Woodward Hines Education Foundation IMPACT Grant Initiative 2020

The Provost’s Office, in coordination with University Development and ORSP Research Development, seeks internal pre-proposals related to the Woodward Hines Education Foundation (WHEF)’s new IMPACT Grant Initiative (Improving Mississippi’s Persistence And Achievement Together)[1], for projects to “provide data-informed solutions aimed at improving student outcomes for populations traditionally underrepresented in higher education.”

Timeline (WHEF & UM)

11/14/19         IMPACT Grant Initiative RFP announced
11/18/19         This UM announcement
12/04/19         RFP informational Webinar

12/06/19         UM Information & Q/A Session on WHEF IMPACT opportunity
2pm, CME Board Room. Sign up at http://research.olemiss.edu/upcoming-presentations

12/13/19         Internal Pre-Proposals due in InfoReady Review Portal[2]      

12/16/19         Supervisory Endorsement(s) provided in InfoReady Review Portal
12/20/19         Selection of winning UM pre-proposal announced
01/24/20         Deadline to submit UM transmittals
01/31/20         Proposals due to sponsor
Feb 2020        Review site calls (if necessary)
Apr 2020         Funding Decision Announcement
07/01/20         Funded Projects Begin

Questions and More Information

UM Program Questions about existing UM programs, initiatives, and strategic objectives related to this funding opportunity may be directed to Rich Forgette, Associate Provost (forgette@olemiss.edu, x1058).

Technical Questions about UM pre-proposal requirements, WHEF IMPACT full application requirements, preparation of budgets, the InfoReady Review portal, or the UM limited submission review process, may be directed to Jason Hale, Director of Research Development (jghale@olemiss.edu, x3922)

Alignment Questions. If you would like to talk to someone at UM about the Woodward Hines Education Foundation, its funding priorities in general, or the IMPACT initiative in particular, please consider contacting Katie Morrison, Director of Development (katie@olemiss.edu, x2135).

UM Internal Pre-Proposal Instructions

UM personnel who have an idea for a project they wish to lead (as project director) or collaborate on (as senior personnel) are invited to prepare a pre-proposal consisting of the components/documents listed below. Pre-proposal documents should be uploaded to the “IMPACT Grant Initiative” competition in the Ole Miss InfoReady Review Portal before the internal pre-proposal deadline. As part of the InfoReady submission process, the lead proposer should list as “optional approvers” the e-mail address(es) of their relevant supervisor(s)—chair(s), director(s), deans(s), or others whose buy-in would be needed. Upon submission, these supervisors will be automatically e-mailed a prompt to log in, review, and endorse the pre-proposal in the portal; thus, proposers are strongly encouraged to discuss their pre-proposal concept with their supervisors before submission.  

Internal Pre-Proposal Fields (correspond to required fields in eventual proposal to WHEF)

Opportunity Type (Innovation, Verification, or Institutionalization); Project Title; Anticipated Start Date (earliest:7/1/2020); Anticipated End Date (latest: 6/30/2024);       Project Duration (in months); Project Director (Applicant) and Collaborators (Co-Applicants) (Name, Title, Department, Role – in 50 characters, Expertise – in 50 characters); Target Populations (Choose one or more of: First-generation students; Students of color; First-year or transfer students; Students from rural communities; Students enrolled less than full-time; Non-traditional or adult students); Anticipated Grant Amount (Total anticipated grant costs over entire project period, incl. 15% indirect costs); Project Narrative[3] (up to 10,000 characters, or ~ 3 pages of single-spaced, 12-point font)

Additional Internal Pre-Proposal Fields (not required for actual eventual proposal to WHEF)

Anticipated UM Cost (Est. total NEW costs to UM, not paid by the grant, over project period)[4]; Project Summary: (125-word summary of problem, approach, & potential impact).

Standalone Pre-Proposal Documents (preliminary, notional, or abbreviated versions of the following two required documents in eventual proposal to WHEF)

Budget and Budget Justification (1 page or less: By year, detail how funds will be used for the proposed project, based on actual anticipated expenses.)

Evaluation Plan (1 page or less. Should demonstrate how data will be gathered and used for the benefit of institutional learning). CERE[5] and IREP[6] are resources for considering evaluation.


UM Pre-Proposal Assessment & Selection Process

Pre-proposals will be assessed by a team assembled by the Provost, in consideration of the sponsor’s published grant criteria) clarity of approach/plan, as well as institutional factors (alignment with university strategic objectives, adequacy of resources, supervisory support, clarity of plan, likelihood of success, etc.). Pre-proposals of all types and categories responsive to the sponsor’s RFP are welcome and will be carefully considered; institutionalization proposals and/or proposals focused on closing achievement (equity) gaps are especially encouraged.

The lead investigator/team of the most promising pre-proposal will be invited by the Provost to work with ORSP Research Development and University Development to develop a full sponsored program proposal for submission to the sponsor in January.

From the Sponsor’s Application Page, a competitive project concept will:

  • Incorporate scalable ideas for a direct and positive impact upon retention, persistence and completion;
  • Have explicit support of institution’s Chief Executive and/or Academic Officers;
  • Use inclusive, collaborative processes across campus community for design, impl., & outcomes measurement;
  • Have clearly defined and achievable timelines;
  • Use compelling data to describe barriers, opportunities and potential impact in reducing or eliminating equity gaps of underserved student populations;
  • Demonstrate sufficient organizational capacity to coordinate and execute projects of the scope and scale described within the application.

General WHEF Grant Review Criteria:

  • Alignment of request to WHEF funding focus areas[7]
  • Demonstration of impact to increase postsecondary access, persistence and attainment
  • Proposed impact, scope, sustainability and scalability for 1st gen. & low-income students
  • Organization’s internal capacity to move a proposed issue forward, and demonstrations of partnerships and/or integrations with other organizations
  • Organization’s ability to meet eligibility requirements


[2] InfoReady Review Portal: https://research.olemiss.edu/InfoReady


[3] Project Narrative: Tell how project aligns w/ WHEF’s Persistence & Completion strategy.  Specify:

a. the intended student population(s) to be targeted, with estimated numbers or percentages to be served;

b. objectives that the project seeks to achieve and how quantitative and qualitative outcomes will be meaningfully measured;

c. the core program components expected to lead to improved student outcomes (intensive advising, peer mentoring, deployment or integration of technology, etc.);

d. if applicable - historical successes that the project has experienced in addressing achievement gaps.

[4] Note: Voluntary committed cost sharing on sponsored projects is disallowed by UM policy unless strongly encouraged by the sponsor in the RFP; thus, any anticipated UM-incurred costs of this project should not be communicated to the sponsor, but are requested here to help institutionally assess the project).

[5] CERE: Center for Research Evaluation: https://cere.olemiss.edu/

[6] IREP: Office Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning: https://irep.olemiss.edu/

[7] Woodward Hines Funding Priorities: https://woodwardhines.org/what-we-fund