Skip to Main Content

How to Apply

UMBC’s Fund for Innovation Competition supports initiatives to enhance teaching and learning at UMBC, with specific emphasis on innovative approaches to increase the success of our undergraduate and graduate students. Such approaches may include, but are not limited to, redesign of courses or other learning experiences, innovative course and/or curriculum development and other projects designed to improve or understand student-learning outcomes at the UMBC. Proposals that aim to understand the effectiveness of existing strategies at UMBC will also be accepted.

The competition is open to all tenured and tenure-track faculty; clinical instructional faculty; lecturers and instructors; and staff with full-time appointments. Proposals for funding may be made by individuals or by collaborative groups.

If interested, please submit a proposal using our Hrabowski Fund for Innovation Competition Call for Proposals document.


Seed Awards have a budget totaling less than $3,500 for the 24-month period.

Adaptation Awards have a budget totaling $10,000 or less for the 24-month period. These awards support the adaptation and implementation of existing successful innovations into other courses, programs, or disciplines.

Implementation and Research Awards have a budget of $3,500 or greater up to the total maximum amount of $25,000 for the 24-month period. Individual recipients and the leader of a collaborative project may use the title of “UMBC Innovation Fellow” for the duration of the award. Individuals participating in a collaborative group project will be considered as members of a “UMBC Innovation Collaborative.”

Proposal Development and Criteria

The proposal narrative must describe the project background, the project goals and objectives, methodology, a plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the project in reaching those goals and a start date.

  • Proposals should address, and will be evaluated upon, the following criteria:
  • Clear description of a well-defined project or problem to be investigated.
  • Potential impact on student success and/or broadening participation and the metrics that will be used to assess this impact.
  • Where appropriate, the relationship between the proposed methods and concepts and existing research in teaching and learning (at UMBC or elsewhere).
  • The feasibility of the project.
  • Plans for formative and summative assessment of the impact on student learning.
  • Plans for sustaining funding for ongoing costs for the project beyond the grant period (if appropriate). These plans must be provided by the PI’s Dean or other unit officer with primary budget responsibility.
  • Plans for dissemination within the UMBC community including the potential of the transfer of lessons learned to other courses, disciplines and programs.
Proposal Submission Format and Review
  • Applications consist of completion and submission of the following components: the checklist page (provided), cover page form (provided), budget template (provided), and proposal narrative.
    The checklist provides a convenient way to verify that the proposal is complete.
  • The cover page form captures essential information from the proposal narrative, such as: title of the project; names of faculty or staff and departments or units involved in the project; a concise summary or abstract of the project including project goals; and overall cost. The cover page requires a signature indicating endorsement of the entire proposal by the applicants’ department chair(s) or supervisor(s).
  • The budget template captures common categories of expense and is required to be included in the proposal. An Excel spreadsheet version of the template is also available on the FDC website.
  • The proposal narrative develops these ideas fully, clearly addressing the criteria described in section three above. The proposal narrative will include a budget justification.