Call for Applications: Center & Institute Initiative to Enhance Remote Learning and Teaching, Columbia University

Thursday, February 11, 2021

With a challenging academic year ahead, a consortium of Centers and Institutes will offer funding for proposals that cultivate student engagement and enhance the online learning experience for Columbia students and instructors. As many universities and colleges grapple with the reality of online and hybrid instruction in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty members, teaching assistants, instructors, and students prepare to learn and teach in unprecedented ways. Structuring engaging online or hybrid courses is not a simple task.

To help ameliorate some of the challenges, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, the Center for Science and Society, the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health, the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, the Center for Justice, the Center for American Studies will offer funds throughout the 2020-21 academic year to proposals that aim to improve the online classroom experience and promote student engagement. We welcome proposals from any member of any course offered in the 2020-21 academic year - instructor, TA, or student. Successful proposals will lay out course activities (to be carried out inside or outside class sessions) that will enhance the teaching and learning experiences of remote learning; they can also suggest innovative pedagogical strategies and tools. They can be proposed at any time during an ongoing, or in advance of a future, course. This funding opportunity aims to make resources available quickly so that students and teachers can respond rapidly to class dynamics, ideas, and opportunities.

Activities might include forming online student-instructor groups, special events, public outreach activities or webinars, journal/book clubs, outdoor activities, in-home activities or demonstrations, financial support for assistance in the classroom, special speaker honoraria, etc. 
We look forward to receiving innovative proposals, especially from students and TAs.
ISHR seeks proposals for initiatives that advance the critical study of human rights, particularly in ways that connect theory to practice. To find out more about the other participating Centers and Institutes, please click here
In order to apply, please complete the Application Form. Within the form, applicants should upload a brief description of the proposed activity (500-word maximum) as a PDF. The activity description should include: 
  • How the activity will fit into the course structure
  • How the proposal will achieve the aims of this Call for Proposals
  • Proposed timeline
  • If you will be receiving assistance from any department or student organization
  • Signature from course instructor (if not applicant) in support of proposal

Video proposals are welcome in lieu of a written activity description! Videos should be no longer than three minutes and may be up to 1 GB in size. Editing, visual effects, music, or other post-production efforts are not required. Videos should address the above information. Please provide course instruction signature separately, if needed. Proposals will be routed to the relevant Center/Institute for review. For questions, please contact

Please visit the Remote Learning Grants Overview page for an up-to-date list of 2020-21 awardees.


All Columbia and Barnard faculty, instructors, undergraduate and graduate students, TAs, research fellows and postdocs (if teaching or taking a class in the 2020-21 academic year) are eligible to apply. 
Funding of up to $1,500 per proposal is available. 
Applications for the grants are open via rolling submission throughout the 2020-21 academic year.