Ohio Five Collaborative Grants Program Guidelines

The Five Colleges of Ohio sponsors an annual grant program to support collaborative work between our colleges to address new opportunities to solve common challenges together.  These guidelines outline the priorities, policies and procedures for awarding grants from the $50,000 annual grant pool. 

Mission of the Program

The Ohio Five grant program seeks to support collaborative projects that address the following Ohio Five and consortial priorities:

  • Fostering collaborative scholarship and academic innovation at Ohio Five Institutions
  • Collaborating across campuses and departments to address changing student needs in the classroom and beyond in their campus communities
  • Working together to improve our five colleges’ competitive advantage in admissions and faculty recruitment and retention.
  • Realizing cost savings and cost avoidance at Ohio Five institutions through collaboration

In addition, the Collaborative Grants Program may, from time to time, propose an annual theme or emphasis for its upcoming grant awards that responds to a pressing issue or priority of our five campuses.

Who can apply?

The Program supports collaborative projects that involve two or more Ohio Five colleges.  Projects from a single campus are not eligible for funding.

The Ohio Five encourages projects that reach across departments and divisions to address campus needs.  The program is open to faculty members, staff, and administrators who may collaborate to develop a project.  Proposals from colleagues in similar departments or divisions across the Ohio Five are also welcomed.  Project director(s) must be full-time employees of their institution. Students may participate as volunteer planners and participants in the project but may not serve as project directors.

What types of activities does the Program support?

The Program supports activities that promote shared community across the colleges, the infusion of new ideas and skills to address college priorities, and creative problem-solving.  These can include support of:

  • Innovative teaching and learning The program supports multi-college collaborations to support new approaches and skill development in service of teaching, particularly initiatives that respond to the changing needs of our students. Approaches including shared courses, team-taught courses, integration of technology in teaching, and  joint initiatives with student affairs and other collegiate divisions are examples of these projects.
  • Staff development and programming The program encourages the pooling of resources to address common staff professional development needs through shared workshops, conferences, and training sessions on our campuses.  The Program will also fund “train the trainer” proposals to support attendance by project representatives at regional or national training events, with the requirement that the staff member share that training with Ohio Five colleagues at a subsequent consortial event.
  • Supporting diverse student, faculty, and employee populations Multi-college projects that foster the development of our campuses as welcoming, diverse communities, especially those that strengthen the collaboration between academic and student affairs initiatives, are supported by the Program.
  • Initiating collaborative learning communities The Ohio Five supports the development of cross-college communities of colleagues to deepen collaboration, promote the sharing of best practices, and develop projects that address the Collaborative Grant Programs’ priorities. Funding is available for planning meetings and for subsequent project funding to carry out these ideas.
  • Conferences/workshops/symposia to address key issues  The Program supports the planning and presentation of conferences, workshops and symposia by multi-college groups that address the Program’s priorities or respond to a significant need or development identified across our campuses.  Public events must be open to participants from all Ohio Five colleges.  When possible, training workshops and conferences should also include peer representatives from Ohio Five colleges. Project organizers may support the project’s revenue by charging a registration fee to participants from outside the Ohio Five.
  • Start-up funding for cost-saving ideas  Ohio Five helps colleges reduce costs by collaborating. The Program will provide initial support for ideas that provide long-term cost savings or cost-avoidance.

Application Requirements

  • Identification of a Project Lead (full-time faculty member, administrator, or staff member)
  • Identification of proposal team members(s) available to participate in the "Funded Proposal Workshop" (required if the project is approved for funding)
  • Letter of Endorsement from a supporting department head.  This individual should represent the department that is able to offer upfront financial support and resources for the project that would be subsequently reimbursed by the Ohio Five Grant.  The letter should stipulate the college, department, and contact name for the individual who will oversee the project budget and issue institutional funds for its implementation.  
  • Submission of Project Proposal.  The following should be included in the proposal:
    • Names and contacts for proposal team
    • Goals/desired outcome of proposed program
    • Target audience
    • Alignment to Collaborative Grant Program priorities
    • Implementation plan
    • Assessment criteria and methods
    • Resources requested
    • Current institutional support or other planned funding sources is encouraged
    • Budget Plan Worksheet
    • Plans to sustain the collaboration

Funding Levels

The Ohio Five Grants Program seeks to support emerging projects among its member institutions.

The Program may provide planning grants of $500 for up to one year to develop a potential project.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek funding from their home colleges as matching support for Ohio Five grants or provide an explanation why such funding is not possible.

Fully funded programs will be supported up to $5,000 in a single year.  Requests for multi-year funding will not be considered, but grantees may submit for continuing funding of the project in subsequent years for up to three years. Grantees seeking repeat funding are encouraged to find matching support, as these grants will have reduced maximum awards:

Year 1 maximum - $5,000

Year 2 maximum - $3,500

Year 3 and after maximum - $2,000

Ohio Five provides funding to grantees on a reimbursement basis. Proposals much include departmental support/endorsement as well as identify a secured source of initial funding that the grant will subsequently reimburse. 

Allowable Costs:

  • Speaker or facilitator honorarium
  • Communications (i.e. printing, advertising)
  • Direct project costs, such as materials, supplies, software licenses
  • ADA compliance needs
  • Catering costs for meetings or project events
  • Stipends for lead faculty/administrators/staff who plan and execute the project ($750 maximum per person; these payments are subject to Social Security and Medicare and should be coordinated with each institution’s payroll department
  • Modest stipends for faculty/staff/administrative participants ($100 maximum per person; these payments are subject to Social Security and Medicare and should be coordinated with each institution’s payroll department )
  • Registration fees for participants to conferences/workshops outside the Ohio Five, with the condition that the project include a public workshop for Ohio Five colleagues
  • Inter-campus mileage for project leads and participants

Costs Not Funded:

  • Prizes
  • Awards
  • Payment to employees or departments for project administration, space rental, or equipment use

Proposal Review and Selection

The Ohio Five Collaborative Grant Program is overseen by a five-college Grants Committee of academic, student affairs, and finance leaders from each campus.  The Grants Committee is appointed annually by the Five Colleges of Ohio Board of Trustees, which consists of the presidents of each college.

Final Reports and Grant Payments

Ohio Five grant funds are released for payment upon receipt of a Final Report within 30 days of the project's end date.  The final report includes a financial statement documenting actual project costs, which may be less than, but may not exceed, the awarded grant amount.  Project funds are released only to the sponsoring college or department and may not be paid to individuals.

For more information, contact us at grants@ohio5.org