Good-to-Great Grants Program

Good-to-Great Grants Program


The Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) is pleased to announce the Good-to-Great Grants Program, which will provide substantial, strategic investment from OAA for up to five years to tenure-initiating units (TIUs) that are committed to ascending to new heights.

Units applying for funding will reflect on their current assets, create a vision for excellence and describe how the additional strategic investment will enable their transition from good to great. Units are encouraged to draw upon the many assets of Ohio State; create partnerships across departments, colleges, and disciplines; consider their faculty on all campuses; engage with centers and institutes; collaborate with external communities; advance Ohio State's Shared Values; and/or identify national and international opportunities.

Program Overview

First-round proposals are due on April 28, 2023 for funding to begin in FY24. Proposal content and format requirements are detailed below.

Proposals are accepted from individual TIUs, which can include departments, schools or colleges. Joint proposals submitted by two or more entities or other forms of partnership are encouraged. 

It is anticipated that roughly seven to 10 proposals will be awarded funding following two rounds of submission, although the exact number depends on the strength of the proposals and the available budget.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals must be submitted as PDF documents in font of 11-point or larger, with standard paper size and margins. The page limits listed below apply for proposals from both a single unit or joint proposals from multiple units.

Provide a vision of greatness in your field, then summarize the approach you will use and how the proposed investment will enable your unit to excel. In particular, describe the internal and external partnerships you will form and how you will draw upon existing departmental or university assets in developing your vision. While perhaps not the main focus of the investment, take a full look at your unit and describe impact in teaching and learning, talent and culture (Shared Values), and service.

Provide a description of the unit(s) and its major areas of research and scholarship. Include the number of assistant, associate and full professors, the number of graduate students and (where applicable) undergraduate majors, a brief overview of the unit’s teaching and graduate training and any other information salient to evaluation of the proposal. 

Provide a candid assessment of the current reputation and status of the proposing unit. To the extent possible, describe the criteria used in your field, your interpretation, and any nuances that should be understood. Identify areas of particular strength and areas where improvement can substantially enhance the unit’s achievement and reputation.

State the year of the unit’s most recent external review and highlight relevant conclusions from review.

Discuss barriers to success and how the unit will overcome them.

While your proposal should focus on the distinctive excellence that is possible at Ohio State, it is helpful to learn from one’s peers. List five academic units at other universities that are aspirational targets for the proposing Ohio State department. Explain aspects of these departments that are currently stronger than the proposing Ohio State department and how the proposed investment will help to achieve parity.

For a joint proposal from multiple units, this section may adopt separate lists for each unit, or it may refer to other universities that have comparable unit combinations.

Describe the path to excellence that the department will take. Include a description of the local, university, national or international resources and partnerships that the proposing unit will tap into, and new relationships or alliances that will help the unit flourish.

Describe the proposed areas of investment, and why this investment will enable a good-to-great transition.

Summarize the anticipated impact of the proposed investment, with a focus on how it will enable the proposing unit to achieve the goals set out in Section A, and how it will affect the reputation and stature of the department. 

Describe the path to excellence beyond the investment by addressing teaching and learning, talent and culture, and service impact.

Describe goals for each year of the project and identify metrics that will be tracked during and following the grant to assess its success in promoting a good-to-great transition.

Beyond the financial benefits, describe how the investment will catalyze other opportunities.

Describe how the investment will be used including:

  • Total budget over five-year period
  • Total budget by fiscal year
  • Total budget by category (categories should include faculty salary and benefits, faculty startup funding, staff hiring, graduate student funding, postdoc funding, equipment, facility upgrades or other categories as appropriate)

Describe the planned investment in faculty over the five-year grant period, including both OAA support and department or college support. Include discussion of junior vs. senior hires, fields where hiring will be concentrated and strategies such as cluster hiring. Explain whether the planned hiring represents a long-term increase in the unit’s faculty size. Summarize how the unit’s faculty will differ in five years from its current makeup. NOTE: This faculty discussion should be included even if the requested OAA funds are not themselves directed to faculty hiring.

Summarize, with approximate dollar amounts, the investment that the department and sponsoring college will make to complement the OAA funds. This summary could include, for example, providing startup funds to faculty whose initial salary will be provided by OAA funds and long-term increases in faculty or staff size. Although there is no required minimum level of cost sharing for these grants, commitment of resources by the college and department is a criterion for evaluation.

The department chair or unit head should provide a letter endorsing the proposal and stating that the proposal has been endorsed by a majority vote of the unit’s tenure-track faculty.

The sponsoring college dean should provide a letter endorsing the proposal and stating a commitment from the college to assume any long-term costs beyond the proposal period, such as the salaries and benefits of additional faculty and staff or maintenance costs of equipment. If the proposal involves substantial upgrades of facilities or expansion of the department's space, these aspects of the proposal should be specifically endorsed in the dean's letter.

For joint proposals from multiple units, endorsements should be provided from all unit heads and college deans involved.


Proposals should be submitted to Brad Harris (, and are due by April 28, 2023.


The allowable budget is scaled to the size of the proposing unit(s). Small units can seek investments up to $250,000 annually over the course of a five-year period, with large units eligible for up to $500,000 annually over the course of a five-year period. Although there is some flexibility in dividing funds across fiscal years, the budget in a given fiscal year should generally not exceed 40% of the five-year allowed maximum. Units should propose investments believed to have the greatest impact. Proposals below the maximum allowed level are strongly encouraged.

There is no requirement that any of the proposed investments be used for faculty hiring. Allowable costs include, but are not limited to, faculty salary and startup funds, graduate student or postdoctoral support, staff hiring, equipment, facility upgrades, and activities to raise the unit’s national and international visibility. Questions about allowable costs should be directed to Brad Harris (

Review Process and Criteria

To be successful, a proposal should make a convincing case that the proposed investment will play a pivotal role in transforming the proposing unit, and that achieving this transformation will be of broad value to Ohio State and the communities it serves. While the investment should focus on scholarly and academic eminence, the proposal should also address student academic success, talent and culture, and service. Proposals will be evaluated against the following criteria:


  • The activities are important to the academic mission of the university.
  • The proposal builds on areas of existing strength and holds promise of substantial benefit and high, sustainable level of excellence.
  • The activities will have impact beyond the proposing unit (e.g., advancing the university's goals of national and international recognition, interdisciplinary achievement, and outreach).
  • Unit has plans to monitor progress and evaluate achievement of its goals.


  • The proposal reflects the university's Shared Values and contributes to a larger social good beyond the university.
  • Proposal demonstrates commitment of resources from the department and its college.
  • The proposal fosters new internal and external collaborations or future funding opportunities.

Reviewers will also be asked to assess the value of the proposal relative to its cost.