An impressive Mini-Course submission is one in which you have all the details figured out: the work that will be assigned, the days (and even times) you want to teach, and of course, if time allows, a syllabus outlining your overarching (big picture goals) along with your day-to-day plan to execute those goals.
Your application should present and treat a subject that has broad appeal, not one that is highly specialized within a field or subfield. Mini-courses eligible for stipends are meant to engage with topics that a graduate student (in any field) or a regular Cambridge resident would want to explore for general interest and enrichment. A Mini-Course provides a question or series of questions, and the instructor provides the framework that students will need in order to approach any given course activity--it should not be necessary for your students to rely on exhaustive fore-knowledge.
Courses are not taught for university credit, but year after year, Mini-Courses are surprisingly competitive and consistently well-attended. This year, we're spreading the word about the courses offered throughout Cambridge in order to diversify the classroom and present instructors with new challenges.
These courses are meant to be taught by "an expert" on a given subject, but the subject itself could be anything. Due to the competitiveness for Mini-Course stipends, we highly recommend you present the Selection Committee with a complete, or nearly complete, draft syllabus. An explanation of your methodology, the readings/music/films you're likely to assign, as well as a thorough analytical discussion of the niche your course is filling would also be appreciated, though we understand that time may not permit such exhaustive preparation.
Courses will last two weeks, meeting regularly (for example 10 sessions of approximately 1-2 hours in length, or 6 courses of 1.5 hours in length). How much time you want to spend in the classroom is up to you, and the amount of the stipend we award generally reflects the ambitiousness of the instructor. Proposed courses can be shorter (such as an intensive 2-day course of roughly 2-4 hours a day). It's up to you--this is the dream course that you want to teach. However, please be aware that stipends are usually awarded in proportion to the total work you put into your course, and that includes the number of hours in the classroom.
Mini-Courses can be team taught, with instructors splitting the work and the stipends. Check out the list of 2015 courses offered!