The Provost Innovation Fund is focused on supporting existing faculty-led scholarship projects and initiatives that engage with community partners and exemplify community engagement.

Based on the definition provided by the Swearer Center at Brown University, community engagement:

… describes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

The focus of this year’s grant cycle is promoting active faculty scholarship. There is an expectation that the work plan that is proposed will lead to some type of peer-reviewed piece(s) of scholarship. Some key parameters of this year’s grant program are noted below.

  • The PIF program will provide one-time funding matched to the proposal needs; no monies can be used for course releases.
  • Projects will require letters of support from community partners.
  • Awards may not be used to fund or supplement pre-existing grants/awards to departments, schools or the college.
  • A reasonable proportion of the awards may be used for summer salary expenses.
  • Awards may be used to purchase equipment/supplies essential to the project.
  • A clear and concise rationale that outlines the implementation, use and evaluation of the impact of the project will be required.
  • Awardees will be expected to submit a brief summary report to the provost’s office at the conclusion of the project and share their project through a faculty forum in fall of 2019.

Funding Level

There is no specific funding ceiling, although it is anticipated that grants would likely not exceed $25,000. If faculty have any questions about funding level, they should contact the provost’s office to vet their proposal. As in previous years, this year’s round of PIF funding must be spent during fiscal year 2019 (between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019).


Any and all collaborative groups of full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty are eligible to submit an application. As noted above, all faculty applying for projects will need to demonstrate that the project has scholarship potential and a letter of support from community partners.

How to Apply

Complete this downloadable application (doc).

Application Deadline

Completed applications are due by Friday, March 16. Each applicant will be notified in writing of the status of their application after the review is completed. For more information, contact Vice Provost Jon Lyon.

Proposal Guidelines

The Provost Innovation Fund application should include the following components:

  1. Completed application form.
  2. Description of the proposed project, limited to two single-spaced typed pages that includes descriptions of the following:
  • Linkage of the project to the Agenda for Distinction
  • How the project will improve student learning in the classroom, lab, field and/or studio.
  • Impact of the project on at least the department(s) level.
  • Evaluation of the project’s impact on the community partner(s).

Proposal Submission, Review and Administrative Procedures

Applicants should submit electronically their completed and signed application form and all supporting information to the Office of the Provost by Tuesday, March 16, 2018. Electronic materials should be emailed to officeoftheprovost@merrimack.edu. Incomplete applications will not be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all materials are complete and submitted in one package.

Awardees will be expected to submit a brief summary report to the provost’s office by June 30, 2019. The format for the summary report will be sent to all grant recipients during the spring 2019 semester.

Past Recipients