Institute FAQs

About the Institute:

  1. Where will the Institute be held? 
    In-person workshops held during fall 2011 and the capstone conference in 2013 will take place at the SUNY Global Center which is located at 116 East 55th Street, in Manhattan, NY. However, most of the Institute activities will be undertaken remotely by Institute Fellows and staff utilizing online communication tools.
  2. Is this Institute only open to faculty and staff who work for the State University of New York (SUNY)?
    No, the Institute is open to faculty and staff from higher education institutions across the USA (working with international partners). No more than 40% of participating US faculty and staff may work for SUNY.
  3. When will the Institute begin and for how long does it run?
    The Institute will officially convene in June 2011 after the Institute Fellows have been selected. It will continue through the capstone conference and publication of proceedings in spring 2013.
  4. How many universities and Institute Fellows will be selected?
    We anticipate 20-25 teams from US institutions to be selected which will correspond to approximately 60 Institute Fellows. In addition, the Institute will also include the international partners from each selected team.
  5. What US institutions are eligible?
    To be a part of this initiative US institutions must be accredited by the Dept. of Education and be listed in their database. Verify your school is listed in their database of accredited post-secondary institutions and programs, available here: It should be noted that this database is not always up to date, so if you don't find your school in their database and think your institution is accredited, please check with your accrediting agency or state approval agency. These agencies must be recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a "reliable authority as to the quality of post-secondary education" within the meaning of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA).
  6. Can more than one team from a single institution apply?
    Yes, however no more than one team from any institution will be chosen, so multiple applications from a single institution will be competing with each other.

About Institute Fellows:

  1. Who is eligible to be an Institute Fellow?
    Faculty and staff working at an accredited US college or university, and who are either American citizens, or foreign nationals who have been living in the United States or its jurisdictions for at least three years immediately prior to the application deadline, are eligible to participate in the Institute's projects as funded under this NEH grant.
  2. What are the benefits if I am selected to be an Institute Fellow?
    In addition to the potential recognition of being a part of this important national initiative, Institute Fellows will benefit from the support and knowledge of Institute staff while they develop a globally networked course. Institute Fellows will participate in:

    - discipline-specific workshops taking place in the fall 2011 (travel and accommodation expenses for those living outside the NYC area are underwritten by the Institute)

    - an online course on globally networked learning

    - a community of practice of peers providing a venue in which to discuss and share issues that may arise during course development

    - participation in a capstone conference where lessons learned during the Institute can be shared and disseminated through an Institute publication.

  3. Are there any costs associated with being as Institute Fellow?
    There are no direct costs associated with being selected as an Institute Fellow. Travel and accommodation expenses during the in-person workshops and capstone conference will be underwritten by the Institute for Fellows living outside the NYC area. Neither Institute Fellows nor their institutions will incur any direct costs by participating in the ongoing online training courses and communities of practice. The international partners are also welcome to participate in all aspects of Institute. While there is no cost for them to do so at a distance, if they wish to attend the workshops and capstone conference in-person they would be responsible for their own travel and accommodation expenses as well as a small fee to cover food and materials at those events.
  4. Can adjunct professors or part-time employees become Institute Fellows?
    Yes. In these cases it is advised that the institutional letter of support explicitly make a commitment to the applying Institute Fellow that their appointment will be ongoing for the duration of the Institute (to early 2013).
  5. Are only faculty members of the team considered Institute Fellows?
    No. All team members are considered Institute fellows. That includes instructional designers and international programs staff if they are on your team.
  6. Could a senior administrator (e.g. Dean, Provost, Department Chair, etc.) be part of the team? 
    Yes, such administrators are welcome if they are actively involved in international activities of their institution and are interested in being an integral member of the Institute team to develop globally networked learning on their campus. In this case, this individual should apply as Team Member #4.
  7. What does an instructional designer do? How are they different from an IT person?
    An instructional designer typically has a Masters in Instructional Technology; Educational Technology or Instructional Design. This is relatively new field, so many instructional designers on campus are individuals with an IT background who support the teaching mandate of faculty. They may help integrate technology in teaching on campus by providing training and/or consulting with faculty on the pedagogical uses of technology.
  8. Who can be included as an International Programs staff member or administrator?
    This team member should be someone who is actively involved in the international activities at their home institution. This may include members of the Office of International Programs or similarly named department at the institution. However, we realize some institutions may not have such a department. As a result, we welcome the applications of individuals whose primary role is to facilitate the integration of more international elements at their institution, regardless of their actual departmental affiliation.

