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About the Alumnae Award for Curriculum Innovation

Founded in 2014, the Alumnae of Northwestern University Award for Curriculum Innovation supports faculty innovations that enhance the undergraduate curriculum in areas such as:

  • New courses
  • New course materials or components for existing courses
  • New approaches to instruction

The above list of examples is not meant to be limiting. We welcome any proposals that clearly demonstrate a measurable positive impact upon the education of Northwestern’s undergraduate students. We welcome proposals for new courses and for projects that build upon or enhance existing courses.

Each Curriculum Innovation Award recipient is invited to address a meeting of the Board of Directors of The Alumnae of Northwestern University and to present the outcomes of their project at the annual TEACHx forum. In addition, Provost Kathleen Hagerty recognizes recipients of the Curriculum Awards during the annual luncheon for all current recipients of awards established by the Alumnae of Northwestern University.


All faculty—including non-tenure and tenure-line faculty—who expect to teach at Northwestern for the next two years are eligible to apply for this award. Proposed courses and innovations should be implemented within the current or the subsequent academic year.

Award Amount

Each award provides total support in the amount of $12,500:

  • $7,000 for the development of the curricular innovation. These funds can be applied as needed—for example, to support a student assistant or acquire course materials or software. 
  • $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 or faculty research (except as it relates to undergraduate teaching responsibilities).


Submit materials using the online application.

Application Materials Needed for Submission

  1. Description of the proposed curricular innovation including:
    • An explanation of how it relates to the existing curriculum
    • The expected level and format of the class incorporating the innovation (e.g., large introductory class, small seminar)
    • An explanation of why the proposal is innovative in nature
  2. Description of the learning goals and expected impact of the innovation on undergraduate students as well as the sustainability of the innovation.
  3. Discussion of the feasibility of completing the innovation, including any special circumstances or considerations that need to be addressed to successfully implement the proposal. For example, would the course require approval from several departments? Would space that is not typically available be required to teach the class? Does the course involve collaboration with entities outside of Northwestern who have not yet consented to participate?
  4. Completion of the Proposed Budget Form
  5. Signed approval from the faculty member’s department chair (or program director) and school dean. Fill out and upload both the Signed Department Chair (or Program Director) Endorsement Form and the Signed Dean Endorsement Form.


November 10, 2023

Selection Process

Nominations are reviewed by the Office of the Provost and the selection committee is chosen in consultation with the Faculty Senate.


Questions can be directed to