Faculty COACHE Innovation Awards


UCF faculty completed the COACHE survey during Spring 2015. One area of opportunity identified by the COACHE survey, specifically related to “Nature of Work: Teaching, Research, Service,” was availability of time to focus on these activities. Faculty COACHE Innovation Awards were identified by the COACHE Strategy Subcommittee as a tool for providing time for faculty to engage in their work – whether it be research, teaching or service, or a combination of those.

Faculty COACHE Innovation Awards support innovation exploration and development by providing faculty with one course release to allow focused time to work on the project. This innovative project is intentionally broad and may be related to research, curricular, engagement, partnerships, or other areas. The awards, however, are not research seed grant funds. Rather, they are specifically designed to be awards of time, providing faculty specifically with time away from teaching to have dedicated time to work on their innovative idea.


Recipients will receive $5,000 that will be distributed to the department to fund one course release that may be used during the Fall or Spring semester (they cannot be used for Summer). If faculty are able to show that they will be provided a course release by other means (e.g., letter of support from department chair/director or dean indicating that the department or college will provide course release, or in the case of non-instructional faculty, time release), the faculty can submit a budget indicating how the funds (up to $5,000) will be spent. Faculty who have no instructional responsibilities may submit a budget indicating how the funds will be used.


  1. Faculty who are within a department/unit for which less than $5,000 is needed for course buyout will retain the difference to offset department expenses. For example, if $3,000 is needed to fund one course release for the faculty member receiving the Faculty COACHE Innovation Award, the department will retain the remaining $2,000. Departments/units for which more than $5,000 is needed for course buyout will need to fund the difference using departmental/college funds. For example, if $8,000 is needed to fund one course release for the faculty member receiving the Faculty COACHE Innovation Award, the department will receive $5,000 from Academic Affairs and will fund the remaining $3,000 from departmental/college funds.
  2. In the event that releasing a faculty member creates a hardship for the department, the faculty member may submit a commitment from their department indicating how they will be released from other duties equivalent to one course (e.g., a combination of a release from service related activities; assignment of smaller/less time consuming courses, including avoiding new course preps; reduction in office hours or allowance of virtual office hours; reduction of other faculty goals outside of teaching/research/service).

2017-18 Winners

Full description of winners’ innovative projects

 Name  Rank  Department   College 
 Laurie Pinkert  Assistant Professor  Writing and Rhetoric   College of Arts and Humanities
 Megan Nickels and    Sarah Bush  Assistant Professor   School of Teaching, Learning,    and Leadership  College of Education and Human Performance
 Stephen Kuebler and    Jonathan Beever  Assistant Professor and    Associate Professor  Chemistry and Philosophy   College of Sciences and College of Arts and    Humanities
 John Blake Scott  Professor  Writing and Rhetoric  College of Arts and Humanities
 John Starbuck  Assistant Professor  Anthropology  College of Sciences
 Richard Hartshorne    and Atsusi Hirumi  Associate Professor and    Professor  Education and Human Sciences  College of Education and Human Performance
 Tameca Harris-  Jackson  Lecturer  Social Work  College of Health and Public Affairs

Future Funding

The concept of “Scale x Excellence = Impact” has been applied to these awards. UCF has allocated $35,000 per year, for three years, for the Faculty COACHE Innovation Awards.

  • Year 1. In 2017-18, a maximum of seven awards (up to $5,000 each) will be distributed.
  • Year 2. Faculty who receive awards in 2017-18 will be provided the opportunity to apply for additional funding in 2018-19 to scale up the project or to continue to make improvements to the project. It is anticipated that up to three awards (up to $10,000-$12,000 each) will be granted in 2018-19.
  • Year 3. Faculty who receive awards in 2018-19 will be provided the opportunity to apply for additional funding in 2019-20 to continue to scale up the project or to continue to make improvements to the project. It is anticipated that up to two awards (up to $15,000-$17,000 each) will be granted in 2019-20.


  • Completed cover sheet (required form)
  • Maximum 1,000-word proposal that summarizes the proposed project and the short- and long-term significance/impact or potential significance/impact. The proposal must also address the value added to UCF (i.e., what is UCF’s return on investment in terms of performance metrics, recognition, etc.). The proposal must make a strong case and/or demonstrate that the proposed activities are innovative and/or foster innovation – off the wall ideas are welcome. The call for proposals is intentionally broad to encourage a variety of innovative proposals that meet the objectives.
  • One-page (or less) timeline
  • Applicant’s vita
  • Support from the department chair/director (required form)
  • Statements of support and declaration of any co-investment (direct or indirect) from internal and/or external partners (optional)

Note regarding collaborative proposals: Collaborative projects are allowable and encouraged. For example, two faculty members may apply jointly for one project. In that case, if funded, the departments of both faculty would receive $5,000 to fund one course release for each faculty member. In the case of collaborative projects, only one proposal and timeline is required; however, each faculty member must submit their vita and support from their own department chair/director.

Evaluation of Applications

Applications will be evaluated based on the following:

  • Innovation and potential for impact, including alignment with UCF’s Collective Impact Strategic Plan
  • Goals for the course release period and beyond
  • Clarity of the application
  • Reasonableness and feasibility of the project, including experience of the faculty member/team, timeline, and budget (as applicable)
  • Experience of the faculty member and/or project team
  • Likelihood of success of the proposed outcomes

The evaluation committee will consist of members of the COACHE Nature of Work Strategy-Setting Subcommittee. The evaluation committee serves in an advisory role to the Vice Provost for Faculty Excellence and UCF Global and the Assistant Vice Provost for Faculty Excellence, who will make the final decision.

Expectations of Award Recipients

Faculty members receiving an award will be required to submit, during the first full-term semester immediately following the award, a two- to three-page summary of outcomes resulting from the project, including how this award has served as a stimulus to broader outcomes/impact and future innovation for the award recipient.


Open to all full-time tenured and tenure-earning faculty (including assistant, associate, and professors) and non-tenure earning faculty (including all ranks of instructor/lecturers, clinical, research, librarian, and instructional designers).

Submission Deadline and Timeline for Review

The 2017 application period is now closed.


Questions can be directed to Faculty Excellence at facultyexcellence@ucf.edu or 407-823-1113.