing courses that you are revising to incorporate a blended approach or to incorporate a significant digital scholarship or analysis component.

Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • faculty stipends ($1500 or $3000, depending on the level of work)
  • hiring student teaching, research, or technical assistants, etc. (in addition to summer intern support)
  • purchasing software or courseware for pilots
  • expenses for outside contractor services needed to develop digital materials
  • related professional development for faculty (e.g., attending a conference to learn more about digital projects developed by faculty in your field);
  • bringing in guest speakers
  • supporting student fieldwork

This grant cannot be used for:

  • food or entertainment expenses,
  • science courses (not a Mellon area of funding); although humanities/social science courses taught by scientists (e.g. E-sems) or science courses that are cross-listed in humanities or social sciences or taught as part of an interdisciplinary cluster would be eligible
  • on-going funding for software beyond a pilot phase.

Requirements of Grantees

These seed grants are part of an overall initiative to “Develop a Liberal Arts Curriculum for the Digital Age,”  and come with a few strings attached. Faculty and staff who apply for seed grants are expected to:

  1. Allow us to publish a brief description of the project and the names of the primary people involved.
  2. Share experiences with your colleagues and/or the Bryn Mawr College community at at least one event. We will be setting up a number of  venues for this, but presentations at other college events — e.g., Colloquia for Visual Culture, a faculty tech workshop, “Works in Progress” lunches, etc. — or at the Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts Conference (May 20-21) also “count.”
  3. Allow us to evaluate your project (and any related courses, events, etc.) as part of our overall program assessment.

Please note that the evaluation mentioned in #3 is not an evaluation of the project leaders personally. Our goal is to identify methods, approaches, curricular ideas, and technologies that further the grant initiative’s goals in order to develop institutional support for them. We work with project leaders to develop an evaluation plan that simultaneously meets their own needs for measuring success. The LITS staff who are working with project leaders will share and discuss any project-level evaluation data with them. Any findings published or shared beyond the project group will be anonymized and aggregated so that individual student, faculty, and staff participants cannot be identified or data linked to them. If we think it might be useful to publish or share findings in a way that participants might be identified, we will secure their explicit, written consent first.

If you have any questions or concerns about evaluation and data collection under this grant, please contact Jenny Spohrer (jspohrer@brynmawr.edu), Mary Osirim (mosirim@brynmawr.edu) or the chair of Bryn Mawr’s Institutional Review Board, Leslie Alexander (lalexand@brynmawr.edu).

 

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