Office of Research and Creative Scholarship

Presidential Fund for Curricular Innovation (PFCI)

Internal Pre-Approval Form

Please submit your Internal Funding Proposal - Pre-Approval form to Elizabeth Demski in the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship by the February 18, 2015 deadline outlined in the calendar.


Academic excellence is – said President Pelton in his Inaugural Address – “the strategic goal around which all of the others revolve.” The Presidential Fund for Curricular Innovation (PFCI) has been designed to support faculty proposals that help the college achieve this goal through significant and bold curricular innovation.

Grants up to $10,000 may be awarded depending on the proposal requests.

Grants are intended to provide substantial initial support for approved proposals and may, on some few occasions, be renewable. However, they are not designed to support an activity for an indefinite period of time, nor are they intended for general budget items or for administrative use.

While the intention of this program is to support projects that will become a vibrant and enduring part of the Emerson curriculum, grant funding for individual projects is a first step toward that end. All new curriculum will need to be approved through regular college / departmental processes.


All faculty members — tenured, tenure-track, full-time and part-time — are eligible to apply.


Applicants must show how their proposed projects will advance the curricula at Emerson in demonstrable ways. Projects should show promise of future adoption as significant course revisions, new courses, or revised programs of study or degrees.

Applicants must make the case for the innovative force of their proposed projects. Preference will be given to projects that:

  • promote faculty collaboration;
  • cross disciplinary boundaries;
  • contribute to achievement of one or more of the college's strategic priorities;
  • are genuinely bold in how they are conceived and implemented;
  • have clear measures of success.


  • Applications must be complete, clearly written, compelling, well defined, and easily understood by all of the reviewers
  • Applications that are incomplete or do not follow directions may be disqualified.
  • While applicants may apply for consecutive year awards, the Faculty Development and Research Council (FDRC) will carefully scrutinize proposals that are a continuation of any previously funded projects to determine if funding is appropriate.
  • Support for travel from the PFCI should be for activities that directly advance proposal activities.
  • In most cases, an applicant who requests a course release from the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) cannot also request or receive an additional course release from their department Chair or Dean for the same academic year. The VPAA may, for compelling and extraordinary circumstances that would benefit both the faculty member and the College, grant more than one course release per year.
  • All publications resulting from the PFCI should contain the following acknowledgement: "This research [or project] was supported in part by a grant from the Emerson College Presidential Fund for Curricular Innovation."
  • All equipment purchased with Emerson College funds or special funds channeled through Emerson are property of the College, and remain at the College if a faculty member leaves. Applicants must explain long-term usefulness of equipment that will extend beyond the grant period and the faculty member's project needs.


Proposals might be focused on the research and planning of a particularly ambitious project involving multiple departments, piloting a new cross-disciplinary program, or the development and implementation of a series of curricular modules. Proposals might focus on innovative teaching methods within a classroom or studio setting, education opportunities that extend into communities outside Emerson (local, national, or international), or teaching that utilizes new and evolving learning technologies. Proposals might develop innovative ways of considering and advancing relationships between higher education and the industries for which we prepare our students or develop an especially imaginative interplay among liberal arts, disciplinary education, and the world of work. These examples are meant to be illustrative rather than comprehensive.

Review Process

All online applications will be reviewed by the Faculty Development and Research Council (FDRC), augmented by a part-time faculty member, and with input from department Chairs, school Deans, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs regarding feasibility based on department, school, and college resources. Applicants will need to fill out and submit a pre-approval form before the application deadline in order to identify and define the proposal's impact on workload and College resources. The FDRC will make the final decisions for funding.


January 15, - March 12, 2014 Application period.
February 18 Internal Funding Proposal - Pre-Approval forms due.
March 15 Online application deadline
April 15 FDRC final decisions
April 30 Notifications to applicants
July 1,  2015 - June 30, 2016 Grant period (funds become available to awardees)
June 15, 2016 Receipts for product expenditures seeking reimbursement must be turned in to Matthew Finn in Academic Affairs by this date in order to be honored
October 1, 2016 Final progress report due to Elizabeth Demski in the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship

Application Instructions

  1. Eligible faculty members can access the online application and instructions through eCampus using their ECNet login.
  2. Applicants should select the Presidential Fund for Curricular Innovation (PFCI FY2016) to access the application.
  3. Applicants can fill out the application, save, and return to finish at any time until the application deadline on March 12, 2015.

Final Progress Report Requirement

By October 1, 2016, following the completion of a funded PFCI proposal, the faculty member awardee should provide the below report of the proposal and its outcomes to the FDRC and the President's Office:

Contact Information

Questions can be directed to Elizabeth Demski, Associate Vice President for the Office of Research and Creative Scholarship.