Faculty Curriculum Development Grants
All University of Delaware faculty and professional staff who are directly involved with student instruction may apply. Applicants who received CTAL Instructional Improvement Program grants in the past and who submitted a final project report may seek support for new proposals. If a choice must be made between projects of equal merit, priority will be given to the proposal submitted by an applicant who has not received CTAL instructional grant funds during the previous academic year.
Individual grants of up to $6,000 are available to individual faculty members and instructional staff proposing innovative projects aimed at providing a high quality undergraduate or graduate education at the University of Delaware. Collaborative grants of up to $18,000 are available to teams of faculty and instructional staff that want to work together on more extensive projects (with a larger scale and scope than individual projects). Collaborations may take place either within or across programs and departments.
We invite all projects, and have few preconceived ideas about the range or scope of topics for funding. Fundable projects would need to focus on a concrete instructional question that has arisen, outline how the project will help address this question, and describe how the success of the project (in terms of student learning) will be assessed. Projects that have been funded in the past focused on instructional questions such as:
* How might we modify a large lecture-based core course for majors and non-majors to personalize students’ learning experience? How might peer-led team learning change the lecture-based classroom to a more student-centered learning setting? How might we help students obtain and practice quantitative or visual literacy skills? How might we help students develop and self-assess their oral communication skills?
* How might we extend the boundaries of the classroom?
* How might we provide interdisciplinary educational experiences for students?
* How might we strengthen our formative assessment of student learning, provide constructive feedback, and gauge student learning for summative purposes?
* How might we expand or revise course material with the specific intent of including diverse viewpoints?
* How might we enhance our large class instruction (particularly at the lower division level), or instruction of multi-section courses?
* How might we document effective teaching?
* How might we strengthen the preparation of undergraduate and/or graduate teaching assistants for their instructional responsibilities?
* How might we contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning in our discipline?
* What classroom-based research might we have conducted that lends itself for peer review?
Projects should lead to curriculum changes that are sustainable beyond the period of funding. For course-related projects, the Instructional Improvement Grant Program funds projects that will have an enduring impact on a course over time, beyond a single semester’s offering. Please note that conducting expected course revisions or placing course materials online will not qualify for Faculty Curriculum Development Grant support.
The most competitive applications will include a plan to examine and document one or more intended learning outcomes. Evidence of learning may be exhibited in various forms: individual or group projects, oral presentations or written texts, focus-group reports, artistic and creative activities, traditional or electronic portfolios, results of field work or laboratory experiments, the focus is on demonstration of formative learning (i.e., stages of development) and not just summative achievement (e.g., a final grade for a course).
Applications for both instructional grant types will be considered on a rolling basis from September 23, 2013 until April 21, 2014, or until all funds are expended.
2. Prepare a 5-7 page proposal that closely adheres to the Proposal and Budget Guidelines below.
3. Secure a letter of support from your chair or program director. The letter should confirm that the applicant is eligible to apply for a grant and that the proposal falls outside the normal scope of the departmental budget, and it should describe how the project aligns with department’s goals. For team-based proposals that cut across academic units, applications must be endorsed by the heads of all participating units.
4. Submit the completed application as an e-mail attachment to the Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note "Instructional Improvement Grant Application" in the subject line.
Information about developing a grant proposal is available from CTAL staff. For preliminary readings of your applications or help in developing your proposal, call 831-2027 or contact email@example.com. Please note "Instructional Improvement Grant Assistance" in the subject line.
Should aspects of your proposal involve expertise of other campus units, such as IT-Academic Technology Services, Writing Center, or Libraries, please contact these units in advance to identify appropriate resources and support.
To apply, please prepare a detailed proposal that closely adheres to the Proposal and Budget Guidelines, along with the cover page. The proposal must address the following aspects of the project:
1. Goals: What instructional question does the project address and how does this question align with university, college, and departmental priorities? Why is this question important to address?
