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Announcing the Call for 2017 Innovation Projects Proposals

eXtension Foundation, Inc., the U.S. Cooperative Extension System’s national resource for advancing innovation and providing professional development for Extension professionals, is seeking initial abstract proposals for prescreening for 2017 Innovation Projects funding.

The Innovation Projects initiative is part of the eXtension Foundation’s mission to support experimental projects that will drive opportunities to adopt innovation in the greater Cooperative Extension System. In the 2017 round, we will award up to 10 grants of up to $10,000 each to recipients for a one-year period. Recipients will also receive support of their project from eXtension’s Innovation Lab.

50-Word Abstract Deadline is Monday, December 19th, 2016, 5:00 p.m. PST

Eligibility to Apply: To submit a proposal, you must be an Extension Faculty Member, Specialist, Educator, Agent or Staff Member of an eXtension Foundation Premium Member Institution.

How to Apply: The submission process for prescreening requires a brief abstract describing the initial project concept, plus applicant contact information. Finalists selected during prescreening will then be invited to submit expanded, complete proposals for 2017 Innovation Projects grants. All proposals will be submitted online for both the prescreening and final application processes.

Definitions: Innovation is applied creativity: Using creativity and applying it to find new and better ways to work and engage with Extension clients that will produce a measurable and visible impact–locally, statewide, nationally. Innovation Projects might include new ways to use technology, new ways to organize work, different ways of delivering program content, and experimenting with new tools and resources.

Prescreening Proposal Requirements:

Initial project concepts submitted for prescreening are required to address the following categories outlined in the Cooperative Extension Horizon Report | Technology Outlook 2016-21.

  • Trends:
    • Cross-Institutional Collaboration
    • New Audiences
    • Advancing Cultures of Innovation
    • Redesigning Learning Spaces
    • Shift from Learners as Consumers to Creators
  • Challenges:
    • Measuring the Impact of New Technologies
    • Embracing Change as a Constant
    • Blending Formal and Informal Learning
    • Staff Turnover and Training
  • Topics:
    • Makerspaces
    • Mobile Learning
    • Online Learning
    • Social Networks
    • BigData
    • 3D Printing
    • Drones
    • Location Intelligence
    • Internet of Things
    • Robotics
    • Telepresence
    • Wearable Technology

The submission form requires the following.

  • Contact information for all applicants
  • Abstract Proposal (50 words or less) that includes:
    • Description of project concept or idea and how it can change or influence current and future CES programming or work on a local, state, and national scale

Prescreening Review Process:

The initial abstract proposals will be reviewed by staff of the eXtension Innovation Lab and a group of Extension topic experts who have volunteered to assist in the process. The eXtension Innovation Lab will give priority to projects that:

  • Are new, surprising, and radically useful
  • Reflect innovation as described above
  • Promote multi-disciplinary, multi-state, and multi-institution collaboration
  • Can serve as models for land-grant university system-wide application

Abstract proposals successful in the prescreening review will then move to the final-proposal submission and review process for selection of the 2017 Innovation Projects.

Preview of Some Final Grant Proposal Requirements:

Successful final grant proposal requirements for your consideration include:

  • Projects must directly benefit the Cooperative Extension System to qualify for eXtension support.
  • Applicants must be employees of a Premium Member Institution of eXtension Foundation.
  • Applicants must demonstrate that they have administrative support for their project.
  • Projects must include strong leaders and collaborators.
  • 2017 Innovation Project grant recipients will be required to provide quarterly and final reports, including a financial report.
  • Grant recipients will be required to work with eXtension Foundation Evaluation Consultants.
  • Innovation Project leaders will be required to share their methods, model, and implementation plans broadly with the Cooperative Extension System.

Submit Your Initial Abstract Proposal for Prescreening:

Submit your proposal electronically via this simple online form: eXt2016innovationgrantRFP

Submit any questions about the Innovation Projects initiative, Innovation Lab or the proposal processes to Jamie Seger, seger.23@osu.edu or Jerry Thomas, jthomas@extension.org.

The eXtension Foundation is a membership-based non-profit organization designed to be the engine fueling U.S. Cooperative Extension’s advancement in making a more visible and measurable impact in support of education outreach from land-grant universities/colleges located in every state and territory. eXtension provides an array of opportunities for Extension professionals that foster innovation creation, the adoption of innovations at member institutions and increased impact of Extension programs.