Call for Proposals

We invite you to submit a proposal for an honors seminar. These seminars are at the core of the honors curriculum and are small (about 20 students), engaging and rigorous. They're meant to appeal to students from across disciplines.

As an Honors Faculty Fellow, you'll not only teach a seminar, you'll also be part of the University Honors Program community. You'll have opportunities to engage with colleagues who share your love of teaching while mentoring some of NIU's most motivated students. In addition, we can assist you with developing your teaching portfolio (e.g., teaching observation and letters of support for promotion files, teaching awards, etc.).

Compensation for teaching an honors seminars (e.g., on-load, off-load, etc.) is determined by department chairs and the director of the University Honors Program. You can also apply for a stipend of up to $1,000 for course enrichment.

Faculty from all disciplines are encouraged to submit proposals. Innovative pedagogical approaches are welcome. You can submit a proposal for a seminar topic of your choosing or one that aligns with our 2021-22 theme, creativity. Your proposal can be for a new course or an existing course, whether or not it has been offered as an honors seminar in the past.

The main evaluation criteria for proposals are:

  • The potential of the seminar to interest students across disciplines.
  • A thoughtful approach to pedagogy that aims to provide students with impactful and transformative experiences.

The University Honors Committee will assess all proposals and choose successful applicants. If selected, you'll teach your proposed seminar as an Honors Faculty Fellow in the fall or spring of the subsequent academic year (in consultation with your department, center or college).

We'll provide feedback on all applications. We want the application process to be useful regardless of the outcome, and we welcome all faculty who wish to participate in the program in a variety of ways. In some cases, a course may not fit into the following year's schedule but could be reconsidered in the future with priority status.

Your proposal should consist of:

  • Statement of interest (500 words approximately) that focuses on:
    • What makes the topic suitable for an honors seminar?
    • Why will the topic attract interest from students across disciplinary lines?
    • Does your topic fit into the creativity theme? How? This is not a requirement, and all topics are welcome and encouraged.
    • Elements of engagement that might serve to deepen and transform the students.
    • Elements of your CV that may be relevant to teaching this course.
    • If the course has been taught previously as an honors seminar, how did it enroll? And how would you rate its success?
    • If seeking course enrichment funds (max. $1,000), how do you propose to utilize funds?
  • Existing or proposed syllabus, which should include:
    • Short course description.
    • Identify student learning objectives.
    • Assignments/activities.
    • Sample texts, readings (preliminary if for a new course).
    • Course designator/number. If your unit doesn’t have one for use (e.g., topics course or an existing delivery mechanism for honors seminars), indicate if you would use the HON 310 option.
    • If your course is new and might fit general education/writing intensive criteria, please fill in the New Course General Education and/or Writing Infusion Form (PDF), so we can try to secure relevant permissions.
  • Brief email or letter of support from departmental chair, director or suitable unit leader:
    • Can be delivered under separate cover from the chair or director via email to the honors director.
    • Details of course scheduling and compensation model require conversation between the unit and the University Honors Program, and can take place before and/or after the committee assesses the proposal.
    • Please note that Honors encourages and is grateful for onload offers; pedagogically, we appreciate it when faculty and instructors are able to dedicate time to teaching this course as part of their teaching load

Send the statement of interest and proposed syllabus to Andrea Radasanu at aradasanu@niu.edu. Use the subject line "Honors Faculty Fellow Proposal." Please contact professor Radasanu if you have any questions. The application deadline is Nov. 30, 2020.

Please note: If you're proposing a new course and would like it to count for general education and/or writing infused credit, include the New Course General Education and/or Writing Infusion Form (PDF) in your proposal.

Contact Us

University Honors Program 
Campus Life Building 110
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: 815-753-0694
Email: honors@niu.edu