2. Activities: What are the activities you intend to implement to help achieve the intended outcomes?
3. Assessment: How will you know if the project is succeeding? (It is recommended that you address each major project goal in question form; e.g., if one of your goals is to improve student retention then an assessment question may be “Did students persist?”). How will you collect data to address your evaluation questions? Indicate how you will assess important outcomes.
4. Personnel: Who will be participating in your project? Provide the names of faculty members and other individuals (for example, graduate students and postdocs) in addition to the PIs named on the proposal cover sheet. Explain how each collaborator will contribute to the successful implementation and completion of the project.
5. Itemized Budget and Budget Justification. What is your projected budget given the scope of your project? Use the Budget Guidelines provided below to complete the Budget Request Form.
6. Sustainability: How will the project live on after the grant has ended? Indicate how after the grant period the project will be sustained and the long term impact of the project. Depending on the goals of your project, sustainability might be of concern, especially for projects that are closely linked to departmental, college goals. Should your project address highly innovative, high-risk ideas that warrant initial exploration via seed money, sustainability might be of less concern in terms of its impact on the proposal's funding priority.
Please keep in mind that proposal reviewers will represent a range of disciplines, and be sure to convey your proposal ideas for a more general higher education audience.
Funded items may include but are not limited to: faculty summer and winter session support; instructional materials and equipment; specialized instructional software or hardware that is not available elsewhere on campus; classroom demonstration materials; assessment instruments; facilitator or consultant honoraria; undergraduate and graduate student wages.
Provide a justification of the budget so that it is clear why each requested budget item is essential to the project. Line items on the separate budget sheet should include the underlying assumptions used to prepare the request, such as rates of pay, numbers of hours and/or appointment percentages, and quantities and costs of various categories of supplies. Matching funds from colleges and/or departments are encouraged but not required; these funds should also be itemized.
Grants will not be awarded to cover costs that departments incur as part of the normal expense of teaching courses or routine revisions of existing curricula. Requests should not include items that departments normally make available to faculty, such as photocopying, supplies, and administrative support. Funds may not be requested to cover 1) lodging, food, conference registration, or travel expenses; 2) duplication and distribution of materials to students; 3) purchase of books or the equivalent for students; 4) creation or updating of standard webpages or sites for courses; or 5) Graduate Teaching Assistantships or the tuition portion of a Graduate Research Fellowship appointment. Additionally, a grant will not be given solely to fund the purchase, replacement, or repair of major equipment to be used in teaching.
The review of proposals will be carried out by members of the CTAL staff, with final funding decisions made by previous Instructional Improvement grant recipients. Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:
* Contribution of the project to goals and priorities of the University as set out in the
* Strong connection of the project’s goals to college and department teaching and learning goals and priorities
* Clear description of the project goals and nature of instructional question
* Use of appropriate methods that align with the project's goals
* Quality and appropriateness of the project’s assessment processes
* Feasibility of the project
* Potential impact of the project
* Appropriateness of the proposed budget in relation to the scope of the project
* Potential for sustainability, as appropriate
Funding decisions will be made within one month of application; grant award notices will be distributed immediately thereafter. Successful applicants must accept the award in writing within two weeks of receiving notification of an award. In the case of an acceptance not being acknowledged, CTAL will reallocate the funding attached to the award.
Faculty Curriculum Grant projects must be completed by the end of spring semester 2015. Applications for extensions to the time of the grant must be accompanied by an interim report.
Faculty who received grant awards are expected to meet regularly with a CTAL staff member, share the instructional project at a CTAL forum or other campus-wide event with a teaching and learning focus.
The grantee(s) is (are) required, as a condition of the grant, to submit a summary report to the Faculty Director, CTAL, by August 3, 2015. The report must be signed by all of PIs and the relevant Academic Head(s). The report should summarize all major project activities and describe all results, with suggestions for future project(s) that might logically follow the one just concluded. A sample of instructional materials or resources produced as a result of the grant should be provided or appended as relevant. The author(s) of a summary report should also anticipate giving a short (10-15 minute) public presentation of results at a CTAL forum or other campus event with a teaching and learning focus.