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Process, Submission Guidelines, and Evaluation Criteria

All members of the campus community are invited to participate in I@UNC, and any UNC community member may submit a concept paper. Two calls for proposals will be issued: one in the Fall of 2013 and one in the Fall of 2014. There will be $1 million available from our strategic initiatives reserve over two years for I@UNC projects. The submission and review process is listed below.

Click here for a PDF version of the following information.

Process Overview

Phase I: Concept Paper Development and Review

  1. Provost issues university-wide call for innovation proposals
  2. Campus community members collaboratively develop 2-page concept papers on innovative ideas addressing one or more of the four proposal areas (new programs, new learners, new pedagogies, student success)
  3. Faculty, staff and students are asked to volunteer for Comment Teams to assist in reviewing concept papers
  4. Concept papers are submitted electronically via a link that will be available on the I@UNC webpage; papers may be uploaded from Jan. 4, 2014, until Jan. 31, 2014
  5. Concept papers are available for two weeks for campus to provide feedback and Comment Teams to review
  6. Using feedback from campus, Comment Teams and Consultants, Review Team evaluates Concept Papers and identifies “finalists” to be developed into full proposals in Phase II

Phase II: Full Proposal Development and Review

  1. Finalists are notified and asked to develop a full proposal (including problem statement, method, expected outcomes, timeline, budget and evaluation process) to be considered for funding
  2. Finalists have five weeks to work on proposals with assistance from Consultants
  3. Review Team evaluates proposals and makes funding recommendations to President and Provost
  4. President and Provost review recommendations and announce funded projects


Comment Teams

Small groups of faculty, staff and student volunteers who will provide feedback on concept papers

Concept Paper

A two-page explanation of the proposed innovation, submitted electronically, that includes the challenge it addresses, a general description of proposed activities, rationale, how the work will be accomplished, how we will know if the project is a success, what benefits could accrue if it succeeds, and the length of time needed for the project

Full Proposal

An expanded version of selected concept papers that includes a formal problem statement and explanation of method, expected outcomes, timeline, budget and evaluation process


Personnel available to help address operational and implementation issues (e.g., budget, technology, facilities, assessment, compliance) during the development and review of concept papers and full proposals, including: Academic Deans and AVPs, AVP of Information Management and Technology, AVP of Facilities, members of the President’s executive staff, Director of Assessment, Office of Sponsored Programs, Extended Studies, the Budget Office, and the Special Assistant to the Provost

Review Team

A team including the Provost, Acting AVP for Research, Chair of Faculty Senate, Dean of the Graduate School, AVP for Undergraduate Studies and Dean of University College, and Special Assistant to the President, which is responsible for guiding the I@UNC process, reviewing feedback from campus, Comment Teams and Consultants, selecting concept papers to be developed into full proposals, and making funding recommendations to the President and Provost

Evaluation Criteria

All proposed projects must:

  • be in service to UNC’s mission, values, and goal of transformative education;
  • complement the goals of the nine core plans described in UNC’s planning framework and map;
  • support student success toward graduation;
  • be fiscally sustainable;
  • be collaboratively developed by faculty and staff across organizational boundaries (students may be included).

In addition, the following criteria will be used to evaluate concept papers and final proposals:

  • Is there documented evidence to demonstrate the opportunity or problem being addressed?
  • Is there a compelling case for UNC to address the opportunity or problem?
  • Is it a “game changing” idea?  Is it innovative or unique?  Is it an idea that redesigns the way we approach our work? 
  • Is it collaborative? How will it involve people across multiple units and allow us to work together?
  • Will it improve student access and/or support student success or achievement?
  • Does it reflect a focus on high academic quality?
  • Will it improve UNC’s academic competitive advantage among other institutions? Advance UNC’s distinctiveness?
  • Is the concept feasible? Do we have or can we reasonably acquire resources needed (faculty, infrastructure, technology, etc.) to support the project?  
  • Will it generate “new” revenue? Realize cost savings? Realize better results with the same resources or a small increase in resources?


*Dates updated on 2/11/2014

Year 1

  • November 13th - I@UNC Initiative announced and website goes live
  • November - December - Campus Q&As about I@UNC scheduled
  • January 4th - Proposal Submission Application is available to the campus community
  • January 31st - Proposals due
  • February 17th* - Campus, Comment Teams and Consultants provide feedback on proposals to the Review Team
  • March 3rd* - Review Team selects the concepts to be developed into full proposals
  • April 18th - Full Proposals are due to Review Team
  • April 25th - Funded proposals announced to campus

Year 2

  • TBD