Departmental Innovation Award Program

Launched in 2020 through a generous gift from the Chernin family, the Berkeley Discovery Departmental Innovation Award Program provides funding and guidance to departments for a multi-year process of refining their vision and implementation plan for Discovery at scale.

The ultimate goal of Berkeley Discover is to create a new framework for the undergraduate experience where students embark on a journey of creative exploration from the moment they arrive on campus. Discovery writ large is more than a single discrete experience or one-semester capstone project. Discovery is an intentional and holistic arc that supports students on a journey of self-actualization. 

In the Connect phase, students are introduced to a Discovery vision of higher education, which fosters a sense of belonging and a culture of personal agency. In the Immerse phase, students are exposed to Discovery throughout the curriculum through engaged and inquiry-driven learning. In the Culminate phase, students apply and express their knowledge and passion through a personalized Discovery experience, whether through original research, artistic production, entrepreneurial initiatives, or community-engaged service. Discovery ultimately aims to instill a life-long ethos of engaging with grand challenges, fostering creativity, and journeying toward innovation. Berkeley Discover aims to invite all students universally in the discovery journey.

This ambitious effort to transform curriculum is a cornerstone of the broader undergraduate discovery initiative. The first cohort of recipients, selected in May 2021, will receive multi-year awards and contribute to a sustained learning community to share best practices and replicable models for Discovery across campus.

The blue teams were awarded full funding for three years, and the yellow teams were awarded seed funding for two years.

See the Teaching Innovation Showcase, a partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning, for the following curricular best practices:

2020-21 Berkeley Discovery Proposal Process