Sweaney Innovation Fund

Call for Proposals for Instructional Innovation Grants in FACS

In support of 2020 – 2025 Strategic Goals in Teaching and Learning, the Sweaney Innovation Fund will provide funds to support faculty and students current projects and programs, as well as new programs that are created to meet emerging needs. Upon her retirement in December 2012, an endowment was established to honor Anne L. Sweaney’s more than 30 years of service to the college and UGA.

When to Apply

Submission deadline is March 15 at 5pm (or the Monday immediately following March 15).


The college will reimburse up to $5,500 to cover costs for one project for implementation during the academic year immediately following award notification.


The project selected through a competitive process will be one which embodies the spirit of innovationcollaboration, and will incentivize individuals or a team of FACS faculty and staff to create highly impactful and innovative instructional materials and/or design and delivery of educational programs in the college. As you develop your proposal, you are encouraged to see UGA's Center of Teaching and Learning as a strategic partner who will serve as a collaborator to assist you in your instructional innovation project.

Objectives to Consider

Important objectives to consider when preparing your proposal for Sweaney Innovation Funds are outlined in the 2020 – 2025 FACS Strategic Goals, Teaching and Learning https://www.fcs.uga.edu/docs/FINAL_SP_Teaching_and_Learning.pdf

  • Efficiently deliver foundational content to students outside the classroom setting. By removing the delivery of foundational content from the classroom, the studentinstructor contact can be redirected to activities and interactions that differ from the traditional lecture, and could focus on aspects of learning that go beyond the acquisition of factual information. Project goals could include determining portion(s) of a course that is/are best delivered in this manner, together with a strategy for delivering content through alternative means.
  • Facilitate access to information that can be efficiently and effectively utilized to make decisions that improve outcomes relevant for the field and career professionals during and following the students’ time in our college. This might be achieved, for example, by the creation of innovative smart phone applications, web-based programs, or interactive team-based learning modules.
  • Reshaping courses to connect key concepts and active involvement in systematic investigation and research. This instructional innovation might involve students with actively contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from research and inquiry in the discipline.
  • Other instructional innovation which facilitate high-impact educational practices, as Designing and Implementing courses to accomplish the desire learning from a planned experiential curriculum in the Experiential Learning Initiative.

How to Apply

All full-time faculty are eligible to apply by submitting a proposal in PDF format to the Assistant to the Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the Dean's Office. Provide in four pages, not counting additional pages for project costs/budget, the following required information:

  1. Project Title and your name
  2. Project Goals - What do you hope to achieve in fostering teaching and learning excellence in your content area?
  3. Provide a brief description of project including timeline over the next academic year: Assuming funding begins this July, what are the major milestones in project development and implementation over the next 12 months?
  4. Estimated project costs (itemized budget list - may include these beyond 4 pages as needed).
  5. Relationship to the Curriculum: How will this project revolutionize the manner in which the major/department/college delivers its educational programs in relation to compatibility to other courses, to a consistent and cohesive curriculum that will remain sustainable over a number of years.  Explain how you will work with CTL on this innovative project.
  6. Faculty scholarship – How will you study the efficacy of material developed?
  7. Any pre-existing instructional materials: How will this project leverage pre-existing instructional materials, training, online, honors or service learning courses?
  8. Your commitment (initial your commitment to the following):
  9. Comply with development timeline: (due by March 15, submit a 6 month update including budget expenditure at that time (Jan 1) and by June 15 turn in a 2 page report with complete report of outcomes and final itemized budget
  10. Evaluate and communicate results at relevant internal and external meetings to the college, in relevant literature within 12 months of completion of implementation phase
  11. Provide required materials when completed
  12. Support public relations/communications efforts and stewardship for the sustainable future of the Sweaney Innovation Fund in FACS at UGA
  13. Faculty signature
  14. Department Head signature

Notification of funding decisions will be made by May 1.

Past Winners

  • 2015: Ann Woodyard
    • FACS 2000e: Introduction to Family and Consumer Sciences 
  • 2016: Suraj Sharma
    • Incorporating 3D Printing into the Textile, Merchandising and Interiors Curriculum.
  • 2017: Caree Cotwright
    • Use of a Mobile Kitchen for Innovative Nutrition Education
  • 2018: Art Grider
    • Enhancing Understanding of Nutritional Biochemistry through Three-Dimensional Videos
  • 2019: Art Grider
    • Using Animation to More Effectively Communicate Nutritional Biochemistry Concepts
  • 2020: HDFS Team: Jennifer George, Jennifer Gonyea, Melissa Kozak, and Melissa Landers-Potts
    • HDFS Writing Center
  • 2020: Chalandra Bryant
    • Connecting Students with Course Material through Exposure to Experts around the Country and through Virtual Reality Experiences
  • 2021: Patryk Babiarz, Adrianna Garcia
    • Advancing Analytical Skills in Undergraduate Students using Current and Real-Life Empirical Research Outcomes and Active Learning Opportunities
  • 2021: Cara Simmons, Clair McClure
    • Creating an E-Resource for FACS 2000/E
  • 2022: Laura McAndrews
    • Enhancing Design Education through "Frankie Welch's Americana"
  • 2023: Kimberly Watkins
    • Learn, Do, and Serve: Incorporating Peer Financial Counseling into the Client Communication and Counseling Course.
  • 2024: Dee Warmath
    • FACS Faculty Fellowship Focused on Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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