Think Big Seeds

About Think Big Seeds

During academic year 2018/19, the campus participated in an experiment called Seed Sprints.  The experiment was to see if we could quickly convene campus groups across silos (disciplinary, faculty/staff/students, schools/colleges, etc.) to collectively consider academic, co-curricular, and administrative problems/solutions.  These seeds served a variety of purposes:  

  • They highlighted areas of interest to the campus;
  • They offered creative solutions to problems; and
  • They showed us that we can move FAST.  

All of this information fed into considerations of the Think Big strategic plan, and helped us think through the next generation of these investments.    

Going forward, Think Big Seed investments will be made annually on a rotating set of pathway objectives. The selected priorities each year will be based on a number of factors ranging from a need for understanding around a pathway topic to an urgent need as identified by our community.  Some Think Big Seed topics may evolve into future RFPs; others may end with lessons learned; others may be implemented into existing practices/programs; and still others may inspire external giving and/or prepare a team to compete globally for other types of support. 

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. 

Thing Big Seed features include:

  • Project funding will range between $0 and $30,000.
  • Note that we expect some submissions to focus on operational issues looking for “permission to act” versus dollar only asks.  
  • Projects will last for six months.
  • 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 Think Big Seeds submitted.

For 2019/20, the four priority topics include: 

  • Pathway 1-1, Interdisciplinary Research:  This priority will consider ideas and processes for supporting interdisciplinary research activities.  We expect proposals ranging from items for P&T committees to study, to pilot dollars for teams to grow their strength/capabilities in interdisciplinary work, to new models of support for interdisciplinary activity. 
  • Pathway 3-2, Cleveland & East Cleveland:  This priority will consider ideas for deepening our impact in Cleveland and East Cleveland. One thing that will be critical for the reviewers is to help teams build bridges with one another versus contributing to the lexicon of activities that we already do but aren’t tracking.  We need systems thinking with these projects.
  • Pathway 3-3, Experiential Learning: We heard this loud and clear from our student body that they want different experiences with internships, out-of-classroom activities, project-based learning, etc.  We want to see faculty, staff, and student ideas on this topic.
  • Pathway 4-1, Welcoming & Inclusive Campus for All: There have been a number of ideas about what we can do for non-majority students, staff and faculty on campus. We want to hear ideas on taking this to the next level. 

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

  • Proposed Think Big Seed 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 leapfrogs other approaches by universities (versus playing catch-up to other universities) (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 objectives. 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
  • Think Big Seed 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
  • Seed Grant End Date:  On/around November 1, 2020

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.