The Appalachian Innovation Scholars Program supports innovative research and practice by Appalachian faculty and staff throughout all disciplines and program areas on campus.
The program supports faculty and staff thought leaders who are working creatively and entrepreneurially to:
- address challenges;
- create lasting institutional change;
- provide community and societal benefits;
- establish opportunities that increase student engagement with research, creativity, innovation, design thinking, and entrepreneurship; and
- promote broad-based sustainability in the areas of economics, equity and the environment.
The Appalachian Innovation Scholars Program is intended to complement other innovation initiatives at the university, such as those offered through RIEEE, the Office of Sustainability, the Office of Research, AppLab, IDEX, and others.
Scholars may each receive support of up to $10,000. While there is a strong emphasis on projects completed within one year, applications will be considered for a two-year support cycle. Applicants whose grants require an expense of more than $5,000 within one semester are asked to address this in their application. Projects, approaches and results might include, but are not limited to:
- research that leads to innovative thought within a discipline;
- the development of new classes;
- campus events that promote innovation;
- student engagement experiences that build community and support creative and data-based approaches to arrive at solutions;
- design initiatives that address a campus, community or societal challenge; and
- partnerships with town, county, state, national or international partners.
Projects that support or connect university strategic initiatives are welcome. These initiatives include: sustainability in the areas of economics, equity and the environment; diversity; student research; global learning; wellness and safety; and community and civic engagement.
These internal grants are intended to provide maximum flexibility in funding to support a diversity of faculty and staff concepts and approaches; therefore, the funding may be applied specifically to support expenses that support each unique project. Examples of possible use of aforementioned funding are: purchase of equipment, software, research materials such as laboratory supplies and print/electronic publications; travel directly associated with research or project activity; upon approval of the Department Chair and prior to schedule deadline for the applicable semester - one course buy out per semester, and; hiring student assistants. Grant funds can also be requested for supplemental salary for grant recipients, either as summer salary or as supplemental pay during the regular academic year. Salary payments are, of course, subject to taxes and other withholding and are governed by the university’s supplemental pay policy.
Application and Review
Applications, which include a narrative of the project and detailed budget with justification, are due by November 13, 2017 and will be reviewed by a committee of faculty and staff from the Innovation Campus Working Group.
The review committee will be charged to evaluate each proposal according to the following criteria:
- Does the proposed innovation address a meaningful problem?
- Does the proposed innovation provide creative and original solutions?
- Does the proposed innovation have the potential to be transformative?
- Is the action plan (strategy for developing, designing, implementing, testing, marketing, etc. the innovation) well-reasoned?
- Are appropriate benchmarks for progress or success provided?
- Will the individual or team have a reasonable opportunity to reach their goals and objectives within the funding period?
- Societal Benefit
- Does the proposed innovation have the potential to expand collaborations among university faculty, staff, and students and regional, national, and/or international stakeholders?
- Does the proposed innovation have the potential to lead to entrepreneurship?
Recommendations for support are provided to Academic Affairs and the Office of the Chancellor. Scholars will be notified of selection by December 13, 2017. The Office of Academic Affairs will work with award recipients to order equipment and supplies, coordinate travel, and report expenses. Award recipients are required to complete a final report for general publication and participate in public presentations of ongoing and completed work.
Bold - Optimistic - Pioneering - Sustainable
Appalachian’s pioneering spirit combines with core values of scholarly excellence, leadership and service to create a peak environment where innovation connects our strategic plan and academic mission for the greater good of our community and world. Our strengths in broad-based sustainability, focusing on economics, the environment and equity, provide trail markers for research, innovation and collaboration. At Appalachian, it’s not enough to change the world…we want to change it for the better. Our academic mission is to prepare students to lead purposeful lives as engaged global citizens who understand their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all.
Our success is found in our response to this question:
How do we engage our academic mission through teaching, learning, service, research, innovation, creativity and intercampus and intercommunity collaborations in all disciplines to support the understanding and development of economically, environmentally and equitably sound communities?
Appalachian is building upon faculty and staff expertise, student passion and creativity, as well as existing and developing programs to engage our campus and community in innovative thought leadership to create a bright future for our region, state and world.
Interim Director, Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education