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President’s January Innovation Fund for Faculty Program Description


President Faust plans to create a special venture fund to support the development and implementation of creative academic or co-curricular experiences that occur in January. The period between fall and spring semesters offers opportunities for creativity in teaching and learning, and the President will invite proposals for January programs from faculty and affiliates from across the University.

A limited number of grants will be offered on a competitive basis in amounts necessary to fund programmatic activities. All proposals must include a detailed program description and budget and have faculty sponsorship and approval from the dean of the proposing School.

Proposals that include undergraduate participation must be consistent with Harvard College’s Winter Break policy. Specifically, while off-campus programs may extend over the entire winter break period, on-campus programs for undergraduates should be limited to the week of January 16-23, and proposals must be approved by the Dean of Harvard College.

Preference will be given to faculty-sponsored proposals that provide Harvard students with opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary courses, research, international experiences or public and community service.

Proposals for January 2011 must be received by October 15, 2010, and award selections will be completed by November 5, 2010. This program is being launched on a pilot basis this fall with the expectation that it will be expanded in future years.

Key Program Requirements

Proposals for funding should include at least one of the components listed below:

  • Collaboration across two or more Schools or departments or new support for existing collaborations;
  • Innovative pedagogy and/or uses of technology;
  • Experiments in real-world and/or activity-based learning;
  • Support for the development of skills, tools or techniques in given fields;
  • Opportunities for public or community service;
  • Opportunities for engagement with K-12 teaching;
  • International engagement.

Program Eligibility


Proposed programs are expected to take place in January 2011.

Student Eligibility

Student participants must be Harvard undergraduate or graduate students, unless an experiential aspect of the program involves co-participation by external students.

Faculty Eligibility

The program must have a faculty sponsor or principal investigator who meets one of the following criteria:

  • Holds a “ladder faculty” appointment (Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor) at any School other than Harvard Medical School or Harvard School of Dental Medicine;
  • Holds a “Quad Based Appointment” as an Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor at HMS or HSDM;
  • Holds the title Professor of the Practice or Professor in Residence
  • Holds a multi-year appointment as a Senior Preceptor;
  • Holds a multi-year appointment as a Lecturer in any School other than the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and must be “On Quad” if at HMS or HSDM;
  • Holds the title Adjunct Assistant or Adjunct Associate at the Graduate School of Design.
Sharing Information on Programs

Acceptance of award gives the January Innovation Committee permission to include information about the program in appropriate communications and publications, which may include but is not limited to listing a summary of the program on the January grants website and listing a summary of the program in any January grants promotion, such as a Harvard Gazette article.

  1. Awardees are required to submit summary reports by March 1, 2011 that address:
    • What activities the group has engaged in;
    • Who has participated;
    • The substance of the issues explored, including any resulting products;
    • The impact this funding made on the program;
    • How the program will continue in subsequent years, including funding sources.
  2. Awardees are required to conduct an evaluative survey of their student participants and to report the results to the January Innovation Committee. A sample evaluation survey will be provided to awardees.
Renewal awards
  1. Awardees may apply for one year of renewal funding.
  2. Applications for renewal are due on the application deadline for new proposals.


  1. These grants should be considered seed money for program development rather than continuing support.
  2. In 2010-11, the January Grants Committee will seed a limited number of proposals by Harvard faculty members. Examples of allowable expenses include production of course materials, guest honoraria, facilities rental, and other program-related costs.
  3. Grants will not cover compensation for faculty.
  4. Grants amounts will be determined based on the budget submitted for programmatic activities and the number of programs selected.

Application Process

Applications for programs that will take place in January 2011 will be accepted until October 15, 2010. Applications should include:

  • A description of the activity (not more than two pages)
  • A detailed budget (including categories of expense and specific planned expenditures, e.g., production of course materials, guest honoraria, facilities rentals, etc.)
  • Cost per student for participation if an off-campus program and a detailed plan for funding support, including provision for financial aid students in accordance with the policy of their home Schools.
  • A plan for administrative management of the activity
  • Letters of commitment to the project (one from the designated faculty leader assuming fiscal, administrative, and intellectual responsibility for the program and one from each participating faculty member specifying the level of involvement to which he or she is prepared to commit). Emails are acceptable.

Applications should be submitted either via email ( or in hard copy to:

President’s January Innovation Fund for Faculty
Massachusetts Hall
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

Application Review and Approval

  1. Proposals will be reviewed by an appointed committee of faculty and administrators.
  2. Proposals must comply with applicable Harvard policies. (Examples of such policies include travel waiver and release; domestic field trips for non-credit courses; and international travel policies.)
  3. Application decisions will be delivered on November 5, 2010.

Contact Information

Please submit any questions to