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S-BOLD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


QWhat is the timeline for grant applications and awards?


Mon, 11/21/16

Letter of Intent is due

Wed, 12/21/16

proposers will receive comments/questions from the reviewers and/or invitation to submit a full proposal

Mon, 2/20/17

full proposal is due

Mid April, 2017

awards announced


Q: Will all $250,000 be awarded this year?

A: Not necessarily.


Q: Will the criteria change in subsequent years?

A: Possibly, but if so the changes are likely to be minimal because the primary goals are retention, student success, number of students impacted, and improved time to degree completion.


Q: Is it permissible to partner with an entity other than an institution of higher education (ex. a high school)?

A: Nothing is out of bounds if it addresses the criteria to an extent.


Q: Can my proposal include staffing to implement my project?

A: Yes, as long as you develop a sustainable plan for retaining staff.


Q: Can my proposal include hiring an adjunct to teach my class(es) so that I can be released to develop this project?

A: Yes.


Q: What if my proposed project impacts a small number of students at the outset, but has the potential to impact many more later on?

A: You can describe the scalability of your proposal in two phases: short-term and long-term, with a forecasted timeline. You may also apply again next year to expand your project.


Q: May I request funding for more than one year?

A: No, but you may propose a first phase of a project, and then apply again next year to fund a second phase of the same project.


Q: Is there a set of guidelines endorsed by SBU, to inform those who want to propose a MOOC?

A: The S-BOLD Initiative is not intended for MOOCs.   Currently, there are no specific guidelines for MOOCs.  Please contact Wendy Tang, the Associate Provost for Online Education if interested in discussions of MOOCs.  Wendy can be reached at 631 632-7012; or via e-mail at


Q: To whom should additional questions be sent?

A: To send a question, click the button labeled “Comments & Questions” at the bottom of the Stony Brook Online Learning Development (S-BOLD) Initiative web page. You will be asked to log in with your NetID and password.


Q: What is meant by “learning object or tool”?

A: Grant awards will not be limited to courses. Your project could be to develop a learning activity or piece of multimedia that would assist students in understanding a perennially difficult concept, or that would support their learning in an innovative way.


Q: Can grant funding be used to purchase software applications for developing/delivering the course or tool?

A: Yes, but to use the funds as efficiently as possible, we ask that you consult with TLT first for advice. It may be that SBU already licenses an application that would serve your needs or that an existing application license can be broadened to do so.


Q: Can an individual proposer apply for multiple projects?

A: Yes, there is no limit on how many proposals to be submitted by each proponent. 


Q: Will the requested level of funding be revised by the reviewers?

A: Yes, this is possible. The Letter of Intent asks for a ball-park amount only. If you are invited to submit a full proposal, you must meet with TLT to develop a line item budget, which will be more accurate and will take into consideration existing technology and/or staffing resources that are readily available. Once your detailed budget is developed, it may justify either a smaller or larger amount than you originally requested.


Q: Must course level proposals be Core Curriculum?

A: No, but courses that have high retake rates, that are offered regularly, or that impact large numbers of students will take precedence.


Q: If the number of students impacted would be spread across multiple academic disciplines, is that permissible?

A: Yes.


Q: If my project is a multidisciplinary, collaboration among two or more departments, must I attach letters of support from all chairs and deans?

A: No. Submit letters of support from your own chair and dean only.


Q: How would a proposer determine the number of students potentially impacted by the proposed project?

A: Proposers may contact the Office of Institutional Research, which can supply you with data related to enrollments, retention, and graduation rates.


Q: Can I consult with the Faculty Center and/or TLT for assistance preparing my Letter of Intent?

A: Yes. The Faculty Center will conduct one or more workshops for potential proponents. Check the Upcoming Events on the right side of The Faculty Center website.


Q: Where would I find a rubric of goals and learning outcomes for the program related to my proposal to assist me in preparing the Assessment/Outcomes section of the Letter of Intent?

A: University program outcomes are available at:


Q: If I submit an LOI, but am not invited to submit a full proposal, may I propose again next year?

A: Yes. In that case, you’d want to consult with TLT to strengthen the alignment between your project and the grant criteria.


Q: What is the status of intellectual property developed under the S-BOLD initiative?

A: Unless other arrangements have been specifically negotiated with the University, projects developed under the grant will adhere to SUNY’s policy on Copyright and Faculty Ownership of Intellectual Property.


Q: What sorts of reporting to the S-BOLD Committee is required regarding the progress of funded projects, and when are the reports due?

A: Each awarded project is required to give a brief progress report in the beginning of the Fall semester for summer activities, an end-of semester report in the Fall and a final report in Spring.  Awardees are also invited to have regular lunches to create a community of online education and to inspire others.   




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