Teaching Transformation & Innovation Grants
Award Period: July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
This grant program provides support for Penn State faculty of any rank at any location to implement or test teaching and learning innovations that address an important instructional issue or problem that impacts Penn State teaching and learning. This grant program supports activities above and beyond those expected of faculty as part of their instructional responsibilities of course preparation, design, and updating. Projects that involve research need to be directly linked to resolution of the instructional issue and may require IRB approval.
Support for these projects includes consultations with Institute faculty, as well as funding. Funding will be available for successful proposals during the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1. Grants typically range from $200–$6000 in actual costs. In order for larger requests to be considered the costs must be well-justified and involve or impact multiple faculty, courses, or substantial numbers of students.
Proposal Submission Process and Timeline
Step 1: Before Monday, March 1, 2021
Meet with an Institute faculty consultant to discuss your initial ideas in a pre-proposal consultation. This saves you from developing a proposal that is not aligned with our mission or not fundable. Before your consultation, please review the “What we can fund” and “What we cannot fund” sections below.
Your pre-proposal consultation may be face-to-face, via Zoom, or by phone.
Schedule your consultation before this deadline! Only faculty who meet this deadline will be considered for full-proposal submission.
Step 2: By Monday, March 8, 2021
After your pre-proposal consultation, send your Schreyer consultant a brief (<300 words) paragraph (not a proposal!) describing the project as you currently envision it. The paragraph should state why the project is important, innovative and/ or transformative, and it should describe its potential for improving teaching and/or student learning.
The Schreyer Institute will send all pre-proposal descriptions to campus and college administrators for review and priority ranking. Those ranked with lower priority may or may not be invited to submit a full proposal. We typically limit each college and campus to a few proposals.
If your project is selected for proposal development, you will receive an invitation to submit a full proposal on or before Monday, April 12, 2021. You will have six weeks to develop your proposal.
Step 3: By Monday, May 31, 2021
Submit your completed proposal by Monday, May 31, 2021.
On or before July 30, 2021 funding decisions will be sent to faculty who submitted proposals.
What we can fund
Requested funds must be directly related to and support the proposed project. Budgets will need to be itemized and necessary. The costs should be based on current costs; items such as "$1000 project equipment" cannot be accepted. The total budget should not be exceed the above range or be designed to the reach the high end of range. Expensive projects, especially those that will impact a relatively small number of students, may be only partially funded.
- Experimental or unusual instructional equipment (e.g., a previous grant funded a bat detector to use in a wildlife and fisheries class)
- Innovative instructional methods and procedures, including technology-based approaches
- Atypical or newly avaialble course materials (e.g., a previous grant funded back issues of a journal for students in a creative writing class)
- Guest speaker for a course or for a group of faculty; in the latter, the topic must be related to teaching & learning (e.g., honorarium or travel expenses)
- Student and faculty visitation to field sites, industrial facilities, and and cultural centers (e.g., a previous grant funded a bus to transport students to Harrisburg to implement an “Adopt-A-Classroom” project)
- Student hourly wages in well-justified circumstances (see below for restrictions)
- Projects that involve students using software for course must be approved by the university through its Courseware process prior to submitting a formal proposal.
What we cannot fund
Spending must align with the Institute's mission and our endowment spending restrictions.
- Individuals who have received a grant of $2000 or more from the Institute in the past 3 years
- Faculty “buy outs,” summer salary, nor supplemental salary for faculty or staff
- Course design, preparation, or update activities that are expected as part of regular teaching responsibilities
- Graduate assistantships or student wages for course design or development activities expected of faculty
- Study abroad or study away program expenses
- Conference travel for faculty (travel for undergraduate students might be funded)
- Raffle prizes, gift cards, incentives, or monetary awards for participants
- Goods or services from international companies and vendors
- Donations to organizations (e.g., in lieu of entrance fees)
- Membership fees
- Multi-year proposals (funds must be spent during the fiscal year July 1-June 30)
Proposal Review Criteria
This is a competitive process and decisions are based on the following factors:
- Alignment with the Schreyer Institute's Mission
- Proposal clarity and quality, especially the quality of learning objectives (see Writing Objectives)
- Impact on Penn State teaching and learning beyond those directly involved in the project
- Rationale and basis for requested funding (expensive items may be partially funded)
- Total number of proposals and amount requested
- Available funds