Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows Program

Request for proposals

The Dean’s Office for Academic Innovation and the Start Something College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, is seeking proposals from CALS faculty for the 2023 cohort of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows (IEFF). The IEFF program seeks to foster and expand a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship of CALS faculty across each of our departments. To advance this goal, the Dean’s office will provide funds to support faculty seeking to incorporate innovation within teaching, research or extension activities.

Priority will be given to proposals that engage students, especially undergraduates, in innovative learning experiences and/or entrepreneurial activities. Examples of proposed activities include: revising existing/developing new courses to emphasize innovation and/or entrepreneurship learning; development of a seminar series, training program, mentored research/work experience, or special project related to innovation and/or entrepreneurship.

Faculty recipients of IEFF awards will be organized into a cohort where they will work with the Dean’s office and with other fellows to promote the program within their departments and across the college. Typical activities of a faculty fellow include attending occasional lunch and learn activities around innovation and entrepreneurship, reviewing applications and mentoring of later cohorts, and collaborating with the Office for Academic Innovation and Start Something leadership team, including Dr. Carmen Bain, Associate Dean for Academic Innovation, and Mr. Kevin Kimle, Rastetter Chair of Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Director, Start Something, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Program details

  • All CALS faculty, regardless of rank, are eligible to apply. Up to six fellowships are awarded each year.
  • Faculty Fellows will be organized as a cohort and provided with training and professional development in innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Each Fellow will receive a one-time $5,000 award to enable the development and implementation of the proposed activity (e.g. summer salary, professional development, graduate or undergraduate student support, materials and supplies, travel) as approved by Dean Bain.
  • Beginning Fall 2023 Fellows will meet quarterly, together with the Program Leaders (i.e. Dean Bain and Mr. Kimle, fellows from the first cohort), to report progress, share experiences, receive training and collaboratively improve innovation and entrepreneurship across campus.
  • Fellows will present at an annual reception —open to all faculty— highlighting what they accomplished, learned, and its broader impact on students and the college.
  • Fellows will formally serve for two years with an expectation that they will continue to be engaged in building a network and culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within their departments and across the college.

Why apply?

  • An annual reception.
  • Quarterly lunches with faculty fellows and the Dean’s Office for Academic Innovation and Start Something to share ideas and project updates.
  • $5,000 of support to enable the proposed activity (e.g., summer salary, teaching assistance, travel, supplies).
  • Two-year formal affiliation with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows Program with ongoing networking and mentoring opportunities among other innovation and entrepreneurial minded faculty within the college, across ISU, and opportunities to remain engaged in this initiative.
  • Exposure to cutting-edge teaching, research, and extension activities around innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • A simple application process.

Application process

Interested faculty should submit the following:

  • A proposal (maximum 2-page, single-spaced) that includes: an explanation of the specific activity; why they think they would be a good champion of innovation and/or entrepreneurship within their department and the college; commitment to offer their proposed activity at least twice; willingness to participate in the activities of the Fellows Program, brief explanation of how the funds will be used to enable their proposed activity; description of the target audience (e.g. undergraduate students) and potential number served.
  • Letter of support from the faculty member’s department chair that includes a statement that, if selected, the faculty member will deliver the course/activity to the described audience at least twice (i.e. 2023/2024 or 2024/2025). Acknowledgement that the proposed activity will enhance, or be in addition to, current faculty responsibilities, not a substitution.

Proposal documents should be combined into a single PDF file and emailed to Carmen Bain by noon, April 14, 2023.

Selection process

Proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee that includes Carmen Bain, Associate Dean for Academic Innovation, Kevin Kimle, Rastetter Chair of Agricultural Entrepreneurship, Director, Start Something, IEFF 2022 cohort.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated along five dimensions:

  1. Is the proposed activity clear?
  2. Is the proposed activity in the spirit of innovation and/or entrepreneurship?
  3. Will the proposed activity involve and principally benefit students?
  4. Is there potential for long-term sustainability of the proposed activity?
  5. Is the proposal creative? Does it have sizzle?

The rubric that follows uses these criteria:

  Lacking Adequate Good Exceptional
Problem statement clarity        
Innovation and/or entrepreneurial content        
Student impact, value and differentiation*        
Long-term potential and sustainability        
Overall creativity. Proposal sizzle.        

*Students’ involvement should not be limited to salaries or stipend but include intellectual involvement in the proposed activity.

Award notifications will be made on or before April 28, 2023.