2018/19 Request for Proposals for Research on Student Mobility
Reference: ONCAT 18/19 RFP ― Research
Submission deadline: November 26, 2017 at 11:59 pm
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ONCAT is seeking proposals for research projects that will advance knowledge and understanding of the current state of student mobility and credit transfer. Priority areas for projects are as follows:
- Provide insight on systemic student mobility barriers;
- Evaluate pathway success in Ontario;
- Develop transfer student profiles;
- Contribute to our understanding of student mobility in other jurisdictions; or
- Research the employability outcomes for graduates of transfer pathways.
Ineligible Applications for Funding
- Issues that are specific to the applicant’s institution only.
- Research funded through the Credit Transfer Innovation Grant (CTIG). The applicant must ensure that its institution has not been granted funding for the same or similar research.
RFP Submission Criteria
Please refer to the following guidelines when preparing a proposal(s):
- Proposals should articulate a clear research question and outline the methodology for answering the question.
- Proposals must explain how the research would be scalable and replicated by other institutions.
- Proposals should explain how the research will contribute to the literature on student mobility and how it can serve as a sector resource for developing a more seamless postsecondary education system in Ontario.
- Proposals must include a feasibility plan that outlines factors that will facilitate the research, the risk analysis conducted, and whether the research findings are likely to be implemented.
- Budgets must accurately reflect the resourcing needed to carry the project to completion.
- Proposals must include a plan to hire an external evaluator for projects that exceed $50,000 in requested funding. The evaluator must be external to the institution(s) involved in the project. This person will be responsible for advising on the following: methodology, research methods, and the merit or value of the research. The evaluator must also provide a summative evaluation report. This report should include a review of any statistical data collected, a verification of methodology and any research tools utilized, and an assessment of the validity of outcomes and recommendations. Project funds dedicated to the support of the external evaluator will be determined similar to overhead costs (see budget form for additional details).
- ONCAT encourages proposals that engage students as active participants wherever possible as appropriate to align with the methodology. Engaging students will enhance the research process and generate innovative recommendations.
- A timeline including Research Ethics Board approval, as needed for projects involving human participants.
Priority areas for projects are as follows:
1) Provide insight into systemic student mobility barriers
Although the province is moving towards a more seamless mobility system for students, research has indicated that students still face challenges when transferring among Ontario’s institutions. Such challenges include, but are not limited to, unclear employment outcomes, barriers experienced by marginalized students, faculty engagement, and limited transfer opportunities in graduate certificate programs, etc. ONCAT is interested in gaining deeper insight into system-wide barriers and how these challenges can be addressed through future funding opportunities.
2) Evaluate pathway success in Ontario
While opportunities for students continue to increase at a steady pace, ONCAT would like to have a better understanding of the impact of pathways for students. Data should focus on the rate of students transferring, institutional or program transfer patterns, amount of credit awarded, student satisfaction, student success at the receiving institution, etc. This is an opportunity for institutions to identify any gaps in the system and make recommendations for improving pathways for students. Proposals should include a clear indication of how the data will be collected or obtained.
3) Develop transfer student profiles
Student mobility is at the forefront of ONCAT’s work in the postsecondary education sector. Having a more in-depth understanding of the profile of transfer students will help ONCAT in developing targeted policies and initiatives to address the unique needs of this population. As a result, ONCAT is interested in learning more about patterns and/or characteristics common to transfer students. While research within the applicant’s institution will create a basis for this work, partnering with other institutions will lead to a more comprehensive transfer student profile.
4) Contribute to our understanding of mobility in other jurisdictions
ONCAT is seeking a comparative analysis of student mobility processes outside of Ontario. This research may examine broader system implications, traffic and ease of transfer in other jurisdictions, inter-institutional relationships, and institutional processes and consider their applicability for the Ontario credit transfer system. The goal is to provide ONCAT with realistic and achievable recommendations for improving student mobility, which ONCAT might incorporate into future grants.
5) Research the employability outcomes for graduates of transfer pathways
As students continue to move through educational pathways, the employability outcomes of graduates remain unclear. ONCAT is seeking a better understanding of the employer community and its engagement with transfer students. How do employers perceive transfer students, and how does this impact students’ employability outcomes? What are institutions doing to market transfer students to employers? How can institutions better implement workforce planning through a pathways lens? The intended goal is to better understand if employability outcomes are impacted by transfer status and how best to integrate employers into pathway planning.
RFP Budgets and Timelines
Proposal budgets must adhere to the guidelines indicated on the Research Budget Form. To allow for the widest possible range of proposals, except where otherwise indicated, no maximum funding limit is set; however, requested amounts may require additional rationale before approval. Activities and/or personnel that are currently funded through the Credit Transfer Institutional Grant (CTIG) are not eligible for ONCAT funding.
Where possible, projects should be scheduled for completion, including submission of a final report to ONCAT, by February 1, 2019. Projects that propose to extend beyond this timeline should provide a clear rationale for requiring additional time.
Proponents must be prepared to submit the following to ONCAT as part of their project deliverables:
- An interim report every four months.
- A final report, with an executive summary and financial statement, on the complete investigation and subsequent results/conclusions, including, as applicable:
- A literature review summarizing the current state of relevant knowledge;
- An environmental scan providing an overview of related emerging trends and key issues, and identifying factors that may impact the further development or refinement of credit transfer initiatives in Ontario and/or other comparative jurisdictions;
- Analysis of a relevant and sufficiently robust data set; and
- The external evaluator summative report.