Course Innovation Funds

The Office of Undergraduate Education in Harvard College oversees a limited fund for the improvement of existing undergraduate courses or the creation of new ones. These courses should be innovative or improved in some distinctive way (new pedagogical approaches, the development of intensive writing assignments or public speaking components, etc.). Preference is given to proposals involving courses central to the overall undergraduate program (e.g. a new course in General Education) or to concentration needs (e.g. introductory courses in a concentration or those required by closely related fields, tutorials or junior seminars, etc.). Ordinarily, one course per applicant will be supported in any given year. Successful applicants must intend to offer the course on a regular basis.

In addition to funding for course innovation, OUE can offer small sums of money for one-time special opportunities that would enhance a specific course. For example, a guest lecture, a performance, or a short field trip might greatly enhance the educational experience for undergraduates, and there should be some funds available to support such endeavors. A small honorarium of up to $200 would ordinarily be appropriate for a guest lecture. Local and domestic field trips for enrolled students should be scheduled in such a way as to minimize scheduling conflicts with other courses (proposals for international field trips should be submitted to the Office of International Programs). Ordinarily, no more than $2,500 would be given to any single course for all proposed enhancements. There is a limited amount of money available for these special opportunities and, once exhausted, additional requests for the academic year will be denied. Please note that these funds are for special opportunities that may enhance a particular offering of a class and may not be used to support activities that are a recurring cost of offering the course.


Instructors teaching FAS courses.


Applications should describe the project in a 1-2 page proposal that should include the following:

  • A brief (one page) description of the course including the specific improvements or innovations proposed and when the course will be offered.

  • A budget. Please note that funds are provided for materials and assistance.

  • A statement of support from the department or committee chair noting the value of the project to the program’s curricular needs.

Proposals should be submitted electronically to the Office of Undergraduate Education at . For questions or more information, please contact the OUE at (617) 495-0450.


Applications will be considered as they are received.