Research and Innovation

SUNY has a large number of faculty and staff who are engaged in research and who contribute to the national/international body of scholarly work in formal peer-reviewed publications to further our understanding of teaching and learning online and in technology-mediated environments. In addition, there exists a strong community of exemplary online teaching faculty and practitioners who engage in online teaching and learning innovations, practices, or emerging technologies and who are recognized as innovators in online teaching and learning.

The Center for Online Teaching Excellence aims to support, connect, and guide research and emerging best practices in higher education in a coordinated and collaborative manner that capitalizes on data generated from multiple sources.  By leveraging the Power of SUNY community, Open SUNY aspires to be the standard bearer in the online education world.

Innovative Instruction Research Council

A new Innovative Instruction Research Council will help guide research efforts by monitoring current and emerging instructional support trends, fostering campus-based instructional innovations, and assisting the SUNY Office of Provost in coordinating incentives to explore multi-campus pilot projects and bring new innovations to scale. This Council will also work to ensure that research outcomes are properly disseminated both within SUNY and more broadly in service and support of all students, faculty, and staff.

This council will benefit all campuses by:


Identifying pedagogical trends and innovations:
Conducting a scan of the latest pedagogical trends and innovations happening within SUNY and across the globe, assessing their relevancy to SUNY to help guide a research & innovation agenda for SUNY.

Facilitating innovative campus-based contributions:
Enabling campus-based contributions through Innovative Instruction Technology Grants (IITG) and other related initiatives.

Monitoring dissemination of project findings:
Ensuring SUNY-wide dissemination of findings so that SUNY faculty and instructional staff benefit from the output of innovation, and identifying opportunities to scale up proof-of-concept projects in collaboration with the future SUNY Scale-UP Lab.

Supporting Community of Practice:
Realizing opportunities to contribute to broader bodies of knowledge and support communities of practice through the Center for Online Teaching Excellence, SUNY Learning Commons, and other communication vehicles.

Identifying barriers to instructional collaboration:
Identifying and making recommendations to the Provost on removing barriers and incentivizing SUNY-wide collaboration on new and innovative teaching and learning practices.

Innovative Instruction Technology Grants

shutterstock_108783638_bulbInnovative Instruction Technology Grants support campus-based innovations through a competitive grants program that allows faculty and staff to develop new ideas with “seed funds.” Criteria for three different funding tiers of up to $60,000 and an opportunity for a single renewal are made available on an annual basis. Over time, additional funds will be made available to incentivize narrowly-defined research on specific areas of inquiry in support of Open SUNY.

Examples of project outcomes, projects currently underway and application details are available at

SUNY Scale-UP Lab

shutterstock_152037329_labAs one of the most comprehensive systems of higher education in the world, SUNY is uniquely positioned to leverage research outcomes by piloting new instructional innovations across multiple campuses, with the goal of taking them to scale.

The SUNY Scale-UP Lab will become a model for incubating new teaching and learning models while using rigorous methods to collect data and test assumptions across multiple campuses, thoughtfully and transparently. To support campuses in implementing proven new models, the SUNY Scale-UP Lab will also provide system-wide implementation support and assistance.