University of Maine (UMS) Micro-Credential Development and Implementation

UMS Micro-Credential 2022 Mini-Grant Request for Proposals

Due date: 5 PM, Monday, October 17, 2022

Please note: This Deadline has passed. Congratulations to the awardees for the 2022 Mini Grants!

Up to $10,000 awarded to collaborative teams


The University of Maine (UMS) Micro-Credential Steering Committee is pleased to announce the availability of a mini-grant opportunity to develop a University of Maine System micro-credential, in a priority topic area, addressing workforce development needs in Maine.

Micro-credential pathways include the skills and competencies desired by employers to upskill/reskill adults, youth, and/or UMS students/employees. All UMS Micro-credentials follow the same three leveled framework that takes a learner from foundational knowledge through application in a real-world setting. Visit the UMS Micro-Credential website for more information about the UMS Micro-Credential Framework

Applicant teams are not expected to have a fully formed idea or plan for development to complete the proposal. The Micro-Credential Development training will take you through the process, step by step, earning your own digital badges along the way. Training is required for funded Development teams. We suggest that you complete the Level 1 training to better understand the UMS Micro-Credential Framework before submitting an application.

  • Level 1: You will receive an overview of the initiative and the UMS Micro-Credential Framework you will be using to develop a micro-credential (about 1 hour to complete, open to all). 
  • Level 2: Leads a team through the backward design process and completion of the micro-credential meta-data (open to team members)
  • Level 3: Provides information on issuing badges and marketing (open to team members)

For further information about the training, please visit the UMS Micro-Credential Development website

Please contact if you have an ideal and you would like to discuss it before you apply. 


The priority topic areas come from several reports and plans including:


Choose from the following topic areas:

  • Renewable/Clean Energy/Climate Change Environmental Sustainability (Recovery Plan; Economic Development strategy)
  • Business/E-Commerce/Creative Economy (Recovery Plan – New Businesses) 
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Businesses (Recovery Plan) 
  • Teacher Education, early childhood and other Professional Development (Recovery Plan) 
  • Entrepreneurship (Recovery Plan)
  • Innovation in key industry sectors (e.g., Health Care, Aquaculture (beyond the one developed), Agriculture, Forestry, Manufacturing, Marine Sciences, Biological and Life Sciences, etc.) (Recovery Plan, Economic Development strategy)
  • Health care
  • Other topic areas may be considered with a strong workforce development justification and appropriate Maine labor market data.

Development Team:

Mini-Grants will be awarded to UMS teams of faculty/staff collaborating on the development and implementation of UMS micro-credentials. UMS students and people outside of the UMS may also be part of a development team (e.g., employers, industry professionals, State agency and non-profit staff, etc.). Funded Development Team members are expected to complete the Micro-Credential Development Training (see Requirements and Expectations). 


Advisors (optional):

The Development Team may decide to add Advisors or to create an Advisory Team. Advisors are not required to complete the Micro-Credential Development Training course, but they may ask to be included. It is recommended that Advisors complete the Level 1 training. Employers/Industry professionals may wish to serve in this capacity. 

The UMS Micro-Credential Steering Committee can help you to identify  appropriate team members and/or advisors. Please contact us at

You will have the opportunity to add to your development team and advisors once selected. 


Requirements and Expectations:

  • The grant maximum is $10,000
  • The micro-credential must aid workforce/economic development in Maine and the Workforce/Economic Development Micro-Credential Pathways include employer partnerships (at Level 3 or earlier). 
  • There must be collaboration across the UMS: 
    • a). A team of UMS Faculty/Staff collaborators from more than one UMS university; 


