Nord Grants available for faculty by application


Courtesy of CWRU

“Professor James Zull (pictured) founded UCITE, the faculty education and development center at CWRU.

Matthew Chang, Staff Writer

Applications for Nord Grants, financial awards designed to foster innovative teaching and research projects that benefit student learning, are currently open, but will not stay open for much longer. Any full-time faculty member at Case Western Reserve University is eligible to apply for Nord Grants. 

Only full-time faculty members are qualified for this financial award because CWRU is interested in investing in the subjects that a faculty member teaches. However, there have been a few cases where part-time faculty, staff and even graduate students who do not teach but work with a full-time faculty member act as the lead for a particular project, instead, and have obtained the grant. In these cases, the faculty member acts as a sponsor when they apply for the grant.

There is no limit to the amount of financial funding one may receive. Instead, the amount depends partly on the scope of the project that the faculty member is applying for and what they are trying to accomplish. Priority for Nord Grants is given to faculty who have not previously received it before. The funding lasts for one year, with the possibility of an extension if needed. Nord Grants are given out twice a year, once on Jan. 30 and once on July 30.

Nord Grants are funded by the Nord endowment and UCITE (University Center in Teaching and Education). About twenty years ago, Professor James Zull founded UCITE. His vision for the organization was to secure money to help fund initiatives that UCITE would use to operate. The Nord endowment provides some of that funding. One of the ways UCITE honors the Nord family and their commitment to teaching and learning at CWRU is to offer the Nord Grants.

The Nord Grants are not geared towards a specific department; in fact, all departments are welcome to apply. Dr. Matthew Garrett, associate professor in music education and director of UCITE, said, “The great thing about the award is that it’s really up to the limitations of the faculty who apply for it in terms of what they want to do.” For example, over the pandemic, a group of faculty members from the health and sciences department, the SAGES department and the School of Law got together to host a week-long mindfulness event. The Nord Grants allow faculty members from different academic backgrounds to branch out and work interdisciplinarily.

           To apply for the Nord Grants, full-time faculty members are encouraged to meet with Professor Garrett to help develop their idea, before being reviewed by a panel. The deadline for that is Monday, Dec. 6. After meeting with Professor Garrett, faculty must complete an online form that provides UCITE with the necessary contact information of their department, so that funds can be transferred. The faculty must then submit a proposal that highlights the project’s nature and goals, the professional impact, evidence of how student learning will be measured, and the project’s budget and timeline. Finally, faculty must submit one letter of support from the department chair and additional letters of support as needed.

The UCITE advisory committee, which consists of one faculty member from each professional school and two from the College of Arts and Sciences, will evaluate the proposal once all this information comes in. Based on the committee’s decision and available funds within a given semester, awards will be accordingly distributed.