About International Partners:

  1. If I am an international partner (non-US), can I apply?
    No, only US nationals can apply. However, potential international partners can reach out to a US institution to propose that they initiate an application. They may also contact Institute staff to determine if there are US universities seeking an international partner in their discipline or region.
  2. What countries can an international partner come from?
    Partners can be located in any country. When selecting a partner, issues related to the appropriateness of the course content exchange and the resources and support at their university should be considered. However, if a particular cultural perspective could enhance the course content, then you could begin your search there. It is easiest to partner with an institution with which your university already has a working relationship or where faculty have already collaborated on joint research projects. The language in which courses will be taught is also a central determinant.
  3. Are instructional designers and international program staff required of international partners? 
    It is not necessary to officially include such individuals in the application. However, if such professionals are available at the international partner's institution, we strongly encourage that they be engaged to support the international partner's team.

About Institutional Support:

  1. What does institutional support mean?
    Institutional Support means that the home institution is committed to providing the resources required by Fellows to participate fully in the Institute and that the institution will offer the globally networked course that is being developed at the Institute.
  2. What commitment is required of the senior administrator providing institutional support?
    The commitment should acknowledge that the courses proposed for development at the Institute are aligned with the institution's internationalization mission, and as such administration will provide faculty and staff engaged in the Institute, the support, flexibility and resources required to participate fully. No financial commitment is required. However, if an institution can further support the team by, for example, providing release time for faculty, this would indicate a very high level of commitment and will be looked at favorably when the application is reviewed.
  3. Who can provide institutional support?
    Ideally, institutional support will come from a person of authority within the applying faculty members' academic department (e.g. Chair, Dean) or someone whom oversees the academic portfolio at the institution (e.g. Provost, Principal, Rector, Vice-President for Academic Affairs). Alternately, institutional support may come from a senior administrator in a non-academic department that would be involved in the project (e.g. Director of International Programs). In this case, we encourage that individual to describe how they are approaching academic leadership to institutionalize this course modality in their letter of support.
  4. Can Instructional Designers and International Programs staff from international partner institutions write letters of support? 
    While these letters are not required, if such individuals have been contacted and are prepared to be active members of your team, we welcome their letters of support.

About the application:

  1. How do we create a single PDF document to submit the various components of our application?
    There are a number of ways to compile documents into one PDF. The most straightforward would be to use the 'Create PDF from Multiple Files' feature in Acrobat 6 (or higher). This will allow you convert/merge in the one easy step. However, if you don't have access to Adobe Acrobat, there are a number of free tools that will allow you to compile as well. We suggest doing a Google search and selecting one that you find most user-friendly and doesn't tack on additional unwanted applications. One useful simple free tool for combining multiple PDF files is PDFFIll PDF Tools available at: Remember to ALWAYS do a virus scan before installing an unknown ".exe" file on your desktop.
  2. What is the role of the application contact?
    This individual will serve as the primary contact person for your team during the application phase of the Institute. All queries to the Institute should go through this person and they will be the individual submitting the application. If your team is accepted to the Institute, communications in the other phases will be sent to all members of your team.
  3. What help is available for applicants?
    There are a number of Help resources available to applicants. They are listed in the application guidelines document as well as below:
    • FAQs: This page could potentially have the answers you are looking for. Browse the page to investigate, and additionally, you can print this page as a PDF if you click on the Adobe icon on the top right of this page. 
    • COIL Faculty Guide to Collaborative Online International Learning: To assist with the completion of this application, we encourage all team members to initially review the COIL Faculty Guide available at (left hand side) to help in your development of how you intend to move forward as a team. Email for the password required to open document. 
    • Application Webinar: The COIL Center will be hosting webinars to discuss the application and answer specific questions about the application procedure. Details regarding the webinar dates, times and login procedures will be announced on the COIL website by mid-January, 2011. 
    • 3rd COIL Conference: All Institute staff and workshop leaders will be in attendance and/or presenting at the 2011 COIL Conference to be held at the SUNY Global Center in New York City on March 31 – April 1, 2011. This conference will therefore provide a unique opportunity to meet those with whom Institute Fellows would potentially be working. The conference will also include an Institute information session where the application procedure and process will be discussed, and questions about the Institute will be answered. The session will be video recorded and made available on the COIL website for the benefit of those unable to attend the conference. More information is available on the COIL website. 
    • Contact Us: If you still have questions about the application or this grant, please email the Institute's Coordinator at

General Questions:

  1. What does the NEH mean when it refers to the Humanities?
    The NEH definition of the Humanities is defined in the 1965 National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act as:

    "The term 'humanities' includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life."(

  2. What specific disciplines fall in the broad categories of the workshops?
    We have provided broad disciplinary categories, so below are our suggestions regarding what specific disciplines fall into these categories. If you are still unsure, we encourage you to contact the Institute Coordinator at
    • Freshman Foundations may include all humanities disciplines but this workshop seeks solely to develop introductory courses which focus on internationalizing the curriculum.
    • Human Societies may include Sociology, Social Sciences and related disciplines.
    • Media Arts and Cultures may include Film and New Media Studies; Musicology; Cultural Studies and related disciplines.
    • Language and Literature may include Writing Studies; Rhetoric; Language Instruction; Literature and related disciplines.
    • International Studies may include History; Political Science; International Studies; Area studies; and related disciplines.