Instructional Improvement Grants

Instructional Improvement Grants 2018-2019

Instructional Improvement Grants (IIG) provide funds (up to $5,000) for one-time, small-scale projects to improve existing courses, develop new courses, evaluate instruction, and assess curricular needs. The grant funds also can be used to support larger innovative projects that will directly and significantly affect teaching and learning, such as developing materials for new and existing courses and developing new modes of instruction. All submissions will be considered on a rolling basis from now until April 1, or until all funds are expended, whichever comes first. If you would like a consultation to prepare for a submittal, please email with the subject line “IIG Consult Requested”.

The IIG program has the following priorities for the 2018-2019 academic year:

  1. Multi-disciplinary or team-taught projects, projects that involve large lecture classes, particularly at the lower division level, classes that have multiple sections, or classes that are normally very popular and fill up quickly. Applicants with these kinds of proposals are also encouraged to consider another of our grant programs: ReLIC grant program RfP.
  2. Proposals that seek to address the rising cost of course materials through use of open textbooks and open educational resources are also encouraged. Individual faculty members or groups who wish to transition a course from a commercial textbook to an OER textbook that maintains high quality education and is more affordable (or free) to students are encouraged to apply. Successful proposals will emphasize the link between effective teaching practices and the use of open resources.
  3. Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs): Faculty groups who wish to meet regularly create faculty learning communities  of between 5-10 faculty members interested in researching a teaching, learning, or assessment topic that has the potential to impact our UD community. Typically, FLC members are each awarded $500 for one semester($250 at the beginning and $250 at the end) during which they all regularly meet to conduct research and create a white paper.
    1. Potential topics for FLCs meeting in 2018-2019 may include:
      1. Redesigning a course with colleagues to incorporate free and open educational resources.
      2. How to create engaged learners in very large classes (>100 students)
      3. High-impact teaching practices for equity and inclusion
      4. Learning to teach: Best-practices for new instructors
      5. Challenges and Opportunities when Teaching in the Associate in Arts Program
      6. Designing Capstone Courses that can assess programmatic and of Gen Ed objectives

Finally, we welcome proposals that do not fit into the priorities outlined above but are still focused on improving teaching and learning at UD. For example, other projects might involve service learning and civic engagement, enhance educational equity in the classroom, encourage study groups, promote active learning and engagement, focus on speaking or writing skills, or improve classroom assessment.

Please complete the online application. The application requires the following information:

  • Contact information: Name, e-mail, phone number, department, college, department finance/budget contact name, and Department finance/budget contact e-mail
  • Title of proposal
  • Abstract. What is your proposed project?
  • Proposal rationale. What is the problem that your proposal addresses and why is it significant to UD? Who will be impacted (faculty, students) and how many? If your proposal involves a course, how often is the course taught and will it be continue to be offered after this grant has ended? How will this course further UD’s general education objectives? Can colleagues in other departments or colleges adopt your solution, too? Finally, if it connects to one of the strategic priorities for this year’s grants – large classes, open textbooks and open educational resources, and faculty learning communities – please explicitly describe that connection.
  • Description. How will you solve the problem? What are the different components of your proposal and how will they work together to achieve the project’s outcomes?
  • Context. Why do you believe that your solution will solve the problem? What evidence and theories are informing your proposal? On what foundation are you building your proposal e.g., related scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), discipline-based education research (DBER)?
  • Transformation. How is your idea transformative and deserving of extraordinary support? In what way does it go “above and beyond” the normal expectations that faculty routinely develop and modify curriculum and pedagogy? If your proposal is focused on one or more courses, how many students would be impacted i.e., what is the typical enrollment for that course(s)?
  • Outcomes. At the end of the project what gains do you intend to make or what deliverables will you produce? How will you know how well you have met each outcome (e.g., evaluation/assessment plans)?
  • Project implementation. What do you plan to do to accomplish your project goals? How will those activities produce the outcomes previously described? On what specific timeline will the project activities be undertaken and who will be responsible? What resources, people, equipment, time, etc. will be in place or provided by this grant to overcome potential roadblocks?
  • Sustainability. How will the project be or its outcomes be sustained beyond the life of this grant?
  • Budget. Please ensure that there is a clear connection between the funds requested below and the proposed activities described above. If you are requesting funds for summer salary support, you must indicate the activities that will be completed during the summer. Note that there is no fringe associated with faculty summer salaries. The total amount of the award will be determined by the merits of the proposal and the appropriateness of the budget request in relation to the scope of the project. Allowable expenses include, but are not necessarily limited to, faculty summer salaries, undergraduate/graduate student assistance, faculty professional development, and course materials. If material expenses integral to course implementation are part of the budget, indicate in the appropriate section above how these costs will be sustained after this funding period. All funds must be expended no later than June 15, 2019.
    • Personnel. For all personnel, please include a brief description of their role in the project. Include the amount of effort in person months and the amount of salary being requested. For undergraduate students, include a brief description of their role, provide an hourly rate between $8.25 and $13.00, and include the number of hours anticipated along with the months. If the student is enrolled only part-time, please state that here. For graduate students, include a brief description of their role, the amount of time they are committing, the salary rate, and the current fringe rate.Example: Dr. Pat will serve as the project director and will oversee the entire project. Additionally, s/he will do XYZ for the project. S/he will devote one month over the summer and is requesting $5,000. On UD Transformation Grants, faculty may not charge fringe benefits.
      • PIs (max $5000 or one-ninth of academic salary, whichever is less).
      • Graduate students.
      • Other personnel.
      • Fringe benefits (other than for faculty).
    • Equipment, materials, and supplies. List and describe what you will need. If a proposal includes a request for equipment, it should describe the plan for securely storing and maintaining that equipment; this is particularly important when requesting a large number of devices or equipment that requires maintenance such as laptops and devices, especially servers or other equipment that require long-term specialized support.)
    • Travel. Include all travel to be paid directly by this grant, including whether it’s foreign or domestic travel. Provide the following information, if known, used in estimating the travel costs: the destination, purpose, number of travelers, airfare, ground transportation, lodging, and meals/per diem (e.g., St. Louis, Missouri to attend a conference, 2 persons, registration $135, airfare $350, ground transportation $40, lodging $125/night/2 nights, meals $75/day/3 days – $1,000 ea.). For vehicle travel identify the number of miles & current mileage rate along with the destination and reason for travel. (e.g., Dover DE, one day conference, 50 miles @ .54/mile = $27.00). Travel may not exceed $1,000.
    • Other. For other costs not specifically listed above. Identify and provide details of the costs involved.
    • Total cost.
  • Letter of support from department chair.

Mini-grants of less than $1,000 are also available under this funding category for small-scale projects that improve or enrich existing undergraduate courses. Contact CTAL at 831-2027 or send email to to discuss a small-scale project and receive application details.

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