Course Development Grants - Upstate Institute Skip Navigation

Course Development Grants

The Upstate Institute provides course development grants each year to support Colgate faculty with teaching interests that involve community engagement.


The Upstate Institute invites all continuing members of the faculty at Colgate University to apply for a course development grant to be administered by the Upstate Institute in partnership with the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.  These grants aim to provide faculty with the resources necessary to offer students immediate opportunities to apply research skills in the support of local agencies that exist to provide service to the community.  The grant will support a course that provides a community-based research component in one or more disciplines while addressing a significant, community-identified need.  These grants include a faculty stipend as well as support for course-related expenses to develop a new or revised course that engages students in community-based research.


The proposed course may be new or a substantial redesign of a course the applicant has already taught. By accepting the grant, the applicant is expected to teach the proposed course two times in the four subsequent academic years. The applicant will also be expected to share the results of his/her course development work with others through various media, and should be prepared to work with the Upstate Institute on a plan for course assessment.

This grant will be payable as a one-time stipend to the applicant for the development of a course that fits the objectives outlined below.  In addition, the applicant may request additional funds of up to $4,000 from the Upstate Institute that will be used both times the course is being taught. These funds are meant to support expenses related to the course such as local travel, supplies, equipment, or guest lecturers. 

The following are requirements of the program:

  • Course will be taught at least 2 times over the next 4 years.
  • The proposed budget for course implementation costs will be vetted by staff of the Upstate Institute in consultation with the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
  • The community based research component should include a substantive outcome for the community organization with which the students work.  Students should be given a substantial community-based research project and be asked to critically reflect on their experiences with community engagement.
  • While not a requirement of the program, proposals that creatively combine interests in community engagement with the goals of other Colgate course development grant opportunities will be favorably considered.    

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the Upstate Institute Executive Board. A list of members of the Executive Board is available here

Previous Awards

Janel Benson of Sociology and Anthropology (“Sociology of the Family”), Jessica Graybill of Geography (“Urban Geography”), and Tim McCay of Biology (“Applied Natural Resource Conservation”) were awarded grants through the Upstate Institute in 2015, and Ellen Kraly received funding to teach her course "Environmental and Public Health Geographies."

Each will teach their courses in partnership with regional organizations. The Upstate Institute has worked closely with these faculty to develop these partnerships and incorporate community engagement in the curriculum for each course; faculty submitting proposals for grants in the current funding cycle can count on this same support.

Read more about Janel Benson's course on the Upstate Institute blog.

To Apply

Proposals can be made to the Upstate Institute as outlined in Faculty Development Council policies.