Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Grant

Our Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) grant program is seeking faculty interested in conducting course-based pedagogical research (aka DBER, evidence-based research, classroom research, action research) at Penn State.

The purpose of the program is to promote contributions to the published SoTL literature by Penn State faculty about Penn State teaching and learning. If you are unfamiliar with the literature, you may want to check out the The Teaching Professor, which regularly includes summaries of SoTL and DBER studies published in peer-reivewed journals. You may also want to check out the Teaching Journals Directory at Kennesaw State University.

How to apply

We are not expecting a proposal—limit your responses to the following questions to about 500 words, TOTAL!

  • Research Questions: What teaching or learning questions are you interested in addressing? How will your SoTL project inform discussions of teaching and/or learning in your field or other fields?

    Consider a "learning problem" that will be of interest to others in your field such as a concept that students have trouble learning or a problem within the learning environment. Or you can focus on an intervention, e.g., how would changing X affect Y aspect of students' learning (Bass, 1999, as discussed at

  • Scope: What is the scope of your SoTL project? Will you study learning in a course you are teaching, a course that a colleague is teaching, or several courses in a discipline or unit? If the project involves other faculty, have they agreed to collaborate with you? What types/levels of courses would be involved?

  • Previous SoTL: Does your work build on any previous SoTL projects or research? Consider scanning the teaching and learning articles in your discipline (see Kennesaw State's Teaching Journals Directory) or conducting a search of the ERIC Database.

  • Estimated Timeline: In what semester(s) do you plan to conduct your evidence collection, analysis, and write-up? You will need to obtain an IRB exemption or approval of your plan.

  • Methods & Analysis: What methods have you considered for data collection and analysis? We do not necessarily expect you to have a plan in place at this point, but do share any methods you have considered. We will hire students to help with this work. Your initial thoughts on this will help us determine how much time we will need to allocate.

  • Publication: Where might your research be published? Have you identified a publication or publications (see Kennesaw State University's searchable list of discipline-specific journals that publish SoTL research)?

What's included?

We know that teaching or research may leave faculty with little extra time to conduct SoTL research so the grant includes:

  • research collaboration with a consultant from the Schreyer Institute;
  • support for data collection or analysis from a student hired by the Institute, the student will help multiple faculty with their research; and
  • monetary support (up to $3,000) for conference travel, course materials, printed or electronic materials, a guest speaker, student field trip, or instructional technology or equipment. Note, we cannot transfer funds, all expenditures must appear on our budget.

Quote from Lee Shulman, “An act of intelligence
or of artistic creation becomes scholarship when it possesses at least three attributes: it becomes public; 
becomes an object of critical review & evaluation by members of one’s community; members of one’s community begin to use,build upon, and develop those 
acts of mind and creation. Quoted from article, Taking Learning Seriously, in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning.

Contact Us

If you do not already know one of our faculty consultants, contact your Schreyer Liaison to talk about your research ideas.


Requests are accepted on a rolling basis. Decisions are negotiated based on how developed the project is and availability of funds.