Impact Grants

Mason Impacts Students. Students Impact the World

Impact Grants look for teams of faculty, staff, and administrators to design innovative multidisciplinary curriculum at either the undergraduate or graduate level.  Our goal is to help you create scaffolded, intentional programs that incorporate experiential learning and build on the strengths across Mason.

2022-2023 Curriculum Impact Grantees

The Faculty and Curricular Activities committee and a team of peer reviewers evaluated 25 highly competitive submissions and selected 6 curricular projects to fund. These projects represent an impressive array of collaborations across colleges and schools aiming to create high-impact learning experiences for students, by deepening their engagement and preparing them for substantive impact on the world.

Local Climate Action Planning Initiative

Paul Bubbosh, Richard Kauzlarich, Edward Maibach, Joel Hicks (Schar)

Transition Course re-fresh for International Students

Aimee Weinstein, Steve Harris-Scott, Laura Miller, Robert Graham (INTO Mason)

Anti-Racist and Decolonizing Research (ARDR)

Meagan Call-Cummings, Alicia Cooper, Michelle Buehl, Robert Graham, Sharrell Hassell-Goodman, Angela Miller, Bethany Letiecq, Marvin Powell (CEHD, CHSS, Into Mason)

Graduate Certificate in Publishing Practice

Scott W. Berg, Michael Don, Gregg Wilhelm (CHSS)

The Business of DEI

Jackie Brown, Elaine Viccora, Cameron Harris (Business)

Teaching Systems Thinking and Civic Engagement as Core Skills for Global Problem-solving

Karen Akerlof, Meaghan Caruso (COS),

Jeremy Campbell (ISE)

Andrew Wingfield (CHSS)

Devandas James practices with Professor Samuel Bonds. Photo by Evan Cantwell/George Mason University

Devandas James practices with Professor Samuel Bonds.

Photo credit:
Photo credit
Evan Cantwell/George Mason University

Call for Proposals

The 2023-2024 deadline for Curriculum Impact Grant proposals will be due 4/14/2023.  Look for more information in the spring for this years guidelines

Curriculum Impact Grant Submission Guidelines

Project Summary

No More than 500 words.

Describe the overall idea and scope of the project that you are proposing. This summary will be used by reviews and by the Undergraduate Education Office to promote and advertise your curriculum change.

Narrative

No more than 4 pages

Please address each of the following prompts within the narrative

  1. Overview: Describe your module of two or more scaffolded courses; include the units involved, the faculty involved with their roles with the team, the scope of the curriculum project, and the goals for the year of funding this grant will provide.  Make sure to discuss any co-curricular or global initiatives that are embedded or parallel to the curriculum.
  2. Mason Impact Area: If this is an undergraduate program, how does the course module relate to one of the Mason Impact focus areas (Research and Creative Activities, Civic Engagement, or Entrepreneurship)?
  3. Connection with the focus area(s) QEP: For QEP, identify how this curriculum change is connected to the current QEP. How do your curriculum changes allow students to examine the questions/challenges proposed by the QEP? How do your curriculum changes allow students to reflect on anti-racism? ARIE: For ARIE, identify whether you are proposing a curriculum change or engaged in a capacity-building effort (see more information on the Stearns Center site). Identify how your curriculum change supports anti-racist, inclusive, and equitable learning through changes to course content, assessment of learning, and/or sequences of learning. Identify how your capacity-building program will be developed to expand Mason faculty’s access to ARIT resources within or across disciplinary communities.
  4. Managing the Curricular Change: How will these modules be sustained? What is your process for piloting and then sustaining these course modules? What will be your measures of success at both stages? If these courses cross disciplines, discuss the sustainability of these collaborations after the grant.
  5. University Enhancement: How will this course module enhance graduate or undergraduate offerings at Mason? Address the need for the courses (student interest, employer or community needs, etc). What new content, new teaching format, or new collaborations are being created through this curriculum?

Letters of Support from Chairs and/or Deans

For each unit involved with the grant proposal, provide a support letter, from either the department chair or the dean of the unit, that addresses the desire for curriculum change and the sustainability of these changes in the future.

Budget and Justification (submitted through the application system)

  • Faculty stipends and professional development funds can not exceed $3,000 ($9,000 dollar limit per project).
  • One graduate student (full-time) per semester (summer, fall, spring).
  • Up to 2 undergraduate students (hourly) can be requested per semester (summer, fall, spring).
  • Additional funds for supplies, materials, and travel can be requested.

