Try It! Summer Mini-Grants
Have you been looking for a way to . . .
Reenergize your teaching?
Reinvigorate some aspect of an existing course?
Revitalize student engagement in your classes?
If so, a Try It! Summer Mini-Grant may be just the thing for you.
Large-scale transformation can be a daunting prospect, and a complete course redesign isn't always feasible. That's why the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning (CTTL) is piloting a new program to offer modest summer grants of up to $1500 to fund small-scale pedagogical projects that can have an immediate impact on student learning and engagement. We are not currently accepting proposals for this award.
Details about the program can be found below, including: Eligibility Requirements, Grant Expectations, Eligible Projects/Expenses, and Selection Criteria. To see list of Summer 2013 mini-grant recipients, click here.
The purpose of the Try It! Summer Mini-Grants is to spur thoughtful and engaged experimentation with one new pedagogical tool or strategy. In this way, the CTTL aims to support faculty members' development as teacher-scholars by promoting innovative thinking about and approaches to teaching, learning, and student engagement.
Awards are available to full-time SLU faculty who hold permanent appointments in any department of the University and who will be continuing in their faculty positions for at least the academic year immediately following the grant period.
Although most proposals will be submitted by individuals, inter- or intra-disciplinary projects that involve two or more faculty members are encouraged. In such cases, supporting materials should include a statement specifying whether the applicants are requesting one grant split between them or multiple parallel grants. In either case, joint proposals will be judged by the same criteria as individual ones.
The grant award period occurs in the summer, with the new tool or strategy being implemented in a class taught the following fall or spring semester. Grant purchases must be made and received by the CTTL no later than June 30 (the end of the fiscal year). Consultations with Reinert Center staff may continue throughout the summer and into the academic year as needed.
Successful recipients will be expected to:
- Spend awarded funds as proposed and approved through the CTTL;
- Collaborate with a CTTL staff member to determine effective, evidence-based strategies for incorporating and assessing their new tool or strategy;
- Measure the effects of the innovation in some way;
- Submit a brief report of work done by the end of the summer; and
- Share what they learn with the broader community. (This may be accomplished in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: submitting an article for publication, presenting at a disciplinary or pedagogical conference or at a CTTL event, contributing to the CTTL's regular blog and/or web resources, etc.)
Try It! funds may be used to purchase equipment and/or materials that enhance teaching effectiveness and/or student engagement. Examples of eligible expenses include:
- Audio-visual equipment and/or software to support "flipped" classroom experiments (e.g., webcameras, microphones, other digital voice/video recording devices, writable tablets to capture worked problems on the screen, etc.)
- Audio-visual or other technology/production equipment to be used by SLU students as part of a course (e.g., portable media kits for student interviews or multi-media production).
- Published materials related to pedagogical innovation (either within or across disciplines), such as books, webcasts, subscriptions, and the like, that would not otherwise be supported by the recipient's department.
- Upgraded subscriptions to otherwise-free cloud-based tools and storage platforms, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Wikispaces, Wordpress, Blogger, etc.
- Hardware or software to support innovations aimed at making learning materials more accessible and inclusive (e.g., speech recognition / captioning software).
- Materials and/or equipment that supports the development of cases, scenarios, and/or simulations for authentic learning and assessment.
- Other learning and/or development materials as proposed by grant applicants, to be used by either faculty or students in connection with formal courses (both face-to-face and online) offered by the University.
Grant funds may not be used for: stipends or other payment to students, faculty, or staff; and/or expenses related to travel.
Please Note: Any equipment purchased is owned by Saint Louis University and must be returned to the CTTL in the event that a faculty member leaves the University.
As we review proposals, we will be looking for:
- A clear, detailed description of the "one new thing" you want to try;
- A thorough articulation of what goals are driving the experiment;
- A consideration of how you might measure or assess the effects of the experiment; and
- A detailed budget for the items you need to support the project.
Additionally, we are especially interested in proposals that seek to advance learning-focused teaching methods that are grounded in evidence-based research.
Proposals must be complete (answering all questions described in the Proposal Guidelines and including a signed Chair Approval Form) and be submitted to the CTTL by the deadline specified in the current Call for Proposals.