Funding Opportunities for Curricular and Professional Development

RISD is committed to providing support for curriculum development and faculty professional development to recognize and encourage excellence in teaching and research. In the last year, with funding from the strategic plan, and through the generosity of trustee, alumni and foundation donors, we have added three new funding opportunities that help to realize strategic initiatives, and that ensure we are proactively engaged in the global discourse in art and design education, and higher education in general.

Through these funds we are promoting faculty efforts to enrich curriculum offerings, developing support for existing and new disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses, and ensuring that faculty receive ongoing training in the use of new teaching and learning technologies. These efforts also allow us to offer our students options for more flexibility and access to a broader range of learning opportunities by developing shared courses based on cross-curricular knowledge, promoting greater collaboration across divisions and departments, and allowing the exploration of new forms of course development.



The Academic Enrichment Fund and the Kyobo Fund were established to support interdisciplinary teaching and learning. In alignment with RISD’s strategic plan, these funds will allow us to enrich curriculum offerings, and respond to dynamic, contemporary opportunities in areas of interest to students and faculty at RISD. Each year, a number of courses that fall outside the normal degree program curricula and promote exchange and interaction between faculty members and students in different departments and divisions are supported through these funds. These courses are intended to build from our base of disciplinary depth to advance curricular development in crossover areas and develop new areas of faculty expertise. At the same time, these courses often afford students access to a broader range of learning opportunities, including opportunities for interdisciplinary, collaborative, or engaged work.

Areas of thematic focus help to align proposed courses with current institutional priorities and initiatives. For academic year 2013-14, the funds will support courses that engage and address a global perspective.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: Open to all full-time faculty and to part-time faculty who have completed two years of service.

REVIEWED BY: Provost’s Council

CONTACT: Margaret Lewis, Assistant Director of Academic Administration,

DEADLINE: November 6, 2013



We are pleased to announce a new funding opportunity for projects that:

• Imagine the future of art and design education for RISD

• Promote RISD as the leading voice in art and design globally

Supported by a generous fund established by Trustee Susan Dryfoos, the goal of the RISD 2050 Fund is to imagine our future and stimulate the landscape of possibilities for art and design education, always recognizing RISD’s core values of critical making and critical thinking.

Current challenges in higher education and the changing nature of disciplines deep at RISD’s core raise many inspiring and troubling questions about the future of our institution. The 2050 fund is intended to help seed projects, and provide supportive funding, to generate and explore these complex and dynamic questions. Explorations in many forms are encouraged; we welcome experiments, “stories” that emanate from scholarly and/or creative research, courses, projects, works of art, events and Wintersession workshops or courses. We encourage proposals that raise questions about the future of our academic programs, and that suggest ways to advance our mission. Only projects that present broad institutional benefit, rather than individual interests, will be considered.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: Full- and part-time faculty, undergraduate students in their final year of study, graduate students

REVIEWED BY: Provost’s Council, ex-officio jurors including 1-2 Trustees

CONTACT: Mara Hermano, Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Academic Initiatives

DEADLINE: October 15, 2013



Rhode Island School of Design’s 2012-2017 strategic plan, Critical Thinking/Critical Making, acknowledges the importance of an immersive and discipline-based approach to art and design education. At the same time, the current landscape of art and design education increasingly calls for collaboration and fluency across disciplines. Recognizing our students and graduates face a world marked by new fields of creative and integrative practice, the strategic plan calls for RISD to “offer students options for more flexibility and access to a broader range of learning opportunities, including opportunities for interdisciplinary, collaborative and engaged work.”

Design for the theatrical and performing arts embodies this combination of disciplinary immersion and interdisciplinary collaboration. Exceptional theatrical and performance design happens when experts firmly rooted in their individual fields, including but by no means limited to apparel design, interior architecture, furniture, painting, textiles, and the liberal arts, come together and combine their knowledge and artistry into a physical creation that communicates in a wholly new way.

The Robert Turner Theatrical and Performance Design Project at RISD was established to support the teaching of interdisciplinary courses that integrate various elements of theatrical and performance design. This initial phase of the project will fund two courses in Wintersession 2014.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: All full-time faculty and part-time faculty with at least two years of service

DEADLINE: October 15, 2013

REVIEWED BY: Provost’s Council

CONTACT: Carol Strohecker, Vice Provost,



The Davis Fellowships support research, reflection, and shares practice around teaching in three specific areas: critique, writing, and interdisciplinary education. The program has several goals: to support individual faculty in pursuing research in areas of interest shared across RISD divisions and departments; to provide a framework for faculty to closely observe and adapt teaching strategies in response to evidence of what and how our student learn; and to gather a community of faculty who want to share and learn from one another’s teaching practices.

Supported by a generous stipend from the Davis Educational Foundation, Davis Fellows are expected to participate in and complete the following:

• Davis Fellows identify a research question around critique, writing and/or interdisciplinary education as it relates to student learning.

