Beverly Nagel and Marci Sortor are pleased to again solicit proposals from faculty members at Carleton and St. Olaf for grants to advance curricular collaboration.

Proposals must be submitted online by Tuesday, September 30, for projects that take place between November 15, 2014, and the end of the colleges’ spring breaks in 2015. (A spring round of funding will support projects during and after summer 2015.)

As in the first round of grants in winter 2014, faculty members can submit applications for two main types of projects, described below, or for projects that do not fit neatly into these categories. The “Broadening the Bridge” website includes a list of the projects funded by the first round of grants in early 2014.

1. Exploration Grants for Inter-College Collaboration.
We expect to award between four and six “Exploration Grants” of up to $5,000 each to teams of faculty who seek to initiate or continue exploration of making courses and programs accessible to students on both campuses.

  • Visiting successful joint programs at other liberal arts consortia,
  • Staging joint department retreats to discuss existing curricula and potential areas for coordination,
  • Beginning to develop new shared curriculum (for example, a shared course or course module), or
  • Piloting strategies to address the challenges inherent to differing academic calendars—for example, exploring “flipped classrooms” that combine online course modules with traditional “synchronous” in-class experiences.

2. Targeted Opportunity Grants.

We expect to award two or three larger “Targeted Opportunity Grants” – covering course releases (or equivalent expenses) – to teams of faculty members (or faculty members and students) who seek to develop and pilot more ambitious joint curricular projects, including projects with experiential learning components:

  • Allowing a faculty member to work with colleagues on both campuses to align prerequisites and curriculum structures so as to permit cross-registration and provide greater coverage and depth;
  • Facilitating intensive work by a team of faculty, either through course releases or summer support, toward developing a jointly-offered major in an “emerging field;”
  • Supporting the development and launch of collaborative engaged learning experiences for students such as research seminars;
  • Launching intensive summer research collaborations, including research that capitalizes on our colleges’ distinctive assets: our libraries’ special collections, our college archives, the Carleton Arboretum and St. Olaf Natural Lands, et cetera); or
  • Sponsoring joint academic civic engagement projects in the local community that involve courses and students from both campuses.

Note that both Exploration Grants and Targeted Opportunity Grants could serve to develop and test curricular ideas that might be eligible for follow-on grants, in the form of course releases, to offer shared courses that would be team-taught by pairs Carleton and St. Olaf faculty members. (We expect that the first round of these larger grants will be made in 2015 for courses offered during the 2015-2016 academic year.)

To submit a proposal, complete the “Broadening the Bridge” grant application form by Tuesday, September 30. The form asks for four types of information:

  1. the applicants’ names, departments/programs, and college affiliations; the names of the applicants’ department/program chairs;
  2. information on the project (title. one-sentence summary, a specific period of support, a 500-word description);
  3. a budget (including faculty stipends at the rate of $600 per week per faculty member, travel costs, materials, or services) and a brief explanation of budgeted costs; and
  4. a short statement on the likelihood of securing additional funding.

Aiming to announce awards by Friday, November 7, proposals for Exploration Grants and Targeted Opportunity Grants will be evaluated in October by a committee of administrators and faculty from the two colleges. Proposals will be evaluated according to their potential to

  • support exploration and pilot activities that seem likely to mature into substantive collaborations over several years;
  • clearly benefit formal classroom curricula and experiential learning;
  • advance the colleges’ goals of fostering exceptionally strong teaching and research; and
  • address specific goals for departments or programs that have been previously identified as significant by faculty members, academic leaders, outside reviewers, or other stakeholders.

Contact the appropriate person at your institution.

St. Olaf

  • Marci Sortor, Provost and Dean of the College (, 507-786-3004)
  • Helen Warren, Director of Government and Foundation Relations (, 507-786-3009)