Instructions and Guidelines for CTL Course Activity Grants

The Claremont Colleges Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers grants to support course (re)development and enhancement. These grants may be used for things such as, but not limited to, supplies or equipment, faculty summer salary, support from Claremont Colleges librarians, support for student assistants, and conference travel and registration fees.

Priority will be given to requests for projects that

  1. Have a high likelihood of resulting in demonstrably enhanced learning outcomes for students and/or faculty,
  2. Have a high likelihood of resulting in greater inclusivity in the classroom, broader participation within a particular area of study, or more equitable learning outcomes for students,
  3. Result in generalized learning that can be shared with other instructors,
  4. Enable the grantee to do something that they would not be able to do otherwise,
  5. Enable durable, sustainable improvements after the conclusion of the grant period,
  6. Leverage existing infrastructure at the Claremont Colleges (e.g. existing centers such as the Hive or IFC, expertise of colleagues, resources available through the Claremont Colleges Libraries, or CTL events and programs),
  7. Build on current evidence-based teaching practices in the grantee’s discipline,
  8. Meet needs that cannot be met through other sources of funding.

All faculty and instructional staff at all seven Claremont Colleges are eligible to apply for these funds. Part-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and postdoctoral scholars are also eligible. The CTL will prioritize awarding grants to faculty who have previously not received funding from the CTL. Previous CTL grantees will be more successful if they can demonstrate how the new proposed work is different from or builds on previously awarded projects. The CTL will also attempt to distribute funds equitably across institutions and disciplines and to create a diverse and broadly representative set of grantees.

Examples of projects that could be good candidates for CTL funding:

  • Money to support a faculty member and Claremont Colleges librarian to work over the summer to replace expensive textbooks and course materials with open-source or low-cost alternatives.
  • Money to support a faculty member and a student to work over the summer to redesign a course to involve project-based learning.
  • Money to support preliminary “action research” on some teaching-related question that could set the stage for a larger scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)/discipline-based education research (DBER) project.
  • Funding for a faculty member to attend a conference to learn a new instructional strategy, implement it in a course, and share their experiences with others at the Claremont Colleges.

Application Instructions

Before applying, please consider whether there are other sources of funding that may be more appropriate to support your course enhancement ideas. Here are some sources to consider:

  • Your academic dean and/or department chair may have resources to support course enhancements, especially if they are specific to a new initiative at your campus.
  • (5C only) The Hive offers course activity grants for projects that infuse creative collaboration and active learning into courses
    https://creativity.claremont.edu/category/course-grants/
  • (5C only) IDAAS (Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies)
    http://idaas.pomona.edu/programs/events/request-funding/
  • (5C only) EnviroLab Asia offers a variety of funding for faculty:
    http://envirolabasia.claremont.edu/resources/opportunities/
  • The IFC (Intercollegiate Feminist Center) offers funding for feminist and gender studies-related events:
    http://colleges.claremont.edu/ifc/resources/funding
  • Your institution’s IT department may have funds to support the purchase of teaching-related software and hardware. Since these kinds of expenditures are usually ongoing (e.g. annual license fees, equipment maintenance), they may be more appropriate for your IT department rather than the CTL.
  • Your disciplinary organizations or professional societies may also offer course enhancement grants.

Components of a complete application:

  1. A completed cover sheet form: http://bit.ly/ctlgrant
  2. A proposal narrative that
    • Describes in detail the activities that are being proposed, explains why the activities would be helpful, and when the activities would take place
    • Explains and justifies the funds that are being requested
    • Addresses as many of the eight priorities listed above as possible
  3. Vitae for each grantee involved in the project

The proposal narrative and vitae files (PDF preferred) should be emailed to ctl-apply@claremont.edu.  There is no length requirement for the proposal narrative—strive for clarity with concision. Supplemental documents may be included as necessary. References to studies and published research are excellent ways to build evidence in support of priorities #1, #2, and #6 above. (A curated collection of research relating to equity and diversity in higher education is available here.)

Notes on allowable expenditures and total budget for your grant proposal:

  • Because these grant funds are made possible by a generous gift from the Mellon Foundation, there are some restrictions on the kinds of expenditures that can be requested. CTL Course Activity Grants cannot be used for food, entertainment, or course buy-outs.
  • Any salary requested should be justified by an explanation of the amount of work that will be required. For example, two weeks of a person’s base salary could be justified by an explanation of why the work would take 70 hours of effort (35 hours a week). You may include the appropriate fringe benefit rates for your school, but indirect cost recovery should not be included.
  • Don’t forget to include sales tax, when it is appropriate.
  • The CTL has about $30,000 annually available for these grants. The goal is to award roughly six grants a year with an average amount of $5,000 per grant.

CTL grants are reviewed and awarded twice a year:

  • Winter 2018: Applications due Mar 16  (and in subsequent years, due on Jan 15)
  • Summer 2018: Application due August 31

Applications will be reviewed by CTL staff and Advisory Board with a goal of funding notifications to be made within six weeks. Funds cannot be used for expenditures that take place prior to successful grant notification. The CTL will work with successful grantees to find appropriate mechanisms through which their work can be shared with the rest of the Claremont Community.

Questions about course activity grants? Please send an email to ctl@claremont.edu or speak to any CTL staff or Advisory Board member (https://teaching.claremont.edu/who-we-are/).