• During the 2013-14 academic year, Fellows participate as a cohort in a series of workshops facilitated by Patricia Phillips, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and Jennifer Liese, Director of the Writing Center. Fellows are expected to share their work and process with each other, review relevant literature, and critically engage in shared issues and topics with visiting speakers.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: All full-time faculty

REVIEWED BY: ACP Advisory Group

DEADLINE: October 15, 2013

CONTACT: Patricia Phillips, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research,; Jennifer Liese, Director of the Writing Center,



The Professional Development Fund was established with a Mellon Foundation Grant, with the goal of fostering excellence in the fields of art and design, and the advancement of knowledge in related fields. The fund also provides financial support for the extraordinary costs of studio work, for research projects that could not be done otherwise, for the development of publications, and other work in progress undertaken by faculty, museum curators, and professional librarians. The fund has awarded more than $1,700,000 since its inception in 1982.

Funded project proposals have included travel for research, assistance in mounting an exhibition, the production or reproduction of art and design, the purchase of a tool, purchase of picture rights for a publication, and course load reduction of one teaching unit for full-time faculty, etc. Awards average $2,500.

The Professional Development Fund Committee typically calls for proposals twice a year: in the Fall for projects to be undertaken between January 1 and June 30 and in the Spring for projects to be undertaken between July 1 and December 31.

Applications are submitted via application websites and must include a curriculum vita, supporting materials, and a detailed budget.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: All full-time faculty members, museum curators and librarians; all part-time faculty who have completed two years of service

APPLICATIONS REVIEWED BY: Professional Development Fund Committee

DEADLINE: biannual, first Wednesday of November (November 6, 2013); first Wednesday of April (November 2, 2014)

CONTACT: Margaret Lewis, 401-454-6591,



Participation in professional conferences allows RISD faculty to share their research, professional and creative activity, and scholarly work to a broader audience, enriching their teaching and professional practice, and enhancing the visibility of RISD’s role as a leader in the global discourse about art and design. In recognition of the value this brings to faculty members and to the institution, Academic Affairs administers a fund that to support faculty who have been invited to present at conference. This fund supplements travel, conference, and professional development funds in departments and divisions.

Grants do not exceed $1,500. The application process requires that the department and/or division also contribute funding. Faculty are eligible to receive Conference Fund awards once a year, and faculty who receive two consecutive awards may not apply for a grant in the third year. The application is available on the Academic Affairs website or by e-mailing

DEADLINE: rolling

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: All full-time faculty who are presenting at conferences; All part-time faculty with at least two years of service, and are presenting at conferences

APPLICATIONS REVIEWED BY: Department head and Dean

CONTACT: Janine Connelly,, 401-454-6596



During each of the three years of the 2010-2013 Full-time Faculty Contract, all full-time faculty and professional librarians have a $500 allotment for books, materials, dues for membership in professional organizations, etc. needed to enhance their professional development. Faculty may request that Academic Affairs make their Materials Fund purchases directly or may submit original receipts for reimbursement from the Materials Fund. The Materials Fund allotments do not carry over from one fiscal year to another. The annual allotment for each academic year must be spent by June 15 of that year to ensure adequate processing time before the close of the fiscal year.

DEADLINE: Rolling, funds should be spent by June 15 of any academic year

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: All full-time faculty/librarians

CONTACT: Janine Connelly,, 401-454-6596



Each year, Academic Affairs administers a $10,000 Technology Fund as specified in the Full-time Faculty Bargaining Agreement to be “used for educating faculty and librarians in the use of new technology in their disciplines.”

Technology is transforming our disciplinary practices, the way we teach, and the way we learn. RISD’s strategic plan calls for improving the integration of appropriate learning technologies into teaching and curriculum delivery, and providing training and development opportunities for faculty to expand their use of technologies in the classroom.

Applications are accepted from individuals or from departments. Completed forms should be sent to Janine Connelly in Academic Affairs

• Awards to Individuals

All full time degree program faculty are eligible to apply for support for technology training up to $1000.

• Awards to Departments

All degree program departments are eligible to apply for support up to $2500 for technology training for groups of faculty.

DEADLINE: There is no deadline but an activity funded must be completed and all financial reporting for grants completed by two weeks of the end of the fiscal year (June 15).

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: All Full-time faculty/ all degree program departments

APPLICATIONS REVIEWED BY: Department Head and Dean; Administered by Academic Affairs

CONTACT: Janine Connelly,, 401-454-6596



The Part-time Faculty Association administers an $18,000 per annum Technology Fund as specified in the Part-time Faculty Bargaining Agreement to be “used for educating part-time faculty in the use of new technology in their disciplines.” The Part-time Faculty Association issues an annual call for proposals to its membership.

For more information regarding criteria, application process, deadlines, and eligibility, part-time faculty should contact Pascale Rihouet, President of the PT Faculty Association.

Janine Connelly in Academic Affairs provides fiscal management of grants.


CONTACT: Pascale Rihouet

2050 Fund, Academic Commons, Academic Enrichment, ACP, Conference Fund, Critical Making Making Critical, Davis Fellowships, Education in New Technologies Fund, funding, grants, Kyobo Fund, Materials Fund, professional, Professional Development Fund, strategic plan, Turner Theatrical and Performance Design Fund

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