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Teaching Scholar Award for Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is a flexible teaching strategy that supports faculty working to scaffold students through appropriate expectations for their level of development, interests, and goals. PBL can take many forms, but ultimately students are engaged in the exploration of authentic problems as a method of both learning and applying content knowledge to meet course outcomes. This award is designed to recognize faculty who have incorporated project-based learning pedagogy into or across their courses, demonstrating a positive impact on student learning. Recognizing that the approach to projects may look different across different domains (e.g., engineering, music, chemistry, forestry, philosophy), the award criteria remain sensitive to these variations, and faculty members from all domains are encouraged to submit nominations.

The Teaching Scholar Award for Project-Based Learning is given to one faculty member every three years. The next call for nominations will be for the 2027 Teaching Scholar Award for Project-Based Learning.

Award recipients will receive a $500 award, and up to $2,000 of professional development funding to support continued development of your project-based learning work and to share your approaches and results of implementation with various audiences, including presenting at related conferences or pursuing publication.

Please note that a professional development spending plan will be required for submission to CETL prior to the transfer of the funds. The professional development funds cannot be used for general office equipment or supplies. The professional development funding will be transferred as E&G funds to your department around July 15 to be spent on the fiscal-year cycle. All expenditures must be in accordance with Virginia Tech policies and procedures. You will be responsible for working with your departmental fiscal coordinator to ensure funding is spent within the fiscal year and in accordance with Virginia Tech policies and procedures.


To be eligible for the Teaching Scholar Award for Project-Based Learning, nominees must 1) be a full-time or part-time faculty member at Virginia Tech, 2) have teaching as one of their primary responsibilities, and 3) present work based on their own teaching.

Nomination Materials

All nominations must be submitted using the online submission form and must include the items listed below. If you have questions, please email

Submission Form: The submission form requires 1) the nominator’s name, department, and email address (self-nominations are welcome) and 2) the nominee's name, department, college, rank, years at Virginia Tech, area of expertise, and email address.

Nomination Packet: The nomination packet must be uploaded to the online submission form, be a single PDF file, and include the items below to meet the award criteria.

  1. A statement of the nominee's project-based learning approach, guiding student outcomes, motivation for adopting a PBL approach, evidence of student learning, and any broader impact beyond the nominee’s classroom (2 pages max.)
  2. A statement of the nominee’s teaching philosophy, highlighting the integration of a project-based learning pedagogy (2 pages max.)
  3. Supporting materials, which may include a collection of student work, course artifacts, media coverage of student experience, statement of support from a project support partner or client, and/or published scholarship recognized in the discipline (2 items max.)

Previous Recipients