Upstate Institute Course Development Grants

The Upstate Institute provides course development grants each year to support Colgate faculty with teaching interests that involve community engagement.


The Upstate Institute invites all continuing members of the faculty at Colgate University to apply for a course development grant to be administered by the Upstate Institute in partnership with the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. These grants support faculty seeking to give students course-based research experiences while addressing a community need identified through collaboration with a local not-for-profit or government agency.  


For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Upstate Institute will provide support for two types of course development grants: up to two courses proposed and taught by a single instructor and one course team-taught by a team of two instructors.  These grants include a faculty stipend as well as support for course-related expenses to develop a new or revised course that engages students in community-based research.   

The proposed course may be new or a substantial redesign of a course the applicant has already taught. By accepting the grant, the applicant(s) is expected to teach the proposed course two times in the four subsequent academic years. The applicant(s) will also be expected to share the results of their course development work with others through various media, and should be prepared to work with the Upstate Institute on a plan for course assessment.

Faculty awarded a grant to support a course taught by a single instructor will be awarded a one-time stipend of $4000 to support development of the community-based research component of the course.  Faculty applying for the team-teaching opportunity will each be awarded a one-time stipend of $1000 for their work to develop the course and will each receive one full load credit for their full participation in teaching, attending, grading, and participating co-curricularly in the course.  Team-taught courses will be supported with a full load credit for each participating faculty member for the first two iterations only; instructors may reapply for full credit support after the course has been taught twice.  Otherwise, further iterations of the course may be taught for 1⁄2 credit per instructor.

In addition, successful applicant(s) may request additional funds of up to $4,000 from the Upstate Institute each of the first two times that the course is taught; these funds are meant to support expenses related to the course such as local travel, supplies, equipment, or guest lecturers.


  • Course will be taught at least 2 times over the next 4 years.
  • For team-taught courses, preference will be given to proposals that team faculty across divisions or in otherwise interdisciplinary pairings.
  • The proposed budget for course implementation costs will be vetted by staff of the Upstate Institute in consultation with the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
  • The community based research component should include a substantive outcome for the community organization with which the students work. 
  • Students should be given a substantial community-based research project and be asked to critically reflect on their experiences with community engagement.
  • If a course selected for an award is new to the curriculum, instructors must then submit it to the Curriculum Committee for approval.
  • While not a requirement of the program, proposals that creatively combine interests in community engagement with the goals of other Colgate course development grant opportunities (eg: Bicentennial Program, COVE course development grants, and others) will be favorably considered.
  • Members of the Upstate Institute Executive Board will review proposals.  A list of members of the Executive Board is available here.

A selection of Colgate courses that include a community-based component: 

  • Art and Art History 370: Critical Museum Theory (Liz Marlowe)
  • Computer Science 480: Software Engineering for the Cloud (Joel Sommers)
  • Educational Studies 332: Disability, Difference and Inclusion (Ashley Taylor)
  • English 281: Dramatic Literature (Christian DuComb)
  • Environmental Studies 315: Applied Natural Resource Conservation (Tim McCay)
  • Environmental Studies 390: Community-Based Study of Environmental Issues
  • Geography 250: Research Methods (Ellen Kraly)
  • Geography 311: Urban Geography (Jessica Graybill)
  • Geography 316: Environmental and Public Health Geographies (Ellen Kraly)
  • Sociology 254: Community-Based Research (Janel Benson)
  • Writing 215: Public Speaking (Ryan Solomon)

To Apply

Proposals can be made to the Upstate Institute by October 15, 2018 as outlined in our Course Development Grant Guidelines. Send an electronic copy of the proposal to Lynn Schwarzer which includes a copy of this downloadable cover page.