Investment for Growth Proposals FY 2024

Inspired by the creativity and diversity of the submitted proposals and funded projects in previous years, we are excited to announce this FY 2024 call for Investment for Growth proposals. We will explore and incentivize opportunities to seed new and transformative opportunities for our university. For example, we will provide bridge funds in support of new approaches to education and training that go beyond traditional university offerings, including online degrees, certificates, and other non-degree credentials1; for the expansion of existing revenue-generating programs; to encourage cross-disciplinary research and teaching collaborations; to promote efforts to increase access and support student success and retention goals; and to invest in instructional spaces and projects, automating processes, improving efficiencies and operational excellence, and motivating reorganization.

We invite proposals in the following areas:

  • Education
    • Cross-disciplinary teaching collaborations
    • Non-traditional programs (online/certificate)
    • Innovative learning environments
    • Synergistic collaborations between traditional & non-traditional education providers
  • Research
    • Cross-disciplinary research collaborations
    • Research experiences for undergrads
  • Potential to improve efficiency and enhance operational excellence
In alignment with the Next 150 and upcoming Boldly Illinois strategic plans, we are prioritizing research and educational programs that position the University to address changing demands on our institution. Funding for the FY 2024 program is up to $15 million, from which nonrecurring investments will be made.

The proposals should include:

  1. Program Description and Objectives
  2. Need and Impact
  3. Sustainability
  4. Budget (required budget template can be found here)
  5. Expected Return on Investment

Reviewers will be asked to rate the proposals as (E)xcellent, (V)ery Good, (G)ood, (F)air and (P)oor across the criteria listed below:

  • Potential to transform the university in response to changing societal needs
  • Alignment with high and emerging demand,
  • Centrality to the scholarly mission (teaching, research, and outreach) of the unit or the university,
  • Development of online degree programs, certificates, or courses that benefit students, including the potential to reduce time to degree,
  • Development of programs targeted at enhancing student success and retention, and/or the student experience,
  • Grow collaborations and build synergies within the unit or across the university including the launching of cross-disciplinary degree programs or research partnerships
  • Engage with the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) research and education vision, agenda, and portfolio of activities,
  • Contribute toward the university goal of mitigating risk of reliance on state financial support, and,
  • Potential to improve efficiency and enhance operational excellence.


Proposals should be submitted electronically in this system no later than Monday, February 20, 2023.


Leaders of all college-level activity-based units are eligible to submit investment proposals that meet the criteria outlined above. Activity-based units are defined as colleges, college-level schools, and research institutes – those units that generate a significant share of their revenues through their direct activities. Units should prioritize and rank their submissions when multiple proposals are submitted. The ranking should also account for multi-unit proposals when the proposal is submitted by another unit. Once funding is awarded, all proposals for new programs at the undergraduate, graduate, or professional levels will be expected to go through the necessary approval processes.


1 Revenue-generating proposed focused solely on non-transcriptable education opportunities are ineligible for Investment for Growth funding since they may qualify for the “Self-Supporting Pilot Program” where anticipated revenues will exceed the cost of providing the services under which subsidization from other funding sources is not allowed. For more information regarding the program, please contact