The Alumnae Award for Curriculum Development

The Alumnae of Northwestern University Award for Curriculum Development was founded in 2014.  It is intended to support faculty work over the summer to develop new course materials, new courses, or new modes of teaching (including online courses or online education), that will enhance INNOVATION in our undergraduate curriculum.

The recipient of each Curriculum Development Award will have the opportunity to address a meeting of the Board of Directors of The Alumnae of Northwestern University. In addition, Provost Linzer will recognize recipients of the Curriculum Awards at the annual luncheon he hosts for all current recipients of awards established by the Alumnae of Northwestern University.

Congratulations to the 2015 recipients of the Alumnae of Northwestern University Award for Curriculum Development:

Photo of Indira Raman, Professor, Neurobiology, WCAS and Susie Phillips, Associate Professor, English, WCAS

Indira Raman, Professor, Neurobiology, WCAS and Susie Phillips, Associate Professor, English, WCAS for their joint course proposal: “Thought Experiments: An Exploration of Knowing Through Neuroscience and the Humanities," which will seek to understand the human experience by merging neuroscientific, literary and artistic perspectives -- disciplines generally thought to be at opposite ends of the academic spectrum.

Photo of Francesca Tataranni, Senior Lecturer, Classics and director of Latin instruction, WCAS

Francesca Tataranni, Senior Lecturer, Classics and director of Latin instruction, WCAS, for her course proposal, "Ancient Rome in Chicago," which will focus on the legacy of ancient Rome as reflected in the architecture, art and other forms of cultural production in Chicago. 

Students will work on individual projects and present their research in the form of a video essay. Using software designed by Northwestern’s Knight News Innovation Laboratory, the entire class will then work jointly to design a virtual walking tour of all the places in the city where “memories” of ancient Rome appear.

“We see or walk by neoclassical buildings and are exposed to a variety of uses of classical imagery almost every day, which we completely take for granted,” Tataranni said. “Specifically, the focus of the class will be Chicago, the quintessential modern American city, and the way it has used classical antiquity, in particular Roman culture, to assert its own modernity.”

photo of Eric Zaslow, Professor, Mathematics, WCAS

Eric Zaslow, Professor, Mathematics, WCAS for his course proposal, "Quantitative Reasoning," which will be developed as part of the Bridge Program and will prepare students to be able to understand human behavior, the environment and science and technology in the age of big data through quantitative reasoning.


To learn more about these thoughtful and innovative projects, visit the Award Recipients page.

Award Description and Application Procedures


Award Eligibility

All faculty who are expected to be teaching at Northwestern for at least the next two years are eligible for this award, including non-tenure and tenure line faculty.  For non-tenure line faculty we ask for a letter from the dean indicating an expectation of a renewed appointment, in order to allow for some impact of the new curricular contribution.

Award Funding

Each award will provide total support in the amount of $12,500.  This amount includes:

  • $7,000 to support the development of the curricular innovation.  These funds can be applied as needed to support a student assistant, acquire course materials and software, or pay for assistant benefits

  • $5,000 faculty stipend

  • $500 to the faculty member’s home department

The award is not intended to fund regular instructional or administrative salaries, standard faculty leaves, faculty research (except as it relates to undergraduate teaching responsibilities), plant construction, renovation or maintenance.

Applications Requirements 

To apply for this award, faculty should submit a statement, not to exceed two pages in length, which includes the following:

1) A description of the proposed curricular innovation, including:

  • An explanation of how it relates to the existing curriculum,

  • The expected level and format of the course or courses incorporating the innovation (e.g., large introductory class, advanced lecture, or small seminar), and

  • An explanation of why the proposal is innovative in nature.

2) An explanation of how the award funds are expected to be used (e.g., $2,000 to an assistant to work on the course syllabus; $1,000 to fund travel for external speakers, etc.)

  • If applicable, provide an explanation of any past or prior funding for this proposal and what was accomplished with that funding.

3) The expected learning outcomes and impact of the course on undergraduate students.

Faculty applying for the award should also attach to this two-page statement a letter from one of the following: the faculty member’s Program Director, Department Chair or school Dean which indicates a willingness to provide teaching support if the project is funded. 

  • If you are non-tenure eligible, the application should also include a letter from your school Dean indicating an expectation of renewed appointment (in order to allow an opportunity for curricular impact).

Award Application Deadline

Applications for the 2015 awards are now closed. For questions or more information, please contact Celina Flowers, Director, Academic Administration, Office of the Provost (c-flowers@northwestern.edu).