Teaching Transformation & Innovation Grants
Award Period: July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022
This grant program is intended to allow Penn State faculty of any rank or appointment the opportunity to experiment, test, or implement a teaching innovation that addresses an important instructional concern. It supports activities and costs above those expected of faculty as part of their responsibilities for course preparation, design, and updating. Faculty interested in developing a research project around an instructional challenge or innovation are encouraged to explore the Teaching and Learning Scholarship grant program.
Support for these projects includes consultations with Institute faculty, as well as funding. Successful proposals will receive funding in the subsequnt fiscal year. Grants are typically less than $6000. No amount is too small! We prefer to fund as many projects as possible, rather than fewer $6K grants. Requests above this amount will be considered only if costs are well-justified and the project involves multiple faculty and courses.
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.
Examples of 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. Expensive projects, especially those that will impact a relatively small number of students, may receive partial funding.
- 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 (a previous grant funded back issues of a journal for students for a creative writing class)
- Guest speaker for a course or for a group of faculty (e.g., honoraria, travel. Speakers for faculty must address a topic related to teaching & learning
- Student and faculty visitation to field sites, industrial facilities, and and cultural centers (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
- Projects that involve students using software for course must be approved by the university through its Courseware process prior to submitting a formal proposal.
Please review what we cannot fund on our main Grants page.
Spending must align with the Institute's mission and our endowment spending restrictions. Individuals who have received a grant of $2500 or more from the Institute in the past 3 years need to wait and allow other faculty an opportunity to compete for our larger grants.
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