Saint Mary’s University CASE Committee

Innovative, Creative and Entrepreneurial Mindsets Fund - 2018-19

January, 2019

The Saint Mary’s University Community and Student Engagement Committee on Graduating Students with Creative, Innovative, and Entrepreneurial Mindsets is renewing the Innovative, Creative and Entrepreneurial Mindsets Fund in order to continue to advance the goals of the Committee and the University’s Institutional Strategic Plan.

This fund supports and encourages faculty, students and staff to innovate in activities, events, research and teaching that will enhance the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets of the SMU community, including faculty, students, and staff, across Arts, Science and Business.

The learning outcomes that we aspire to have all students graduate with and that this fund will help develop are:


  1. Development of critical thinking skills and good judgement/discernment
  2. Ability to identify problems and seek opportunities through discovery and design thinking
  3. Capacity to cultivate new ideas and solve problems
  4. Courage to take a risk and resilience to deal with failure
  5. Aptitude to move to action and take advantage of opportunities/create social and economic value
  6. Self-reflection and ability to learn from both mistakes and successes
  7. Understanding of alternative ways of organizing (e.g. cooperatives, collectives, nonprofits, social enterprises, for-profits, start-ups)

Call for Proposals

Proposals are invited from faculty, students and staff from across all faculties, as well as from Departments, Programs, Societies and groups of individuals. The primary applicant must be a member of the Saint Mary’s University community. Please note that applications from students will be prioritized.

In the attached proposal, applicants will provide a detailed plan including a budget, normally expected to be in the range of $1,000 to $5,000. However, larger proposals that can demonstrate project sustainability and breadth of impact may be funded to a maximum of $10,000/per application based on the strength of the application. This proposal must also contain expected outcomes and participants must agree to share what they learned in a seminar, published article and/or workshop. Applicants are encouraged to be creative in their approach and to wisely use the money they apply for. The budget is not to be used for course releases or for curriculum development activities that are a normal part of faculty teaching responsibilities. Note that this funding cannot be directly used for a business start-up.

Possible projects include everything from design thinking workshops for staff and students across the University to pitch competitions for IP that can be commercialized or a community of practice using critical thinking to address problems. Examples of projects funded through the fund last year include:


  • Student Life Improvement Grants: A fund created to give students the opportunity to to pitch their ideas to get programs and activities that they wish to implement on campus funded with the goal of enhancing student life at Saint Mary’s University.
  • The Pipeline: Commercial Solutions: Training opportunity for non-commerce students to learn about social enterprise/innovation development to recognize the commercial potential of existing projects and future ideas related to their field of study.
  • Saint Mary’s University Student Leadership Conference: The Student Leadership Conference, related to innovation and problem solving, empowered students to explore entrepreneurship and learn new skills to augment their academic pursuits.
  • First Year Student Research Grants: A pilot program testing the high impact practice of creating successful first year students through connecting them to faculty and research.
  • The ENbassador Program: A committee of 12 cross-faculty students will work to increase engagement from students across faculties in Entrepreneurial activities on campus.


Recipients of funding will be expected to provide reports and attend meetings periodically over the course of the grant.  A final report on the activities that are undertaken will be required to be submitted by May 31st, 2019. A pre and post survey of entrepreneurial mindsets for participants may be requested for those whose projects are funded. Recipients may also be asked to present on their project at the conclusion of the grant.

Submission of Applications for Funding and Deadline

Applications for funding can be submitted electronically to donna.filek@smu.ca or through the online application. Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on February 10th, 2019. Please note that if you choose to submit your application through the online form, it is recommended that you complete your application outside of the online form prior to submitting, as you will not be able to save your application. Please download the attached document to be used as a template for your submission.

Assessment Process

An Adjudicating Committee, chaired by the Deans of Arts, Science and Business (or designates), will be established with membership from the CASE Committee on Creative, Innovative and Entrepreneurial Mindsets and will make decisions based on the quality and significance of each proposal. The adjudicating committee will include students, alumni, faculty and staff. To ensure breadth of activities across the university a minimum of $10,000 will be awarded to each Faculty (if qualified submissions are submitted).

Assessment Criteria

The following criteria to be utilized in the assessment of each application will include the following:

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Do the applicant(s) have the relevant qualifications, knowledge and experience to implement the proposal?
  • Does the project reflect a multi-disciplinary approach and cross-faculty collaboration?


  • An implementation plan is provided and includes: measurable deliverables, major activities, lead responsibilities and budget information.
  • There is evidence that the project will be formally evaluated.


  • The project advances the goals of the CASE Committee on Innovative, Creative and Entrepreneurial Mindsets.
  • The expected outcomes are significant and wide-reaching relative to the investment being requested, including the numbers and range of undergraduate and/or graduate students, staff and/or faculty affected, and the contribution of those impacts.
  • The initiative will positively impact learning outcomes of students across the University and will enhance the development of creative, innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets.


Note: The inspiration and some of the content of this proposal are based on the Academic Innovation Fund Process Developed at York University and the International Student Success Fund at SMU 2013-14.

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