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Guidelines for Cross-Disciplinary and Departmental Teaching Circle Mini-Grants

  • Administered by the Center for Teaching Excellence, Reflective Practice Project

    Funded by the Office of the Provost

    Submission Deadline: 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 6, 2017, 4:30 pm

    Notification by: Friday, October 20, 2017

    Inquiries and Electronic Submission:

    Heide Witthöft at or 724-357-2320


    The purpose of the Cross-Disciplinary and Department Teaching Circle Mini-Grants is to support Teaching Circles by helping them to achieve clear, well-defined outcomes which will enhance the teaching skills of its members and/or add to the group’s knowledge of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Outcomes could include changes in syllabi with a supporting rationale based on reading and discussion in the Teaching Circle, a presentation based on work done in by its members, a publication which grows out of the work of the Teaching Circle, as well as other appropriate products.


    The Center for Teaching Excellence, through the Reflective Practice Project, has encouraged the formation and supported the organization and creative endeavors of Teaching Circles for many years. Mini-Grants are meant to support Teaching Circles in getting the resources they need for the successful completion of their projects. For some groups, inviting a speaker who is an expert in a specific field of instructional knowledge may be crucial, while others may need special books, software, or supplementary materials to achieve their goals. Still others may seek funding to be able to travel to a conference to present the outcomes of their project or to organize a departmental retreat to share their insights.

    The CTE Mini-Grants recognize the creative activities undertaken by Teaching Circles and add monetary resources to ensure their successful completion. 

    Grants may be used for:

    • books and other educational materials (not otherwise available or obtainable by the IUP Libraries)
    • software, hardware, and courseware for curriculum development*
    • student help with projects
    • faculty training costs
    • honoraria for speakers
    • website development
    • other appropriate activities that support teaching and faculty development as teacher-scholars

    [Please note that the CTE will seek input from the Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT) team on any proposal that includes purchasing technology.]

    Grants may not be used for:

    • food
    • marketing of academic programs
    • non-Teaching Circle related expenses

    Monies Available

    The maximum award is $500. The reviewers may award less than what the Teaching Circle has requested.


    Any department or Cross-Disciplinary Teaching Circle may apply. Applicants must have registered their Teaching Circle with the Reflective Practice Project prior to applying for a Mini-Grant. They must contact the Reflective Practice co-director for Cross-Disciplinary and Department Teaching Circles, Heide Witthöft, at to receive the links to do so.

    • Grant proposals will be awarded up to 20 points in each of the following categories for a maximum of 100 points:
    • impact of project on student learning
    • impact of project on faculty learning
    • feasibility of project
    • overall quality of proposal (including completeness and clarity of proposal)
    • quality of budget rationale

    Submission Date

    The October 6, 2017, submission deadline is firm. Please submit an electronic copy of your proposal, in Word format, to Heide Witthöft at by 4:30 p.m.

    Review Process

    The Reflective Practice Co-directors will evaluate the proposals and select those that are to be funded. Awards notification will be on or before Friday, October 20, 2017.

    The Mini-Grant Proposal must include the following:

    • Completed cover sheet
    • A one-page proposal (maximum 500 words) including:
      • The goals and objectives that you have for your Teaching Circle
      • If your proposal relates to a course, please also include:
        • The number and name of the course on which you will be working
        • Current syllabus
    • Budget and rationale for how the award will be used.

    Important Notice

    Any work associated with the Mini-Grant must be completed during the 2017–18 academic year. The Teaching Circle will need to provide a brief summary report of the outcomes of their mini-grant project for inclusion in the printed program for the Reflective Practice Recognition Dinner on April 25, 2018, and on the CTE website. This report (200–250 words) is due by April 13, 2018. Specific instructions will be sent out in late March 2018. The report is to be submitted electronically in Word format to Heide Witthöft at at

    Application Form

    Examples of Successful Mini-Grant Applications

    Mini-Grant Proposal Evaluation Sheet