Student Academic Innovation Fund Proposals


The Center for Academic Innovation invites University of Michigan (U-M) students to partner with us to take advantage of the rich content available via Michigan Online to shape the academic and co-curricular experiences of current and future U-M students. Michigan Online is a destination for online learning experiences created at the University of Michigan, and offering courses, programs, Teach-Outs, and other educational content to learners around the world—including residential students at the University of Michigan.

Our aim is to foster a culture of innovation, centering students as co-designers of their academic journey. This can be done by selecting content that enhances your own program, builds connections with other programs, or generally helps to provide a unique and meaningful addition to students’ academic experiences. The type of profound efforts we’re hoping to foster include examples here.

Proposals will be accepted until October 22, 2021, with several workshop opportunities to help students draft their proposals. Students are encouraged to look into our AIF-FAQ sheet for a list of allowable expenses.


The purpose of this call for proposals is to provide students the chance to take charge of their learning using Michigan Online, even in areas where they are still developing skills. We want to foster forward-thinking partnerships with students to develop programs that will enhance learning experiences in and beyond the classroom. CAI believes in students’ capacity to lead, and our goal is to support U-M students and provide educational access and equity for all.

Strong proposals will do at least one of the following:

  • identify how to explore and navigate a large institution like U-M or how to scale learning opportunities to larger groups;
  • support students in curating a personalized Michigan experience; and/or
  • support equity and inclusivity on campus.

Potential Ways to Leverage Michigan Online:

There are so many ways you could leverage Michigan Online content to further your campus experience! From designing a one-time event, to creating a study group, or launching a semester-long learning experience, we hope that you’ll consider a full range of possibilities, including but not limited to:

  • “Experimenting” – Highlight content to your peers that falls outside of your program
  • “Supplementing” – Work with content that directly relates to your program
  • “Synthesizing” – Connect the dots between your program and other disciplines on campus
  • “Combining” – Pair a portion of a Michigan Online course with another learning experience, such as an invited guest speaker
  • “Facilitating” – utilize content from Michigan Online to bring people together, either in-person or virtual, in conversation around a topic you’re passionate about.

We challenge students to think about the following when creating a proposal:

  • What is missing in your current curriculum, and what co-curricular opportunities are you seeking but can’t find? How can the Center for Academic Innovation and content from Michigan Online help you solve this gap?
  • How can you design activities to leverage content from Michigan Online to enable you to engage in meaningful work throughout your professional, personal, and civic lives?
  • How can the Center for Academic Innovation support you to explore the rich educational content of Michigan Online, impacting not only your experience but also that of your peers?
  • How can you contribute to curricular and co-curricular learning experiences that encourage self-direction, goal setting, and reflection?


Proposals will be accepted until October 22, 2021; with additional workshop opportunities and opportunities to resubmit in the spring-summer term.

Proposal Requirements

  • Eligibility: open to all U-M Ann Arbor students
  • Completion of a Budget Justification Form.
  • Attend one 2-hour design workshop
    • Option 1: September 15th from 1:00pm-3:00pm
    • Option 2: September 29th from 3:00pm-5:00pm

Preparing your Proposal

Step 1: Review our two sample proposals and eligible funding items from a previous call for proposals.

Step 2: Review our funding rubric.

Step 3: Attend one proposal workshop.

Step 4: Complete the proposal, including the following two areas:

  1. Student budget form, to specify your cost estimates.
  2. DEI section, please refer to the University’s DEI goals.

Step 5: Email your proposal to by 5PM on October 22, 2021. Please watch for an email confirmation that your proposal was received.