Grants available for projects that span Ithaca, Cornell Tech

In her 2015 State of the University address, President Elizabeth Garrett announced the availability of funds for feasibility and planning grants for academic programs that span the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses that are unlike current academic programs and that are sustainable in the long term through revenue they generate.

Provost Michael Kotlikoff has called for proposals for the grants, which “will provide seed funding for a few of the most promising new cross-campus program ideas, in order to support exploration of their potential and feasibility,” he said.

Kotlikoff, in collaboration with Cornell Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher, will oversee the evaluation of proposals and selection of grant recipients, and each proposal should be endorsed by one or more school or college dean.

Among the criteria for proposed programs:

  • Programs should be relevant to the Cornell Tech focus on the digital age, while broadening beyond the current plans for graduate degree programs in technology, business and law.
  • Programs should create substantial interaction among students and faculty based on both campuses, rather than primarily being oriented toward students or faculty on one campus.
  • Programs need to have sustainable financial models in the long run, with support from the relevant deans to cover short-run deficits.

“The financial model can be developed more fully as part of the planning grant, but some preliminary information should be provided in the proposal,” Kotlikoff said.

Seed grant funds can be used for pilots, curriculum development, investigating student demand, validating the financial model, and similar activities that will demonstrate the academic value and financial viability of the proposed program. It is expected that the grant funds largely will support administrative and travel costs related to such activities, rather than faculty release time or summer salaries.

Kotlikoff noted that classroom space and housing present particular challenges. Until Cornell Tech’s permanent campus on Roosevelt Island opens in fall 2017, there is no available classroom or meeting space at Cornell Tech during the academic year and limited space in the summer and over winter break.

Although an on-campus apartment building also is scheduled to open in 2017, there are no plans for undergraduate residence halls. Proposals that involve undergraduates spending time at the Cornell Tech campus should include plans for appropriate student support.

The deadline to submit proposals is Jan. 22, 2016. Proposals should be emailed with the subject line “cross-campus proposal” to Patty Ard,, copying the endorsing dean(s). Selections will be announced by April 15.

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Melissa Osgood