Think Big RFPs

About RFPs

The landscape of higher education is changing rapidly.  To help Case Western Reserve University remain agile and fresh in addressing these changes—while also maintaining a strategic focus and North Star—the Provost's office will issue annual Requests for Proposals on topics of key importance to moving the university forward along the pathways.  

These topics will typically be selected over the summer months after consultation with university leadership and a review of annual alignment plans and external opportunities/challenges. They will then be presented each fall semester to the university community to seek solutions and ideas for moving forward priority areas in particular pathways.

Become a Reviewer

We wish to engage the community as reviewers of the annual RFP and Seed programs. Please complete this short questionnaire to be entered into our reviewer database. 

RFPs have the following features:

  • The responses requested should be both financial and operational, as we believe money only does not move us along the pathways toward the North Star.
  • Project funding will range between $30,001 and $150,000 for a one-time investment, to be spent over one year, unless otherwise approved. 
  • For those teams that developed and/or were awarded under the Seed Sprint pilot, if your project aligns to the themes below, you can either a) resubmit your unfunded seed or b) look at moving your sprint to phase II.  In either case, they will be part of the review alongside all proposals submitted.

For 2019/20, the Provost has selected Pathway 2 as the priority area for investment:

More specifically, proposal responses can fall into one of three categories:

  • Pathway 2-1, Humanity & Technology Research:  A stated goal is to increase the level of research activity at the intersection of humanity and technology.  Proposals may cover a wide array of disciplines and may request support for various activities, ranging from seed money for collection of preliminary data; workshops on defining what humanity and technology can mean for CWRU; sponsorship of a new line of research; development of a conference/workshop; procurement of key pieces of equipment required to conduct research; etc.  The key is not to continue existing work, but support new or re-defined efforts, new lines of inquiry, thereby helping further define the CWRU view of new knowledge creation.   Key considerations of equity, diversity, and ethical considerations should be considered as part of these efforts. While staff support is not eligible for funding, one time undergraduate or graduate student support is eligible.  Proposals should also consider organizational or systems issues in support of the ideas—how can it be maintained?  If a pilot, how should it grow or how should it be discontinued? 
  • Pathway 2-2, Humanity & Technology Education:  Undergraduate and graduate level courses, programs, and experiences such as internships, volunteer activities, or senior projects are encouraged through this mechanism.   What courses could be built?  Augmented?  Or new ways of learning?  What does hands-on and project-based mean for this topic of education?  What are the experiences that help our students ask the larger questions about the role of technology and its impact on society and the human experience, from ethical and equity issues to the structures of organizations and processes?  
  • Pathway 2-3, Humanity & Technology Infrastructure:  What kind of one- time investment in digital resources would better support the research and education activities of our faculty and students?  Digital infrastructure is expensive; how should we approach it differently? What does it mean to share resources, to help with start up packages or ways of learning? 

The application process is two-tiered, with preliminary proposals followed by invited proposal submissions. Responses required for the preliminary proposals:

  • Proposed RFP title
  • One sentence summary of project
  • Pathway objective addressed
  • Name of lead and contact information
  • Team member names, titles and affiliations
  • Explanation of idea (3000 characters, maximum)
  • Explanation of how it helps CWRU compete more strongly (1200 characters, maximum)
  • Description of operational/structural/policy issues that need to be considered (if any) (600 characters, maximum)
  • Description of financial requirements, including other offices/resources that need to be tapped for assistance (UTech, Library, Institutional Research, etc.) (600 characters, maximum)

**Note: Character limit includes spaces.

Applications are Now Closed

All applications will be reviewed for adherence to the intent of the pathway. Reviewers will be tapped by the Provost's Office to reflect the content of the proposal and each proposal will have at least three (3) reviews. Comments will be shared with those who are recommended to submit a full proposal, including suggestions for adding others, if reasonable, to ensure success.

Preliminary proposals were due by 11:59 p.m. on January 31, 2020.

  • Date Released:  November 19, 2019
  • Open Forum with Questions:  December 6, 2019
  • RFP Meet-Up: January 16, 2020
  • Preliminary Proposal Due:  by 11:59 p.m. on January 31, 2020
  • Feedback Received:  February 21, 2020
  • Full Proposals Due (if invited):  by 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020
  • Awards Made:  TBD
  • RFP Grant End Date:  On/around June 1, 2021

Submit your questions/comments using the form. Questions will be addressed in the order in which they are received.

Curious about questions we've received? Visit our FAQ page to learn more.