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Course Development Grants

The Dean’s Office and Incubator for Teaching Innovation in the College of Arts and Sciences invite proposals from faculty to develop and offer undergraduate courses for our inaugural Fall 2020 CAS Theme Semester on Justice. Since our goal is to inspire wide interest and participation among undergraduate students, we encourage proposals for courses at all levels (Carolina Core through 600-level), in any CAS discipline, and of any size (from small seminars to large lectures).

Course Proposal Submission Deadline:  Applications are no longer being accepted for this round of review.  Please contact Christy Friend at for additional information about the review process.


Theme Semester 2020

Beginning in Fall 2020, faculty and students from across the College of Arts and Sciences will spend the fall semester exploring ideas related to a single, intellectually engaging theme.

Theme Semester 2020 will focus on “Justice.” Justice is an idea, topic, and aspiration that connects people across academic, political, and everyday spaces. Though a seemingly universal concept, the term is inextricably bound to political and cultural contexts that make it difficult to define: What is justice? What kinds of (in)justice exist? What injustices should be addressed? Whose definition of justice should prevail? We hope to create opportunities for students, faculty, and community members to engage in inquiry and conversation about issues of justice relevant across a range of disciplines—from social inequality, electoral politics, criminal justice, land use, biomedical innovation and climate change, to health, immigration, international relations, law, language, ethics, and economics.

Award Categories

  • Course Development Grants ($1,500; up to 3 awards will be given)
    These awards will support faculty members to develop a special-topics, seminar or other undergraduate course focused wholly or to a significant degree on issues or content related to the “Justice” theme. The proposed course must be developed under an existing course number/title in the sponsoring department, and the department must agree to offer the course during Fall 2020.  
  • Course Enrichment Grants ($750; up to 3 awards will be given)
    These awards will support faculty members to create a new unit, major assignment, or series of activities within an existing course that connect to the “Justice” theme.  The proposal must be for an existing course, and the department must agree to offer the course during Fall 2020.

Who Can Apply?

Any faculty member (tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure-track) with an FTE appointment in a College of Arts and Sciences department or program may apply. Applicants are expected to teach the proposed course during Fall 2020.


Grantees may use funds for expenditures related to the development and/or implementation of the proposed course. (Examples include, but are not limited to: books, software, journal subscription, or other resources used to develop the course; items to be used in class activities, such as office/art supplies or lab equipment;  expenses to attend a workshop or conference related to the proposed course;  tickets for the class to attend a course-related event or field trip; etc.) All purchases must be approved in advance by the Dean’s office. Funding may not be used for personal salary.

Expectations for grantees

  • Grantees are expected to encourage students in the course to participate in at least one Theme Semester co-curricular event and to incorporate significant discussion, readings, activities and/or an assignment(s) related to the theme into the class.
  • Grantees will attend a kickoff meeting in April or early May 2020 and a pre-semester meeting in August 2020 with fellow grantees and an August 2020 meeting to share plans and discuss possible collaborations.
  • Grantees are expected to teach the proposed course in Fall 2020.
  • Grantees will complete a survey and/or participate in a focus group in December 2020 to provide feedback on their experience with the Theme Semester pilot, so that we may improve the program in the future.

Selection Criteria

Projects will be evaluated based on how successfully the proposed course integrates the theme, the likelihood that the course will attract student interest, how effectively the course incorporates co-curricular elements, and the overall quality of the proposed course design and instructional approach.

Application Submission

Applications are no longer being accepted for this round of review.


Please contact Christy Friend at with questions or concerns.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.