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Course Development Awards

The Dean’s Office and Incubator for Teaching Innovation in the College of Arts and Sciences invite applications for our 2021 Theme Semester Course Development Awards. These awards will provide funding support to develop courses related to our Fall 2021 theme: “Climates.” 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).

Application Deadline:  Tuesday, January 19, 2021


Theme Semester 2021

Each year in the fall, faculty and students from across the College of Arts and Sciences spend the semester exploring ideas related to a single, intellectually engaging theme.  Theme Semester brings together work from across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural and mathematical sciences to bear on issues related to the theme.  Offerings include academic courses, public lectures, films, exhibits, discussion forums, and co-curricular activities.

Theme Semester 2021 will focus on Climates.  The plural noun is meant to emphasize the idea of climate in all senses. “Climate” can refer to any region of the earth; the prevailing atmospheric phenomena and conditions of a country or region; and the mental, moral, and emotional environment or atmosphere prevailing in a body of people. The Fall 2021 theme semester will create opportunities for students, faculty, and community members to engage in inquiry and conversation about the term in all its multiple meanings.

Award Categories

  • Course Development Awards ($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 “Climates” 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 2021.  
  • Course Enrichment Awards ($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 “Climates” theme.  The proposal must be for an existing course, and the department must agree to offer the course during Fall 2021.

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 2021.


Awardees 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 or other resources used to develop the course; items to be used in class activities, such as office/art supplies or lab materials;  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 compensation.

Expectations for grantees

  • Awardees 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.
  • Awardees will attend a virtual kickoff meeting in April or early May 2021 and a pre-semester meeting in August 2021 with fellow awardees to share plans and discuss possible collaborations.
  • Awardees are expected to teach the proposed course in Fall 2021.
  • Awardees will complete a survey and/or participate in a focus group in December 2021 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




Please contact Nina Moreno at with questions or concerns.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.