R&I Grant Request for Proposals

The Ohio State University Institute for Teaching and Learning (UITL) is requesting proposals for projects that advance implementation and/or research of instructional best practices in OSU courses and make contributions to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) [1] or Discipline-based Education Research (DBER) [2].

Note that the activities and products accrued from winning and complete an UITL Research and Implementation grant project may also be used as a pathway for completion of Instructional Redesign: the 3rdcomponent of the UITL Teaching Support Program.



  1. All OSU faculty and associated faculty including tenured, tenure track, clinical, adjunct, and lecturers who are ≥ 75% appointment and regularly teaching at OSU main or regional campuses are eligible. 
  2. Only applicants that have completed the Component 1 (Teaching Practices Inventory survey) and Component 2 (Teaching@Ohio State online course and Reading List Reflection) of the UITL Teaching Support Program are eligible for a UITL grant.
  3. Graduate and undergraduate students are not eligible to apply.

Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m., Sunday, March 1, 2020



There are two grant categories under which a proposal may be submitted.

  1. Implementation: Projects in this category must implement and assess research-based instructional methods and materials to undergraduate students. Explicit references to research-based sources are required.
    1. Some portion of the project may be devoted to the discovery and collection of methods and materials. 
    2. The project must include a plan for the assessment of student learning using best practices. The project may have as the primary focus the assessment of learning, e,g., via pre- and post-testing using valid and reliable measures and/or trustworthy qualitative methods. 
    3. There is no restriction on the type of university course for the implementation, but the level of impact on learning, number of students, retention, and program success will be considered.
  2. Research: Projects in this category will conduct investigations in student learning and/or instructional best practices, using quantitative and/or qualitative research methods.
    1. The project may be aimed at advancing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) for specific courses or topics. Work that aims to produce publications and conference presentations, in addition to improving instructional practice, is encouraged.
    2. The project may be aimed at contributing to education research in a particular field (i.e. discipline-based education research.) Work that aims to produce publications and conference presentations is expected.
    3. Some awards will be reserved for projects that produce a proposal submitted to external funding sources for more extensive implementation, SOTL, or education research projects.
    4. The learning domains must be directly relevant to teaching or learning in university level courses, and the level of impact (e.g., potential populations affected, educational significance of work) will be considered.  


Grant Support Levels

There are two levels of funding for this program. The levels are aimed at guiding investigators through a process of continued improvement and impact.

Eligibility requirements for Levels 1-2 are as follows:

  • Level 1: None, beyond the general UITL R&I eligibility requirements (described above)
  • Level 2: The completion of a Level 1 grant OR significant previous experience in SOTL or DBER as evidenced by relevant publications or grants.

It is strongly recommended that PIs wishing to submit a level 2 grant proposal contact UITL to confirm their eligibility before submitting the proposal.

Note that Level 2 grant awardees may submit an application for a “renewal” for additional funding for a given project up to two times. Such applications must still compete with all other applications in the pool.

Level 1: up to $2,500

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Criteria: 
    • Implementation or Research category. 
    • Clearly articulated teaching and learning question that will be addressed using appropriate research methods
  • Required outcomes: 
    • Meeting with a UITL-assigned advisor at least 1 at least 3 times spread out over at least 2 semesters. 
    • A written two-page report including description of implementation, sound evidence of student learning, and budget expenditures.
    • Participation in annual OSU conference relevant to teaching and learning, such as the OSU Teaching Academy Annual Conference, OSU Innovate Conference or equivalent relevant OSU event.

Level 2: up to $7,500.

  • Duration: 
    • 1-2 years
    • Maybe be repeated for funding two additional times
  • Criteria: 
    • Implementation or Research category. 
    • Completion of one of more of the following
      • Completion of Level 1 outcomes (for first-time awards)
      • Evidence of previous SOTL or DBER work: publications or grants
      • Completion of Level 2 outcomes (for 2ndor 3rd–time awards)
    • Evidence that continued funding of implementation or research will make significant contribution to classroom practice or to the field.
  • Required outcomes:
    • Meeting with a UITL-assigned advisor at least 1 at least 3 times spread out over at least 2 semesters.
    • A written two-page report including description of the implementation or research, sound evidence of student learning and other relevant outcomes, and budget expenditures.
    • Participation in annual OSU conference relevant to teaching and learning, such as the OSU Teaching Academy Annual Conference, OSU Innovate Conference or equivalent relevant OSU event.
    • Public presentation at regional/national/international conference
    • Evidence that work has either a) made a significant and lasting contribution to the department or OSU effective teaching practices or b) made a significant contribution to the field and has added to the relevant literature. 
    • For renewed projects: Published article or other innovative ways of disseminating the work beyond the OSU community
    • For projects aimed at external funding: a submitted proposal for external funding. Submissions to major funding agencies is encouraged. 


