Instructional Development Fund: Direct Course Enhancement

This fund is intended to encourage faculty members to respond to specific academic needs by refining or updating teaching skills, cultivating expertise, or developing innovative instructional materials and resources that contribute to an improved and more current curriculum.
Submission deadlines:
September 15, November 15, February 15, April 15. Submit all supporting materials by clicking the link below.
IDF - Direct Course Enhancement Proposal Form


Instructional Development Fund (IDF) grants for direct course enhancement are intended to improve the content and/or methods of instruction in existing or proposed courses at Ithaca College. The fund is intended to encourage faculty members to respond to specific academic needs by refining or updating teaching skills, cultivating expertise, or developing innovative instructional materials and resources that contribute to an improved and more current curriculum. To be considered, any proposal submitted for this fund must specifically address concrete benefits to classroom or laboratory instruction. Individual projects may be funded to a maximum of $1500.

Participation in conferences that are instructional in nature is fundable through IDF. These can take two forms. They may be conferences specifically dedicated to training that expands one’s expertise. These differ from professional/scientific conferences in that they are not held on a regular basis, there is no open call for papers, and there is no business/organizational meeting. For such cases, a faculty member can propose to participate in a workshop or conference that is not one that they would normally go to using existing travel funds. Such participation for course improvement is fundable, but the proposal should specify that the participation is exceptional to the faculty member’s expertise.

A second form is an event held in association with a professional/scientific conference, for example, an intensive workshop or pre-conference course that requires fees beyond conference registration. The expenses incurred at these special sessions are potentially fundable through the IDF program. This support may cover tuition, room, and meal expenses for the days of the workshop. See Travel Services Policies and Procedures. Travel to the conference site and registration for the professional/scientific conferences are not eligible expenses nor are housing and meals for days other than those of the special instructional sessions.

Faculty proposing to attend software training workshops to enhance the teaching of software in their courses will be funded only if they have no significant prior experience with that software, or the faculty’s department has interest in learning about new software for its curriculum. Fees for software or other training workshops may include travel, lodging, or meals, materials such as slides or software for course adaptation, and technical services.

Ongoing software training or upgrading existing software skills is the responsibility of individual departments and schools to support.

More generally, the IDF program is not designed to fund faculty stipends, purchase equipment or other items or activities normally provided for in a department or school budget, nor is it intended for use by faculty for personal study in programs leading to an advanced degree.


IDF grants are available to all continuing full-time faculty.

Proposal Process

Proposals should include the following:
• a project description of no more than 1500 words that addresses the review criteria below;
• a current Curriculum Vitae;
• a highlighted current or proposed syllabus/syllabi affected by the project;
• a letter of support from a colleague who is familiar with the area of scholarly/creative work and the applicant’s capabilities to achieve what is proposed; and
• a brochure or letter of acceptance outlining topic and specifics (time, place, date, cost, etc.) of the workshop or learning experience, if applicable

The project description should address the following:
Central Issue/Concept - State the problem including a brief discussion of its background/history, its significance, its relationship to other problems or issues and, if applicable, any previous attempts at solution, their results and shortcomings.
• Scope - Outline specific limits of the proposed project; what exactly will be done, and, if applicable, what related work will not/cannot be done.
• Implementation - Identify traditional methods and fully describe innovative methods. Identify resources and explain their integration into the project. Give duration of the project, anticipated schedule if project is divided into parts, and who will evaluate? How? When?
• Staffing implications (e.g., covering classes and other academic duties if you will be away) - If appropriate, explain how any impact on departmental program will be handled. 
• Costs - Itemize labor costs, travel, lodging, meals, materials, etc.
• Expected Outcomes - Explain how this project would provide specific improvement in current course(s) or future course(s). Please indicate on the current syllabus (to be submitted with this proposal) where course modifications and/or additions would occur.

Review Committee and Criteria

Committee members are elected for the year by the schools, with two members from Humanities and Sciences and one member from each of the other schools.

In addition to the purposes and restrictions stated above, proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
• potential impact on classroom teaching/learning;
• relevance to curricular and instructional development;
• feasibility (likelihood of its successful implementation, applicant’s justification of costs);
connection to College, school, or departmental missions and priorities;
innovative nature; and
need for resources beyond those available from school or department sources

For projects that require budgets in excess of $1500, additional funds from other sources should be sought. Reviewers often welcome evidence that the dean and/or department have pledged support to an IDF proposal through travel funding, supplies, and reassigned duties.

Reporting and Inspection

A brief report to the Center for Faculty Excellence of how the grant was applied and the benefits that were gained is appreciated but not required.

Funded proposals are open to inspection by the campus community. Submission of a proposal implies permission to share the proposal or reproduce it for on-campus discussion if it is funded.

Instructional Development Committee
for 2020-2021
Instructional Development Fund Committee Members 2020 - 2021