Briefing: RFP Course Development Funds - Trinity Development Grants

April 18, 2018

Course Development Funds: Trinity Departmental Grants

Request for Proposals

Please note that the following RFP is designed to support efforts by departments within the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences to reconfigure their first and second year courses – all other course proposals should be submitted through the general Bass Connections Course Development Fund RFP which has a deadline of March 2, 2018 at 5 p.m.

Deadline and Submission

Proposals should be submitted to Laura Howes (, Director of Bass Connections, by Monday, April 30, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.


Bass Connections brings together faculty and students—from all levels and schools—in interdisciplinary research teams. Faculty, graduate/professional students, undergraduates and postdocs apply their skills and perspectives to generate creative solutions to complex problems in five theme areas. In addition to more than 45 project teams each year, Bass Connections offers curricular pathways to complement a student’s major or program of study.

Each year, Bass Connections awards course development funds up to $5,000 to support the development or modification of courses that model key elements of Bass Connections. To support efforts within Trinity to reconfigure first and second year courses, this grant opportunity is designed to support departments with an interest in redesigning a course, or set of courses, to incorporate team-based, hands-on learning. This is a one-time opportunity, and does not presume that every department has an interest in re-designing their curriculum in this manner.


Any Trinity department may submit a proposal. Proposers do not need to have previously participated in Bass Connections.

Course Criteria

Proposed courses must include teamwork as an integral element of the course AND at least two of the following elements: 

  1. Problem-centered learning around issues of societal importance
  2. Interdisciplinarity (e.g., a course taught by multiple faculty members representing different disciplinary perspectives, or a course that integrates multiple guest lecturers from various disciplines)
  3. External engagement (e.g., service learning, client projects)
  4. Vertical integration (e.g., sustained mentoring between graduate and undergraduate students, or possibly between undergraduates of different classes)

Courses should be proposed at a topic level that is broader than one specific project team. View previous awardees and course descriptions from 2016 and 2017. Courses receiving these funds are expected to be offered on an ongoing basis over at least the next three to five years (if successful).

Proposal Criteria

Course proposals should be submitted to Laura Howes (, Director of Bass Connections, by Monday, April 30, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. and should include: 

  • A brief narrative that articulates the goals of the course; how it fits with the Bass Connections model (e.g., team-based learning, interdisciplinarity, vertical integration, community engagement); and a plan for sustaining the course as an offering (no more than 3 pages)
  • A draft syllabus or outline of the course
  • A description of who will teach the course, or how the department will determine the best faculty to teach the course
  • A budget plan (up to $5,000 to be used in the 2018-19 academic year)
  • A letter or e-mail from the department chair describing how the course supports the department’s curricular goals

Review and Selection

Proposals will be reviewed by Bass Connections and the Office of the Trinity College Dean of Academic Affairs. Decisions will be announced by late May 2018 and funds will be awarded as appropriate to the initial offering of the course. Awardees will be expected to provide updates on their progress during the year.