Collaborative Workshop Guidelines

In 2006, the Mellon Foundation awarded the Mellon 23, a group of twenty-three liberal arts colleges, a Faculty Career Enhancement Program grant. This grant has been used to fund collaborative initiatives to support faculty in their scholarly and creative work and to aid them in gaining a broader view of their institutions and of the pressing challenges facing American liberal arts colleges. In 2008, 2009, and 2010 the Mellon 23 Collaborative Workshop Subcommittee selected for funding nine multi-institution faculty development workshop proposals. In 2011, seven workshops were funded, for a total of thirty-four workshops. In January of 2011, the Mellon 23 was renamed the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges (AALAC) to acknowledge the commitment of the twenty-three member colleges to continue their collaborative work after the completion of the Mellon 23 grant this year.  The deans/provosts at each AALAC institution have agreed that they would provide supplemental support through their own institutional funds to enable additional members of their faculties to participate in the funded workshops.


The Mellon Foundation grant provides funds to support workshops that enable faculty members from AALAC institutions to gather and work together on a subject of mutual interest. Designed and organized by the faculty, the workshops may focus on topics relating to research, curricula, or pedagogy and, where relevant, may be either disciplinary or interdisciplinary. The workshops may take place during the academic year or summer and may be held on member institution campuses or may extend a stay at professional meetings by a day or two. For the upcoming round, it is anticipated that between seven and nine workshops will be funded.  These workshops may take place in the summer of 2012 and during the fall and spring semesters of the 2012-2013 academic year.  When designing a proposal, it may be helpful to review some of the collaborative workshops funded by this grant in the past. They are listed at  and .


Priority will be given to proposals that are planned jointly by several faculty members from three or more (ideally, at least five) of the AALAC institutions. It is hoped that the workshops will foster collaboration among these institutions and might lead to sustained interactions in scholarship or pedagogy among faculty. The AALAC deans/provosts may help identify other interested colleagues at their institutions who might be interested in selected workshops. Funding is also available to support the participation of a limited number of faculty from institutions outside the AALAC.  The Mellon grant will support the travel expenses for up to two participants from each institution, to a maximum of $1,200 per person, but the workshop organizers will make the final selections of workshop participants, based on the desired size of the workshop and any space limitations. Workshop organizers should endeavor to accommodate faculty from as many AALAC institutions as possible.  The AALAC deans/provosts may provide supplemental support through their own institutional funds to enable additional colleagues to participate in a given workshop, if space permits. Workshops may vary in cost and number of participants. Funding levels will depend on the nature and scope of the workshop. The maximum funding for an individual workshop is $20,000.


A description (not to exceed 500 words) of the proposed workshop, its rationale and intended audience, its schedule and format, and its goals and intended impact.  Proposals should also include a discussion of any anticipated follow-up activities that workshop groups might envision.  

A list of the faculty members who will be the workshop leaders and of other faculty members     who will assist in the detailed planning of the workshop

The name, email address, and institutional affiliation of one designated workshop liaison.  This individual must be one of the workshop organizers at the institution that would host the workshop.  He or she will be responsible for submitting the proposal to the dean/provost at the proposed host institution and for conveying information to the other members of the workshop group.  The dean/provost at the proposed host institution will decide whether the proposal should be forwarded to the collaborative Workshop Subcommittee of the AALAC. 

Condensed CVs (not to exceed two pages) of the above individuals 

A preliminary budget, which may support the following: 

A modest stipend to be shared among the primary workshop organizer(s) ($500 for smaller workshops, up to    $1,000 for larger ones)

Travel and accommodation expenses for faculty participants from the AALAC

Travel and accommodation expenses and a modest stipend for speakers from outside the AALAC. Please note that $1,000 is the maximum honorarium fee for each speaker.  

Modest staff support for organizing the logistics (hotel space, etc.) for the workshop

Administrative expenses (mailing of notices, duplication of conference materials, etc.)

Plans for the evaluation of the workshop


On behalf of their team, designated workshop liaisons must submit proposals to their dean/provost (who represent the proposed host institution) no later thanJanuary 31, 2012. (This step is being taken to avoid the submission of duplicate proposals to multiple deans.) The dean/provost will decide which of the proposal(s) submitted to him or her should be forwarded to the AALAC Workshop Subcommittee for review.  Proposals are due from the deans/provosts to the Workshop Subcommittee by February 10, 2012.  The Deans/Provosts should send  all proposals to Janet Tobin at Between seven and nine workshops, depending on the overall budget, will be selected for full development and funding, with announcements expected by the end of February 2012.  Once approved, the workshops will be announced by the deans/provosts of the AALAC as they deem appropriate, so that their faculty can express their interest in participating. 


Each AALAC Dean/Provost’s office that submits a proposal for consideration by the AALAC Workshop Subcommittee must complete an AALAC Faculty Workshop Assessment Form.  This form is being sent as a separate attachment.  Completed forms should be emailed to Emily Robinson at Smith at erobinso@email.smith.eduafter award decisions are announced.  Within six months of completing a workshop, workshop groups are required to write a narrative that describes the goals of the workshop, assesses whether the goals were met and in what ways, and describes any anticipated follow-up activities.