ITL Mini-Grant Application Guidelines

The Institute for Teaching and Learning (ITL) is pleased to announce a call for mini-grant applications this Spring 2020. The ITL Mini-Grant Program (formerly the Office of Assessment mini-grant program) provides funds for small projects that target teaching and learning and held build a campus culture focused on teaching and learning toward student success. A total of $10,000 in funding is available for the 2020-21 (FY2021) cycle. Projects can request funds up to $2,000.

In 2020, ITL will place a funding priority on small projects that are focused on actionable ideas that can be implemented easily into a classroom or other learning spaces and support student success. Examples of these projects may include:

  • funding classroom equipment, such as white boards for students, scratch-off cards, or manipulatives 
  • an app that creates interactive experiences in student organizations meetings
  • an advanced presentation remote that allows a presenter to interact uniquely during lectures or presentations
  • honoraria for guest presenters (non-YSU)
  • travel expenses for off-campus class visits

Note: For those who are familiar with the Office of Assessment mini-grant program, please be sure to read through the guidelines, rubric, and application. The program has been updated to better align with the mission and vision of ITL.

All applications are submitted online through the Mini-Grant Application Form.

Please review application guidelines including evaluation criteria and updated responsibilities of grant winners. Funding will begin July 1, 2020, with spending of mini-grant funds completed by May 15, 2021. 

Faculty, chairs, staff, and program coordinators are encouraged to apply; the deadline to apply for funding HAS BEEN EXTENDED.

Please note some significant changes made to improve the mini-grant program in 2020:

  • Mini-grant recipients will no longer be required to submit a poster at the completion of their mini-grant. As an alternative, mini-grant recipients will decide how they plan to disseminate results and note that plan in their application. Examples of sharing could include: a one-page reflection report, how-to-guide, workshop, website, article, or other.
  • There will be a $2,000 cap on mini-grant requests. This year's priority focus will be on small grants (under $500) that are easily implemented and impact student success.
  • This program is discontinuing funding faculty and staff travel to conferences as ITL is looking at a separate travel funds program. However, the mini-grant will continue to fund local travel for things such as classroom or industry visits outside of YSU that may enhance teaching/learning. The grant program will also continue to fund paying for travel for outside speakers or consultants to come to campus.
  • The University is tightening guidelines regarding providing student incentives. Projects requesting student incentives with a monetary value (e.g. gift cards) will be asked to substitute alternative incentives such as promotional items to provide for smoother project management.
  • Mini-grant aplications are reviewed by the ITL and members of a review committee. It may be suggested that only partial funding for a prjoect be awarded, or that funding be given after changes to the project are made. If this is the case, ITL will contact the applicants and request changes be made and/or explain the partial funding. It is the decision of the mini-grant recipient to make the changes and/or accept partial funding.

View rubric and previous grant winner project titles.

Proposals for mini-grant projects can include, but are not limited to, requests to fund:

  • ​​​​​​the cost of equipment and/or technology to use in classroom instruction
  • a training or workshop session for part-time faculty
  • an outside speaker to come lead a workshop on active learning
  • the costs for teaching students on a discipline-specific field test
  • the cost of conducting a retreat for faculty and staff focused on teaching and/or learning
  • funds to improve the assessment portion of department or unit's website
  • the cost for conducting focus groups with alumni on the attainment of educational objectives
  • the use of the ROAD system (Repository of Assessment Documents) for program-level assessment

In some cases, recipients may desire to begin purchases prior to July 1, 2020. The Institute for Teaching and Learning will review requests for early starts on the FY21 (July 1, 2020 through July 31, 2021) mini-grants on a case-by-case basis. Please clearly indicate on your application the need or rationale for the earlier start. An FY20 funding request will not impact consideration; however, FY20 funding may not be guaranteed.