Sylvia Earl Innovation Award Application Guidelines

The Sylvia Earl Innovation Award is designed to inspire and support innovative work, ideas, and programs that use technology to enhance the Wheelock experience for our community. Four general principles will guide award decisions. The principles include the degree to which projects are:

  • Technology Driven:  Proposals should connect the use of new or existing technologies and tools to enhance existing or develop new programs and opportunities to support the work and the strategic efforts of the College. 
  • Innovative:  Proposals should enable new practices and policies in areas of education, student support or institutional effectiveness.  These can include experimental, creative, investigative, and entrepreneurial ideas, as well as extensions of current activities that will lead to better classroom experiences, learning outcomes and student success.
  • Clear and Measurable:  Proposals need to address clearly defined areas and issues and must be able to articulate outcome goals and how these goals will be measured. 
  • Replicable and Scalable:  Projects should have an extendable impact. They should develop ideas, tools, programs that can be shared. Where possible awardees will be offered support and expertise to develop and implement projects, and will be connected to others who have applied for grants to do similar or related activities.

Sylvia Earl Inovation AwardCollaborative projects, those that are at the intersection of or work across boundaries (curricular, disciplinary, programmatic, and administrative) are encouraged. Proposals should result in insights, expertise, and/or documentation that can be meaningfully shared, and that will help enhance the work of the College.

Proposals with a robust evaluative dimension are encouraged, especially those that can be clearly related to longer‐term efforts, and that will be of interest both within and beyond Wheelock.

Grants requests from $5,000 up to $25,000 will be considered. As a general guideline, up to 40 percent of funds can be used as a stipend to support the necessary work to implement the proposal. Exceptions for a higher level of funding of stipends will be considered contingent on the nature of the proposal. Funds not used for stipends must be used to directly support the design development and implementation of the proposal. Applications will need to justify stipends.

Exceptions for larger grants will be considered for high‐impact proposals. It is expected that requests for funds will align with the potential for impact and rigor of plan development, and that proposed uses of funds will be appropriately spare.  Funding can be requested for term staff and release time for existing staff, technical tools and equipment, and outsourced services.

Wheelock College faculty and students, deans, administrators, and staff are eligible to submit letters of intent, individually or as groups.  Programs that can reallocate existing funding to support development or implementation are encouraged. Funding for business‐as‐usual processes will not be considered.

Application Process

Applications are closed for the 2017 awards. The 2018 deadlines will be posted in the fall.

Applicants should first indicate their interest through a Letter of Intent. Letters (1-3 pages) should briefly outline goals, essential components, and an approximate budget. Although the threshold for awarding grants will be appropriately high, applicants without fully‐formed projects are encouraged to submit Letters and use the application process to develop their ideas.

Individuals can submit more than one Letter of Intent for different proposals. Students are strongly encouraged to collaborate with faculty and school administrators whenever possible.

Likewise, all applicants are strongly encouraged to notify their local departments and/or dean's office.  Departmental, programmatic, or dean support is not expected for the Letters of Intent, but is encouraged at the later, full application stage.

Submit Letters of Intent to and include relevant contact information (contact person, position, campus address, email address, and phone number). Program staff will review each Letter of Intent, correspond with applicants to clarify any questions, and collaborate with selected applicants to develop a full application. In evaluating proposals, staff will consult with relevant deans and administrators. Final award decisions will be deliberated by a selection committee comprising faculty and staff.

Questions regarding proposals or the proposal process can be sent to

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