Higher education is changing. How do we ensure students are prepared for the future? 

The SISU Program Incentive Fund (PIF) was created to invest in innovative programs, program enhancement, and retention initiatives. Specifically, PIF awards are designed to motivate faculty, staff, and the University community to propose interdisciplinary, collaborative and transformational programs and projects that embody NMU’s core values and current strategic focus areas. Previous PIF awards provided funds to more than a dozen departments to implement new and innovative programs and projects to enhance retention and increase enrollment at NMU. 

To be considered, you must submit a proposal with a two-year budget and fill out the online submission form by midnight on December 1, 2021. The PIF Review Committee will meet during January 2022 to make funding decisions, and all approved PIF awards will have a funding period beginning March 2022. If selected, we will ask for a five-year plan before funds are available. 

  1. All proposals will have a one-page limit and must include the following:
    1. Project name and description
    2. Goals/expected outcomes
    3. Explanation of how the project relates to the University’s core values, strategic initiatives and represents the SISU values of being interdisciplinary, collaborative, agile, and inclusive.
    4. Timeline for activities
    5. Identified benchmarks for success
    6. Exit plan or teach out
  2. Itemized estimated two-year budget 
  3. After initial review, the SISU team may ask for additional information, for example, proposals for new or enhanced academic programs or projects might need to include current market research data as evidence of demand or need. Additionally, if proposing a new academic program, be prepared to complete an undergraduate or graduate proposal using the CUP/GPC (AAUP) or FEC (NMUFA) forms (if proposing new curriculum or curriculum changes) as appropriate.

Upload your project proposal via this form .

  • Completed proposals will be submitted to the Review Committee for consideration and recommendation to the Provost, who will make the final funding decision. The Review Committee members are appointed by the co-Directors of SISU: the Innovation Institute at NMU and will include 12-15 members representing the campus community (including faculty, staff, and students). 
  • Awards will be announced prior to March 1, 2022.
  • If selected, SISU will ask for a five-year plan before funds are available. 

The funding period for all 2021 PIF awards will begin March 2022. 

  • Programs and projects will be given a two-year pilot period. 
  • Success will be determined by achieving benchmarks for retention or enrollment.
  • All funded proposals will submit a one-year progress report. Progress reports should include:
    • Activities completed
    • Any benchmarks reached
    • Upcoming events/plans 
    • Obstacles for implementation
    • Goals for the remainder of the project
  • At the end of two-year pilot:
    • Full report to be submitted to the SISU team and the Provost. Report to include:
  1. Summary of project
  2. Full budget report
  3. All benchmarks reached. Those that were not reached, reasons why.
  4. Obstacles to implementation and ways that these could have been resolved or were resolved.
  5. Goals or plans for the future
  • Determination will be made to continue or discontinue the program/project.

SISU: The Innovation Institute at NMU is an institute for innovation and transformational education encouraging the cultivation of ideas leading to relevant and sustainable university services and academic programs. As an internal hub for innovation, SISU provides a welcoming and inclusive space for members of the NMU community to bring or generate, collaborate, and develop ideas for programs and services.

Contact Information

Office 906-227-6355