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Instructional Grants

Please see the updated Program Timeline information below.

Multiple grant programs are offered for Virginia Tech faculty and departments to engage in the development of instructional skills, the application of effective teaching strategies, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Grant proposals must be submitted using an online form (to be posted with the next call for proposals). If you have questions about the grant programs, please email the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at

  • High-Impact Project Grants provide support for departments, programs, and/or interdisciplinary collaborators to design (or re-design), develop, and implement a large-scale project with the potential to have a significant impact on student learning and teaching excellence. Maximum funding for a High-Impact Project Grant is $10,000 with a limited number of grant projects in this category funded per academic year.
  • Large Class Teaching Grants provide support for the enhancement of student learning in large-class settings. Maximum funding for a Large Class Teaching Grant is $5,000.
  • Instructional Innovation Grants provide support for faculty enhancement of instruction. Maximum funding for an Instructional Innovation Grant is $5,000. 
  • GTA Training Program Grants provide support for the enhancement or the creation of faculty-led training programs for graduate teaching assistants with a focus on knowledge and skills (e.g., teaching practices, course design, mentoring, communication, scholarship of teaching and learning) needed to develop as effective educators. Maximum funding for a GTA Training Program Grant is $2,000. 
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grants provide support for faculty conducting a scholarship of teaching and learning research project. Maximum funding for a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant is $2,000.

The center accepts proposals for grant projects once a year. Grant proposals are due on March 15, and funds for accepted grant projects are transferred around July 15. Grant projects run from the time of funding to the following May 1.

By May 1, grant recipients must submit a final report that highlights the completed project’s (a) activities, (b) outcomes, (c) scope and specifics of student impact, and (d) ways results have been shared with the teaching learning community at Virginia Tech and/or beyond. Final reports must be submitted using the online final report form.

Grant proposals must be submitted by the appropriate deadline (see above) to be considered for funding and be submitted using an online form (to be posted with the next call for proposals). Incomplete project proposals will not be considered. The grant proposal form asks for the grant project information below as well as contact information for the faculty lead, other Virginia Tech personnel involved in the project (if any), the faculty lead’s department head/chair (and an acknowledgment of the head/chair's awareness of the proposal), and the faculty lead's fiscal manager/technician. The form also asks for the IRB status of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant proposals and for a department head/chair’s letter of support for any proposal including faculty stipend or course buyout funding in its budget.

Note that the center will communicate directly with the faculty lead listed on the proposal regarding the grant proposal decision and any related follow-up communication. The faculty lead must be a current faculty member at Virginia Tech, and those listed as additional personnel involved in the project must be current faculty members or graduate students at Virginia Tech.

  • Project Title: Provide a short and descriptive title.
  • Project Description: Provide a brief narrative that contextualizes the proposed project for a reader that may not be familiar with the author's discipline or interdisciplinary perspective. Establish the need for the project based on current scholarly literature related to teaching and learning in higher education. Provide a description of how the project will help meet the need.
  • Impact on Student Learning: Provide a statement that highlights the projects’ potential impact on student learning at Virginia Tech. In addition to a general description of the potential impact on student learning, other suggested items to address include the course(s) and/or academic program(s) in which the project will be implemented and the estimated number of students who would be impacted by the grant project. *For SoTL grant applicants, discuss the learning-related research question here.
  • Objectives: Provide specific student learning-focused objectives for the proposed project. 
  • Implementation Plan: Provide a descriptive timeline of how the project’s objectives will be met. 
  • Assessment and Evaluation Plan: Provide a detailed description of how the project's objectives will be assessed and evaluated. 
  • Dissemination of Results: Provide a description of how the results of the project will be shared with the teaching and learning community at Virginia Tech and/or beyond.
  • Budget: Provide a detailed budget for the full amount requested from the center. (See the Grant Funding and Spending Restrictions section below for more information about grant project funding.)

Each complete proposal will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Significance of Proposed Project: Does the proposed project address a significant need in teaching and learning in higher education? Does it have the potential to make a significant impact on student learning at Virginia Tech?
  • Appropriateness/Feasibility of Proposed Project: Does the proposed project represent an appropriate response to the described need and is project completion likely given the available resources?
  • Adequacy of Assessment and Evaluation Plan: Does the proposal provide an evaluation plan that is aligned with the proposal's objectives and that explains how the project's effectiveness will be assessed? 
  • Feasibility/Appropriateness of the Sharing of Results: Does the proposal identify appropriate and feasible outlets for sharing the results of the project with the teaching and learning community at Virginia Tech and/or beyond?
  • Appropriateness/Completeness of the Projected Budget: Does the proposal provide a detailed budget that accounts for all the funds requested?

Common instructional grant proposal budget items include (but are not limited to) instructional materials/equipment, project-specific consultations/expert support, and undergraduate or graduate student support for project-specific work. Grants will not fund conference travel or general office supplies. In limited instances, funds can be coupled with department support for faculty stipends and course buyouts. All funding requests for faculty stipends and course buyouts must include a department head/chair’s letter of support with the grant proposal. Funding is provided to support teaching and learning enhancements at Virginia Tech.

Grant funding is transferred as E&G funds to the faculty lead’s department to be spent on the fiscal-year cycle. All expenditures must be in accordance with Virginia Tech policies and procedures. Grantees are responsible for working with their departmental fiscal managers to ensure grant funding is spent within the fiscal year and in accordance with Virginia Tech policies and procedures. Faculty should note that it can be challenging to obtain approval for using E&G funds for some expenditures (e.g., food, gift cards for research participation). Faculty are encouraged to take this into consideration when making grant proposal budgets. Faculty should also be aware of IT Procurement procedures if including IT-related items on a proposed grant budget. The faculty lead of the grant proposal is responsible for communicating any changes to the budget outlined in the proposal, including the inability to spend funding before the end of the fiscal year, to the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in a timely manner.

Instructional Grants Highlights

The Center supports an Instructional Grants program. Faculty request funds to support plans to improve instruction and student learning. The grants are unique in that they are customized to provide funding for the planning elements most likely to yield learning improvements and on a timeline that provides funding when it is most needed. Faculty use grant funds to supplement instructional materials, in partnership with other internal and external funds, and as seed grants for matching funds to secure larger grants. See two instructional grants from the 2017-18 grantee cohort below.

Virginia Tech, City of Radford, and Glencoe Mansion partner to build New River Train Observatory, VT News

Design-build: Engaging Radford's Railroad History. A collaboration between Architecture students (instructor: Kay Edge) and students from the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials (instructor: Tom Hammett). The project partnered with the City of Radford to design and plan a train-viewing platform using cross-laminated timber. In addition to funding and materials donations from industry and crowd-sourcing, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning funded class trips to the site.

Department of Economics launches new study abroad undergraduate research program between Blacksburg and Peru, VT News

Experiment-driven Policy Making. A collaboration between VT’s Economics Department and the Department of Economics at Universidad de Piura (Peru). Students from both institutions engaged in economic lab experiments about decision making for complex scenarios (in the US) and field experiments in Peru. The students from both universities participated together traveling to each location to leverage the strengths of each department. It featured unique experiential learning features in economics at the forefront of current research—behavioral economics. This unique program-blending study abroad and undergraduate research embedded in local communities-was funded by several sources, including the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.