Teaching Transformation & Innovation Grants
Award Period: July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021
This grant program provides support for Penn State faculty of any rank at any location, as well as for programs or departments to implement or test teaching and learning innovations. 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.
Proposal Submission Process and Timeline
Step 1: Before Monday, March 2, 2020
Schedule a pre-proposal consultation with an Institute faculty consultant to discuss your initial ideas. This saves you from developing a proposal that doesn’t align with the Institute's mission or that is not fundable. Your pre-proposal consultation may be face-to-face, by phone, or via Zoom. Only faculty who have met the deadline above will be considered for full-proposal submission.
Schedule your consultation before the deadline! Before your consultation, please review the “What we can fund” and “What we cannot fund” sections below.
Step 2: By Monday, March 9, 2020
After your pre-proposal consultation, please send to your Schreyer consultant a brief (<300 words) paragraph (not a proposal!) describing the project as you currently envision it. The description should include why it is innovative within your teaching context and/or its potential for transforming teaching and/or student learning.
Due to the shift to remote learning caused by COVID-19, our schedule has been delayed and future deadlines have been extended.
On or before Monday, June 15, 2020, the Schreyer Institute will send pre-proposal descriptions to campus and college administrators for initial review. Administrators will determine which projects will be developed into full proposals (we typically fund only one or two projects from each campus or college).
If your project is selected for proposal development, you will receive an invitation to submit a full proposal on Friday, June 26, 2020.
Step 3: By Monday, August 17, 2020
Submit a fully developed proposal through the web portal provided in the selection notification message.
On or before Sept. 15, 2020, funding decisions will be sent to faculty who submitted proposals.
What we can fund
Requested funds must be directly related to the proposed project.
- 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
- Materials (e.g., a previous grant funded back issues of a journal for students in a creative writing class; books for faculty teaching communities)
- Activities in support of development of new courses, minors and options, excluding non-fundable items listed above
- Guest speaker for a course or for a group of faculty related to teaching & learning (hotel or travel expenses)
- Student and faculty visitation to field sites, industrial facilities, and cultural centers (e.g., a previous grant funded a bus and driver to transport students to Harrisburg to implement an “Adopt-A-Classroom” project)
- Student hourly wages only in well-justified circumstances
- Projects that require students to use software for a Penn State course must be vetted through the Courseware Request Process prior to submitting a formal proposal. Check the Reviewed Courseware list to determine if the courseware is authorized for use and the level of authorization.
What we cannot fund
The funds we use to support these grants have restrictions on what can be purchased and how the funds are spent.
- Faculty who have received a grant from this or the TLS program in the previous 3 years
- No graduate assistantships or employee salaries (no supplemental salary or “buy outs” for faculty or staff)
- Activities expected of faculty as part of typical course preparation and development (nor can we fund students to do them for faculty)
- Conference travel for faculty (travel for undergraduate students might be funded)
- Study abroad or study away programs
- Goods or services from international companies and vendors
- Raffle prizes, gift cards, incentives, or monetary awards for participants
- 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
- Rationale and basis for requested cost/expense (expensive items may be partially funded); the more information you provide about your total budget, the better we can identify items that are fundable within our restrictions.
- Total number of proposals and amount requested
- Available funds
- Grants typically range from $200–$7,500, although exceptionally well-justified larger grants may be considered
- Proposals that involve more faculty and/or more students may be considered for larger grants