NEXT Awards Application Details and FAQs

HOW TO APPLY

The Process

To hear details about the application process, listen to the NEXT Awards Webinar Recording. (To download the slide deck with notes, click here.)

To start the application process, please contact es@ncwit.org to confirm your organization's eligibility and gain access to the application portal.

Eligibility

Applicants must be former or current clients of NCWIT Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs and be current members of the NCWIT Academic Alliance. All applicants will be considered for all of the awards, but applicants will not receive more than one NEXT Award in a given awards cycle. Awards can only be sent to U.S. non-profit institutions that submit an IRS form W9.

Nominations

All applications are by institutional self-nomination. Both small and large departments are encouraged to apply.

Data

All applicants must provide enrollment, total declared majors, and graduation data for a minimum of the last five years (the latest year available and each of the four years prior -- e.g. from AY 2010-11 to AY 2015-16) or for all of the years from when they began their work with Extension Services to the most recent year, whichever is greater. Applicants are encouraged to also provide any data available for the 2016-2017 school year. Applicants will receive a pre-formatted spreadsheet in which to enter these data. All data must be submitted to es@ncwit.org by November 11, 2016.

Required Elements of the Application

Information

  1. Institution’s name (i.e., the university or college).
  2. Formal name(s) of the department(s) applying for NEXT Award.
  3. Name, honorific, title, and contact information for one individual to serve as the point of contact for the application.
  4. Names, honorifics, titles, and contact information for other members of the collaborative team.
  5. Name(s) of the Extension Services Consultant(s) who worked with the team.
  6. Dates of the collaborative team’s work with NCWIT (as AA Member and/or ES Client).

Application Abstract (Upload as a PDF.)

This document should summarize your Application Narrative and acts as an Executive Summary (a maximum of 500 words).

Application Narrative (Upload as a PDF.)

  1. Purpose. The purpose of the application narrative is for your team to tell the story of your program’s past and present work toward increasing women’s participation in your majors. Each institution is different, and so it may be necessary for you to include information about the community context (e.g., the challenge of recruiting in a rural area, the benefits of being in a technology zone), the institutional context (e.g., being located in an engineering school, or conversely, a liberal arts college), resource limitations (e.g., cuts to faculty, burgeoning enrollments) and opportunities (e.g., creating a new school or new majors, ability to cross-list courses), and other institutional details that put your quantitative outcomes into context. When considering what to include, you may find it helpful to refer to the Extension Services Activity Reference Sheet and if applicable, to your department’s strategic recruiting plan, strategic retention plan, or final report.
  2. Required Formatting. Application narratives should be a maximum of 10 pages, formatted with 1-inch margins, Times New Roman 12 point font or equivalent, and 1.15 spaced lines. All pages should be numbered and include a header with your institution’s name.
  3. Narrative Content. All application narratives must include the following sections using letters (A-E) and the bolded text as section headings. Incomplete or incorrectly formatted application narratives will not be considered for review. If you would like to reference other supporting documents, please include a hyperlink to that document in your narrative. Examples might include a marketing brochure, a video, a revised departmental website, additional charts or tables, or your department’s strategic recruiting or retention plans. The application is for an award to recognize past work, not a grant for future plans. Please focus on efforts already taken or underway. You should mention plans for the future, but this is not the focus of the narrative.

A. Recruitment Strategies: Good strategic plans begin with an assessment of the current situation. Begin by discussing where your program was in terms of recruiting women when you began your work with NCWIT. Provide contextual information that will help the committee understand your program’s (and possibly your institution’s and community’s) unique situation in terms of recruiting students. Please refer to the charts included in this application that outline enrollments across time, and any other data that bear on this question.

Then, describe the recruitment strategies your program has used and is currently using to recruit more women, and the efforts you have made to evaluate these initiatives. (How do you know they are having an impact?) In your discussion, please include any NCWIT resources and/or strategies (as well as those from other organizations) that helped shape your efforts. Discuss any challenges you met and how you overcame them.