Institutional Review Board (IRB) Requirement

Because of the nature of these projects and the requirements for reporting, all awardees will be required to obtain IRB approval and training for the project. This requirement may be met after award notification, but no funds will be awarded until the IRB application is approved. The UITL recognizes that this may be a new and unfamiliar process for some proposers, and to mitigate this issue, the UITL will assist awardees through the IRB application process. 


Matching Funds

Proposers are encouraged to obtain partial or full matching funds from the department (or college, as appropriate, for regional campuses). This may be direct funds or in-kind support, such as course release. This match is not required but will increase the competitiveness of the proposal.


Proposal Submission

  • The proposal is to be submitted electronically online, and will follow the format in the Checklist shown in a section below.
  • A letter of support from the department chair (or dean, as appropriate, for regional campuses) is required, using provided template. 
  • A budget form including costs and brief justification is required. Award may be used for reasonable expenditures to achieve project goals, including, for example, undergraduate student help, GRA, course release, conference travel, consulting, materials, and equipment. The UTIL R&I program does not fund indirect or overhead costs. 
  • Submission deadlines: 11:59 p.m., Sunday, March 1, 2020.

Support in the Proposal Process

It is recommended that the PI/team meet with a UITL representative before submission in order to provide guidance. For interested PI’s that have relatively little experience with SOTL or DBER, more extensive support may also be arranged.

Checklist: Required Components of the UITL R&I Grant Proposal

Note: All documents below must be submitted online as a single pdf file.

  1. Cover page (use R&I Grant Cover Page Template):
    1. Name(s), title, department(s).
    2. Grant category (Implementation or Research) and funding level proposed (1,2,3).
    3. Course(s) that are the subject of the project, typical enrollments, role of course in major program(s). Indicate number of times applicant(s) taught the course in last 3-5 years, expected number in next 3-5 years.
    4. Teaching schedule of investigator(s): past year, current year.
  2. Project title and abstract page:
    1. Project title
    2. Project abstract: 300 words or less
  3. Project description: (single spaced, 12 pt font, no less than 1 inch margins):
    1. Level 1: No more than 2 pages, references can be on separate page.
    2. Level 2: No more than 3 pages, references can be on separate page.
    3. Project description should include:
      1. Purpose, rationale and specific objectives for project.
      2. Research and/or implementation design, plan, and timeline.
      3. Research-based instructional materials and methods to be used, including citations to research. If the proposal will spend time searching for materials, this process must be described. 
      4. A description of the measurable impact on students (e.g., learning, retention etc)
      5. Assessment methods and materials to be used. If the assessments are not research-based, then a process for verifying the validity and reliability must be described. 
      6. Description of how this project will contribute to student learning at OSU at the course, program or institutional level, both during and after UITL funding of the project.
      7. Describe how your findings and efforts will be disseminated within the department, university and (especially for research projects) beyond the university. 
  4. Plan for Advisor support (use R&I Grant Advisor Plan Template). The application should provide a brief plan for the role and activities of a required external advisor for the project. The UITL provides separate support for an external advisor employed at OSU. The advisor must have relevant and significant expertise that will add value to the project. The project team should meet with the advisor at least 3 times during the project. The applicant can suggest an external advisor, who must be in a different unit/department or can be external to OSU. The UITL may also select an appropriate advisor for the project if one is not suggested or if it is determined that another advisor is more suitable for the project. Advisors that are not OSU employees will not receive support from UITL. 
  5. Budget and short budget narrative pages (use R&I Grant Budget Template) including columns for UITL funds and matching funds, and totals. “Overhead” or F&A costs are not supported by this program. Besides this, there are no explicit restrictions per se for use of funds, but all expenditures must justifiably achieve the project goals. For example, funds may be used to support personnel (faculty, graduate or undergraduate students) or equipment, but a clear (and brief) explanation for such expenditures and how it will help to achieve the project goals is required.
  6. Letter(s) of support from chair, and others, if relevant (use R&I Grant Letter of Support Template)
  7. Short CV(s) of proposal member(s) (maximum of 4 pages per member)
  8. SOTL, DBER Products (use SOTL BDER Portfolio Template). This is required only for PIs wishing to apply for a Level 2 grant without first completing a Level 1 grant.

Go to Application



[1] Felten, P. (2013). Principles of good practice in SoTL. Teaching and Learning Inquiry,1(1), 121-125.

[2] National Research Council. 2012. Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/13362.