FearlessIdeasRFPPoster_small_v2Calling Fearless Faculty…

Request for Proposals for “Fearless Ideas” Courses in Innovation or Entrepreneurship


What are Fearless Ideas Courses?

Pursuant to UMD’s campus-wide goal of engaging all students in innovation, AIE seeks proposals for new or revised experiential Fearless Ideas courses related to innovation and/or entrepreneurship that will provide students with opportunities to exercise their innovation muscles and come up with unexpected solutions to tough problems in a variety of different fields & disciplines.  We take a broader view of what innovation is, so Fearless Ideas courses are not just about starting businesses.  Click here for the full Fearless Ideas RFP.

FI Criteria Diagram


Types of Courses

Fearless Idea courses are not about developing innovations but about developing innovators who have the skills, tools, and mindset necessary to tackle and solve real-world challenges.  Fearless Idea courses ideally accomplish the following:

  • Engage students in ongoing opportunities to reach innovative solutions by quickly, relentlessly, and iteratively hypothesizing, experimenting, and learning from both successful and failed approaches that build upon each other
  • Challenge students to take risks and seek non-obvious solutions
  • Foster collaborative teams with diverse majors, skills, experiences, cultures, and viewpoints
  • Incorporate discovery-based/experiential learning into the curriculum

Fearless Ideas courses should incorporate Design Thinking or Lean Startup, and/or foster innovation tailored to a specific field of study (e.g., innovation in counterterrorism or social value) or entrepreneurship tailored to a specific field of study (e.g., entrepreneurship in the arts, media, or agriculture).

This round of Fearless Ideas courses will be offered beginning Fall 2016 or Spring 2017 and will include:

  • A wide range of academic disciplines
  • Some lower level and some upper level courses
  • Some courses that already satisfy requirements for general education, minors, and majors

Descriptions of existing Fearless Ideas courses can be found at http://ter.ps/iamFEARLESS.



Faculty participants whose Fearless Ideas course proposals are selected will receive $4,000 for the initial course offering and an additional $2,500 for the second offering in recognition of their contributions to improving undergraduate/graduate learning.

Faculty who are awarded funding will be named Distinguished Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty.  These faculty will form a learning community and participate in regular meetings throughout the semester during which the Fearless Ideas course is first offered



Completed pre-proposals are due no later than October 28, 2015.  A completed pre-proposal is one that has been submitted and for which an email endorsement from Department Headhas been received.  Approved courses from this round may be offered as early as Fall 2015.

RFP Announced                                              September 22, 2015

Pre-proposals Due:                                       October 28, 2015

Approved Pre-Proposals Announced:    November 13, 2015

Proposals Due                                                 January 22, 2016

Courses Selected                                            February 26, 2016


Pre-Proposal DUE Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 (by 5PM)

Pre-proposals, proposals and email endorsements/letters from Department Chairs and Deans should be sent to Kim Wallace (kkw03@umd.edu).


Click here for the full Fearless Ideas RFP


Kim Wallace
Director of Program Management
Erica Estrada-Liou
Director of Curriculum & Experiential Learning
Dean Chang
Assoc VP for Innovation & Entrepreneurship