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Undergraduate Teaching Grants (2020-21)

Battle Hall UT

The Faculty Innovation Center invites proposals from UT Austin instructors to develop or scale innovations in undergraduate teaching. Innovations mean very different things depending on the course and the instructor. These grants are to encourage instructors at all levels to try something new in a course to be taught either Fall 2020 or Spring 2021. The grantee will be awarded a stipend of $3,000 and may apply for more funding for expenses linked to the innovation. 


The Faculty Innovation Center’s mission is to drive innovation focusing on teaching for student success. To that end, we have curated a set of Eight Effective Teaching Principles that can be used as a framework to innovate teaching methodologies. These principles were constructed through synthesizing recent research on best practices to increase student learning and support student success. To enable faculty to have time to develop areas of their courses that they wish to innovate, the Faculty Innovation Center is offering a summer stipend to faculty who choose one principle from the FIC’s 8 Principles of Effective Teaching they wish to develop in one of their courses.  Here are the eight principles with some examples of how they might be utilized to innovate your course.

I.    Deliberate and intentional planning: e.g. aligning course design, diversifying resources, identifying barriers and developing solutions 
II.    Construction of knowledge: e.g. scaffolding learning, choosing resources that are more accessible or affordable 
III.    Active engagement in learning: e.g. developing activities that help students understand more deeply
IV.    Relevance to disciplinary experiences: e.g. experiences that help students think like a practitioner 
V.    Use of assessment data and feedback: e.g. developing a variety of methods to assess student learning or give feedback
VI.    Shared responsibility for learning: e.g. giving more responsibility to students for their own learning 
VII.    Learning from peers: e.g. developing projects where students learn together 
VIII.    Establish and support a class climate that fosters belonging for all students: e.g. adapting materials and resources that students can identify with


Proposals are evaluated by a review committee that will score proposals on the following factors.

Proposals should clearly state the Principle from the FIC’s Eight Principles of Effective Teaching that has been chosen, explain the innovation to their course and its potential impact on student learning. The proposal should identify goals, describe a plan that will meet them, and include measurements of success. 

2.    IMPACT 
These grants are intended to have an impact on student learning and success. High-scoring proposals will include the quality of the innovation and documentation of the process that students experience throughout the course including successes and obstacles. (For example, through journals, blog posts, photographs, video, student products etc.) Include the impact of the innovation to your course that, without this grant, would otherwise not occur.

It will be an expectation that grantees document their student learning and submit a brief final report on their reflections and assessment of results. This can be in written or video format. After the course has been taught, awardees will develop a short presentation of the process and student experience to share with other faculty. Innovations that can be used in other classes or by other faculty are especially welcomed. 


Any UT Austin instructor, individually or in teams, may submit a proposal. Proposals must be submitted via webform and include a signature from the applicant’s Chair or Director. Questions about grants and the application process may also be directed to Anne Braseby

Applications must be submitted for review by March 25th 2020 for a course to be taught Fall 2020 or Spring 2021.


Funds will be transferred to grantees’ departments. $3000 may be used for faculty salary (summer or supplement). Other necessary funding will be considered, such as research assistants, materials or supplies or other necessary costs including publications, meeting costs, or conference participation consistent with relevant departmental, college, or University policy, Regents’ rules, and Texas state law. Budgets for salaries should build in fringe benefits, which varies by department. Applicants should work with their department’s financial administrator to develop an accurate estimate. Awards are subject to a 5% administrative fee.


Undergraduate Teaching Award Grantees 2019


Germine Awad

Department: Educational Psychology

Project Team: Jendayi Dillard and Allison Zengilowski

Title: Improving Collaborative Learning Practices in an Academic Preparation Course


Katie Pritchett

Department: Management

Title: Collaborative Coaching: Helping Students Apply Theory and Research to Assess the power of Collaboration in Entrepreneurial Ventures


Keri Stephens

Department: Communication Studies

Title: Moving from Large Class Group Work to Successful Collaborative Teams


Shavonne Coleman

Department: CMHC/UHC and Theater and Dance

Project Team: Voices Against Violence

Title: Fostering Inclusive Conversations on Campus: Experiential Learning for the Prevention of Interpersonal Violence through Performance-Based Learning