This information will be submitted as part of the application process.  You will enter each budget item into the system individually.  Feel free to group supply funds into one item and use the justification section to provide more detail. 

Curriculum Overview (submitted through the application system)

Through a set of guided questions, explain the curriculum change in terms of courses and student learning outcomes.  You will include courses that will be redesigned and courses that might be created new, highlighting the courses that engage students through experiential learning and high-impact practices.

This information will be submitted as part of the application process.  You will be prompted through a series of questions about your curriculum change and the courses and experiences that will be part of the effort.

Floating Wetlands on Mason Pond

Students from environmental professor Changwoo Ahn's class launched a 1,700-plant floating wetland on Mason Pond Tuesday afternoon. The yearlong project brings together art and science students and is designed to clean the water as well as to spur ecological awareness.

Photo credit:
Photo credit
Craig Bisacre/Creative Services/George Mason University

Course Impact Grants

A single course with extended reach might be one that crosses disciplinary boundaries, is routinely offered in multiple sections, and/or is central to students' experience in the major or track. The course must focus on anti-racist and inclusive course content and/or course assignments so that students engage directly with historical and/or contemporary questions of racism, discrimination, justice, and equity related to the field(s) of study.

Sponsored by the ARIE Task Force’s Instructional Support Working Group.

 

Submit your Course Impact Grant Proposal

Course Impact Grant Guidelines

Project Summary (no more than 300 words)

Describe the course; describe the key foci of the course revision (content/assignments/activities); include the faculty involved with their roles with the team, and the goals for the year of funding this grant will provide. If the course relates to one of the Mason Impact focus areas  (Research and Creative Activities, Civic Engagement, or Entrepreneurship) or another university or college/school initiative, please explain. If this is an exploratory project designed to produce a proposal and rationale for a course or course revision rather than a project to change/design a course and prepare it for rapid implementation (both options are welcome), please explain. Include the names, titles, and units of all key participants. 

Narrative (No more than 1000 Words) 

Please address each of the following prompts within the narrative: 

Impact: Describe the factors that make this course “high impact”: number of students/sections, foundational role for students in program, opportunity for faculty/TA development, cross-disciplinary innovation, etc. If there is institutional data revealing differential success for students in this course/program based on background/identity that course revisions/designs might address, please explain.  

ARIE-related revisions: Identify the key goals for how your course or course revisions will address calls for anti-racist, inclusive, and equitable teaching through course content, assessment of learning, and/or sequences of learning. What resources will you consult and/or assemble to help guide the course design and implementation? Identify how your course will integrate learning and/or assessment of learning that is designed to call out and reduce the effects of structural racism as appropriate to the field, and how the course will address intersectionality with other forms of structural discrimination. (See more information on the Stearns Center site). 

Initial and extended outcomes: List two or three learning outcomes for this course that are directly related to ARIE principles (“By the end of this course, students will be able to ___”). List any goals for student satisfaction/retention/persistence/engagement, and how you plan to measure those. List any subsequent courses or learning experiences where students will beneficially apply what they learn about ARIE in this course. Cite any reports, calls, or statements documenting the need for professionals in this field to have the inclusion, justice, and equity awareness/skills that the course provides. 

Managing the Course Implementation:  What is your timeline for proposing and/or (re)designing and piloting this course? What is your plan for sustaining it? Will this course be offered in multiple modalities, and if so, how will that roll out? How will you support faculty for the pilot and ongoing instruction? (Stearns Center can assist with designs for faculty support programming, but leadership, recognition, and evaluation will need to be embedded locally.) What will be your measures of success in these areas? If this course crosses disciplines, discuss the sustainability of these collaborations after the grant.  

Letters of Support from chairs and/or deans   

For each unit involved with the grant proposal, provide a support letter, from either the department chair or the dean of the unit, that addresses the desire for a new/revised course and the sustainability of these changes in the future.  

Budget and Justification (Form included in the application system)  

Faculty stipends should be $3,000 per person ($9,000 dollar limit per project). Hourly student wages (grad/undergrad) and/or funds for materials, supplies, or professional development can be provided up to $10,000 for the year. Grants can propose additional spending, but must justify that cost with attention to additional need or impact. 

CHSS students in classroom and outside Horizon Hall. Photo by: Ron Aira/Creative Services/ George Mason University
CHSS students in classroom

CHSS students in classroom and outside Horizon Hall.

Photo credit:
Photo credit
Ron Aira/Creative Services/ George Mason University