    • b). If appropriate collaborators cannot be located across the UMS (e.g., the topic is unique to one campus), the micro-credential must be open and available to learners across the UMS (e.g., offered online). 
  • If funded, team members must complete required training in a timely manner. The Level 1 training must be completed by all Development Team members before funding is released. Level 1 takes about 1 hour to complete. Selected teams must work to meet the expected timeline for completion. See Appendix A.
  • The UMS Framework and guidelines must be followed. A complete micro-credential pathway (three levels and macro-badge) must be developed. Embedded micro-badges may also be developed.
  • Funded teams will be called upon to provide updates, feedback, and outcome data throughout the development process.
  • The team will indicate a Primary Contact. The Primary Contact is the point person for the Development team.
    • Responsibilities for the Primary Contact include: 
      • Delivering progress reports on the overall status of the development process
      • Submitting specific assignments on the behalf of  the team in Brightspace
      • Acting as the main point of contact to the Micro-Credential Initiative for the Development Team when questions arise during the development process
  • The team will indicate a Financial Contact. If selected the Financial Contact is the person that will work with UMS to receive the funds and work with the team to access the funds. 
  • We ask that courses/course shells be developed in UMS Brightspace. 


Selection Criteria:

Proposals will be evaluated based on how well the following areas are addressed: 

  • Clear description of the purpose explaining the tie to workforce/economic development goals: Is the purpose/goal of the micro-credential clearly articulated? Does the proposal identify and address one of the priority topic areas or does it give a strong workforce/economic development rationale for inclusion? Does the proposal clearly articulate a workforce development need with labor market facts/statistics? Does the proposal articulate a competency-based approach (e.g., skills/competencies)? 

Note: Workforce Need data can be obtained from Lightcast (formerly Burninglass/EMSI) (External Link).

  • Clear rationale for the potential benefits to learners: Does the proposal specify the targeted learners? Does it clearly articulate the potential benefits to those learners? 
  • Clear budget rationale: Does the proposal include a clear budget rationale that adequately supports the project? Budget items may include (but are not limited to): Faculty/Staff time for micro-credential development and instructional design support. Course-release cannot be included. Please see the sample Budget (Appendix B). 


Time Commitment:

The time needed for completing the required training, content development, and Brightspace course design will vary per team. Please consider this and other time needed when creating your budget and selecting Development Team members. 


Outcome Assessment/Feedback:

The team will be asked to participate in feedback sessions, an outcomes study, and may be called upon to provide testimonials. 


How to Apply:

Please submit your completed proposal via our Google Form (External Link) on or before 5 PM, October 17, 2022. Please note: This Deadline has passed. Check back soon for a list of awardees for the 2022 Mini Grants!


Any questions?

Please contact Claire Sullivan at if you have any questions.

Appendix A

Timeline for Funded Teams:

Task Fall 2022 Spring & Summer 2023 Fall 2023
Notification of award October
Level 1 training completed by the Development team (before funds are released) No later than November 14
Enroll in Level 2 training November
Check-in with UMS M-C staff Nov-Dec
Level 2 training completed (by all Development Team Members); Meta-Data draft submitted Jan-March

(No later than March 31)

Check-in with UMS M-C staff March 
Level 3 training completed; Marketing  No later than April 30
Content developed and Brightspace course competed; Course Merchant information provided to UMS staff No later than June 15
Funds expended  Latest June 15
Micro-Credential launch Beginning of Fall 2023 semester or sooner

Appendix B 

Sample Budget:

Item Cost
1. Development Team’s time; Content Specialist/Advisor: 5 members $1000 X 5 = $5000 
2. Administrative Staff/Student Employee time (e.g., Webpage Development; tracking evidence; training to issue badges; follow-up communication) $1000
3. Brightspace, E-Learning Instructional Design  $3000
Total: $9000


Budget Narrative/Rationale:

Description of the need/rationale for each item. 

Item # Narrative
1. Requested to support the Development Team members/Advisors for their time: team meetings, micro-credential training, subject matter planning, supervisory tasks, drafting documentation. 
2. Requested to fund a professional staff member (or student employee) to provide administrative support, data management, evidence tracking, and webpage for marketing.
3. Requested to put the content in Brightspace, create videos and branded slides, seek permissions, conduct accessibility checks, use e-learning best practices

Please submit your completed proposal via our Google Form (External Link). Please note: This Deadline has passed. Check back soon for a list of awardees for the 2022 Mini Grants!

Download a copy of the UMS Micro-Credential 2022 Mini-Grant RFP (.docx download).