B. Retention Strategies: Good strategic plans begin with an assessment of the current situation. Begin by discussing where your program was in terms of retaining women when you began your work with NCWIT. Provide contextual information that will help the committee understand your program’s (and possibly your institution’s and community’s) unique situation in terms of retaining students. Please refer to the charts included in this application that outline graduations across time, and any other data that bear on this question. If your program does not have issues with retention, please explain why and what initiatives you have taken in the past to create this situation.

Then, describe the retention strategies your program has used and is currently using to retain more women, and the efforts you have made to evaluate these initiatives. (How do you know they are having an impact?) Retention strategies typically include pedagogical, curricular, or student support interventions. In your discussion, please include any NCWIT resources and/or strategies (as well as those from other organizations) that helped shape your efforts. Discuss any challenges you met and how you overcame them.

C. Institutional Support and Sustainability: Please provide evidence of institutional support for your recruitment and retention efforts. (Examples include provision of resources, the creation of new positions, changes to policy or curriculum.) Discuss how your current recruitment and retention gains will be sustained over time and your team’s vision moving forward. Please describe how the award money would be used.

D. Evaluation: Please discuss how evaluation shapes your efforts. Include any assessments used to identify your program’s strengths and weaknesses and to judge the effectiveness of your efforts. What role does evaluation play in your future plans?

E. Outreach and Dissemination. Please include information on instances where your department has shared its successful strategies with other department(s) and institutions (e.g. conference presentations, published papers, or instances of spreading successful practices to other departments, institutions, or members of your community [such as high school teachers] who have the potential to influence the participation of women and girls in computing).

Supporting Documents. All uploaded documents must be in PDF format.

Note: If you choose to include additional charts or tables with your application, they may be included in the narrative section (which must not exceed the 10 page limit), or linked to using hyperlinks.

  1. Charts generated by the NCWIT Tracking Tool. You must submit data to es@ncwit.org using the pre-formatted spreadsheet you will receive when you initiate your application (Note that the deadline for data submission is November 11, 2016). Extension Service staff will create these charts for you and return them to you within a week of data submission. All charts should show trends for at least five years and show the ES-UP Client Aggregate Line:

    Chart 1: New Enrollments for Females

    Chart 2: Total Declared Majors for Females

    Chart 3: Graduations for Females
  2. Letter of Institutional Support. Please upload a signed letter from an appropriate institutional leader (e.g., the Department Chair, Dean, VP, or Provost) that expresses institutional commitment to the work detailed in the application. The letter should be on institutional letterhead and no longer than one page.
  3. Additional Letters of Impact (optional). Up to two additional letters may be submitted. These letters of impact can greatly support the story of your narrative, or the institutional context and history of your program. Letters may be written by anyone outside of the applying team (both inside and outside the organization) who can speak to the impact of the recruitment and/or retention strategies. Examples include students, high school teachers, advisors/counselors, institutional leadership, etc. Letters may not exceed one page, and should use institutional letterhead if appropriate.

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

  1. Deadline for admissions, enrollments, and graduations data submission: November 11, 2016
  2. Deadline for application submission: December 9, 2016 (midnight PST)
  3. Awardees notified: March 7, 2017
  4. NCWIT Summit: May 22-24, 2017

REVIEW PROCESS AND CRITERIA

Applications are reviewed by the Awards Review Committee (ARC), which consists of at least four representatives from NCWIT Academic Alliance member schools and at least four NCWIT Social Scientists or NCWIT Social Science Advisory Board members, and includes one or more Extension Services Consultants. The ARC provides recommendations to NCWIT CEO and Co-founder Lucy Sanders who will make the final award determination.

Note: Any individual who is not on the team but is affiliated with an institution in any way, e.g. is employed by the institution, has written a letter of support for an award application, or has worked with the institution as their ES Consultant, may be eligible to serve on the ARC but must abstain from participating in the scoring or discussion related to an application by that institution.

