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Center for Teaching Excellence


USCreativity Innovation Grants

Call for Proposals

Application Deadline Extended:  Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Center for Teaching Excellence is pleased to support the USCreativity initiative and invite full-time faculty to submit proposals for grants to fund teaching and learning innovations, curriculum and instructional development and creativity in experiential learning. Creativity is considered a crucial skill for 21stcentury learners. It is an important aspect of learning in higher education, as it is necessary to guide learners to more effectively use resources to develop knowledge and skills and solve problems in a culture that is more multidisciplinary, global, social, cooperative, and connected (Gibson, 2010) along with rapidly changing technological innovations (Livingston, 2010). 

Creativity can be variously defined as the capacity to:

  • Produce and invent
  • Contribute original thought
  • Express creative instincts
  • Implement problem-solving skills
  • Experience opportunities for sparking and enlarging creative processes

Higher education can hone creativity by incorporating pedagogies that maximize opportunities for students to practice being inventive, and harvest and build upon the creativity that every student already possesses and uses (Gibson, 2010; Livingston, 2010). 

USCreativity Grant Categories

1. Creative Arts Integration

The Creative Arts Integration grants will fund efforts to integrate the creative arts into courses across campus. The goal is to enhance courses that do not typically include the creative arts, which includes theatre, dance, arts, and music, by embedding relevant and instructive performance, design, art, and music into non-arts courses. Examples include incorporating musical theory into a mathematics course, or dance into a physics course.    

2. Classroom Creativity Design Challenge

The second set of grants will support faculty to incorporate “design thinking” which uses an iterative approach of practical, creative problem-resolution skills to identify alternative strategies and solutions to problems. Such an approach will bring together faculty and staff from different units to create a challenging experience involving innovation and creativity in the classroom or in any area of teaching and learning. Applicants who completed The Great Gamecock Design Challenge in May 2018 will be given preference for the design challenge grants.

3. Combination Grant Creative Arts Integration + Classroom Creativity Design Challenge

Only Gamecock Design Challenge Faculty Participants are eligible for the combination grant. 

To receive grant funds to do both the Creative Arts Integration and Classroom Creativity Design Challenge, applicants who participated in the Gamecock Design Challenge should develop a plan to conduct both grant projects. The Classroom Creativity Design Challenge should be focused in such a way that the challenge’s outcomes can be a springboard for, or folded into, the Creative Arts Integration of your course. 

  • Any full-time faculty from USC-Columbia and Palmetto College campuses (Extended University, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter, and Union) is eligible to apply.
  • Preference for the Classroom Creativity Design Challenge grants will be given to faculty who completed The Great Gamecock Design Challenge in May 2018.
  • Agree on project timeline as listed below.
  • Participate with fellow grant participants and CTE staff in a kickoff meeting to brainstorm and share ideas, collaborate on projects, and explore resources.
  • Consult with CTE staff to discuss feasibility and outline proposed project.
  • Agree to submit a proposal for a presentation at one of the CTE’s Teaching Symposia (Oktoberbest or Educational Technology Showcase) or as a CTE faculty development workshop during the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • Submit a final report by January 31, 2020.

Grant applicants may request up to $2,000 to support efforts for the Creative Arts Integration and up to $1,000 to support efforts for the Classroom Creativity Design Challenge.  [If you are a Great Gamecock Design Challenge Participant and an eligible faculty member, you may apply to combine both grant categories for support of up to $3,000:  conduct a design challenge with focus on integrating the creative arts into your course(s).  You must meet the criteria for both grant categories described above.  Only Great Gamecock Design Challenge Faculty Participants are eligible to apply for a combined total of $3,000.]

The number of awards will be contingent upon availability of resources and the number and quality of funded applications received and approved. The review committee will submit a ranked list of proposals recommended for funding. Faculty will receive instructional design and pedagogical support from CTE staff, supplementing the grant award.

The course incorporating all USCreativity grant projects must be taught by the end of 2019.  A final report must be submitted by January 31, 2020.

  • Creative Arts Integration Grant: Project planning Fall 2018, integration into classroom in Spring 2019 semester
  • Classroom Creativity Design Challenge Grant: Conduct design challenge in Spring 2019; integrate into classroom or teaching in Fall 2019.
  • Creative Arts Integration Combination + Classroom Creativity Design Challenge: Plan project Fall 2018, conduct design challenge Spring 2019, implement into course Fall 2019.

Complete the Grant Proposal Narrative on the USCreativity Online Application and upload the following documents on the application form: 

 The proposal narrative should include the following information.

  1. The Course(s): Describe the course(s) you wish to innovate

  2. Project Goals: Describe measurable goal(s) for integrating creativity into the course.  What is the purpose?  What new assessments, innovative techniques or methodology will be incorporated to enhance student learning?  What new instructional content will be integrated into the curriculum? What types of student learning and creativity growth will be achieved with the content or delivery changes?

  3. Pedagogy: Describe current teaching methods and how this project will implement innovative creativity into the classroom and enhance current teaching and learning strategies.

  4. Description of Proposed Creativity Innovation:

    a.   Creative Arts Integration Only: Identify which creative arts discipline will be integrated and describe how this will occur.  Include a description of resources, personnel, and/or faculty that will be used.

    b.   Classroom Creativity Design Challenge Only: Identify which unit(s) will be a part of your design challenge.  Describe your proposed design challenge, and include how what you learned in the May 2018 USCreativity Gamecock Design Challenge will be used to develop and conduct your own Design Challenge.  Describe the experience, learning, or connections you expect the participants to take part in.

    c.   Combination Creative Arts Integration + Classroom Creativity Design Challenge: Include both descriptions above (4a & 4b) and then describe the connection to and implementation of the Design Challenge into the Creativity Innovation course.

  5. Impact and Sustainability: How will this improve student learning outcomes?  How will the proposed creativity integration be developed to ensure usage and continuity past the initial implementation?  How often is the class taught and how many students will be impacted by this Creativity integration, on average?

Provide a Budget Summary [docx] detailing total project costs, explaining each cost as consistent with university policies.  The proposal may request funds under any of the categories listed so long as the item and amount are considered necessary, reasonable, allocable and allowable under the program solicitation. Amounts and expenses budgeted also must be consistent with university policies and procedures. If other funding is attained, commitments against this internal award should be reduced.

Please include a signed Department Support Form [pdf] from your department chair, program director or dean confirming that the course including the revised content will be taught in 2019.

USCreativity Online Application

Department Support Form [pdf]

Budget Summary [docx]

Application Deadline Extended:  Thursday, October 18, 2018


Contact Lydia Frass,, or CTE at 803-777-8322 or