Applications will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  1. Progress: Considering the institution’s unique situation and challenges, how compelling are the gains that have been made in recruiting and retaining women to their program? (50%)
  2. Recruitment Efforts: How well suited for the particular context and situation is the slate of recruitment practices that are described? How compelling is the evidence of their effectiveness? (10%)
  3. Retention Efforts: How well suited for the particular context and situation is the slate of retention practices that are described? How compelling is the evidence of their effectiveness? (10%)
  4. Institutional Support and Sustainability: Are there adequate resources (e.g. funds, personnel, expertise, and information) for planning and implementing the recruitment and retention strategies? Is there strong institutional support? Is there evidence that the change is systemic? How strong is the vision moving forward in terms of development of programs, initiatives, and human resources? (20%)
  5. Evaluation: How effectively has evaluation been used to shape recruitment and retention efforts? Do ongoing plans include evaluation? (5%)
  6. Outreach and Dissemination: How engaged is the applicant in external outreach activities to the teaching and research community? (5%)

AWARD RECIPIENT AGREEMENTS:

  1. Awardees agree to allow NCWIT and Google to use their names (organization and individuals) in any press related to the award.
  2. Awardees agree that information contained in an awardee’s application may be used by NCWIT to create new resources and in publicity. NCWIT agrees to provide right of review prior to publication to the institution’s designated point of contact.
  3. Awardees agree to send at least one representative to the NCWIT Summit where they will be presented with the award. Travel funds are provided by NCWIT, separate from the award amount, for one representative.
  4. For internal NCWIT evaluation purposes, within 12 months of the award date, awardees agree to communicate with the NCWIT External Evaluator to assess the effects of the award.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

  1. Who is eligible to apply?

    Any former or current client of NCWIT’s Extension Services for Undergraduate Programs is eligible to apply. Applicants must be current members of NCWIT’s Academic Alliance. Applicants may not win multiple awards in one year.
  2. How do we start the application process?

    Contact the Extension Services at es@ncwit.org, to gain access to the application portal.
  3. Will multiple proposal applications be considered from the same institution?

    Applications should be submitted by the department (or departments, in collaborative situations) that worked with NCWIT Extension Services. In some rare cases, there may be different teams from an institution that worked with Extension Services at different times. In these cases, separate applications may be submitted. The Extension Services program (es@ncwit.org) will help you determine your eligibility.
  4. Can individuals from schools that are applying for an award sit on the Award Review Committee?

    Individuals who are members of the team applying for an award may not serve on the Award Review Committee. Individuals who are not on the team, but are employed by, or affiliated with, the institution applying for an Award, may serve on the Award Review Committee but must abstain from scoring or discussing that institution's application.
  5. How do we submit our admissions, enrollments, and graduations data?

    When you contact Extension Services to initiate your application, you will receive a pre-formatted spreadsheet in which to enter your data. After you submit the completed spreadsheet, within a week Extension Services staff will create and return the necessary charts to you, to be included with your application. The deadline for submitting the data is November 11, 2016, and charts will be returned to you the following week. If you would prefer to have your charts earlier, please submit the data earlier. You may need to work with your office of institutional research to obtain these numbers. Please contact es@ncwit.org if you have questions or need assistance.
  6. Are the awards subject to university overhead?

    No. The money associated with each prize is a gift and not a contract or grant and should be treated as such. The monetary gift will be distributed to the academic unit designated as the ES client and we encourage the awarded departments to allow the applying team to determine how the funds will be used.
  7. Is a for-profit institution eligible to win?

    No. Only non-profit institutions (501(c)(3)s) can receive awards.
  8. When will decisions be made?

    Applicants will be notified by March 7, 2017.
  9. Will data shared with Extension Services be shared with other organizations, such as Google?

    Data for individual organizations is private to NCWIT and will not be shared with other organizations. Aggregate data (across organizations) may be shared publicly, but individual institutional names will not be provided. However, if selected as an awardee, parts of the awardee’s application may be quoted in NCWIT publicity or new resources, and NCWIT may request that the institution’s data be made public as part of our publicity and outreach efforts.