Innovations in Education and Teaching Pilot Grants

SUMMARY

The Chancellors and Executive/Senior Vice Chancellors for Academic Affairs and Research at Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences are pleased to announce Innovations in Education and Teaching Pilot Grants 2020-2021. These grants will support novel and creative instructional and learning projects to enhance Rutgers faculty opportunities to develop and share innovative strategies aimed at improving the effectiveness of remote and/or distance learning for students in all academic disciplines at Rutgers.

OVERVIEW AND PURPOSE

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rutgers has mobilized its academic instruction to varied remote forms of delivery. The Chancellors and Provosts of Rutgers–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) recognize that we also have a particular responsibility in New Jersey to continue to innovate and seek effective ways to deliver the highest quality education at the scale our mission implies. This is true across all areas of academic endeavors, from the humanities and social and behavioral sciences to the STEM fields to biomedical research and health professions, and the varied professional disciplines that are featured at Rutgers.

Remote teaching presents a number of pedagogical and technological challenges for faculty, including effective forms of support for course lectures, discussions, and learning experiences online; it also presents the potential for introduction of inequities into the educational experience. These challenges call for innovative, effective, and efficient solutions. We need to develop new approaches to engage and motivate students remotely through the use of information and communication technology. The study and evaluation of new instructional methods or new applications of these methods is a significant area of scholarship. The Innovations in Education and Teaching Pilot Grants will support novel and creative instructional and learning projects to enhance Rutgers faculty opportunities to develop and share innovative strategies aimed at remote and/or distance learning for students in all academic disciplines at Rutgers.

OPPORTUNITY

This opportunity is available for Rutgers faculty members to support: 1) development of early-stage ideas in instructional design or implementation; 2) novel tools to assess effectiveness in teaching assessment; or 3) collaborations to enhance remote instruction among or within the New Brunswick and RBHS Chancellor units. This applies to the education of all learners be it students (all levels), residents, and fellows. Particular emphasis is encouraged on using innovative remote or distance-learning information and mobile communications technologies (e.g., virtual reality; applications, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device) to enhance the educational experience for students. Some areas to consider are: course content and delivery, opportunities for assessment of effectiveness, student/trainee engagement and communication, and achievement of learning goals and course objectives. Successful projects will include early-stage ideas to transform learning in specific ways that can later be adopted by a wider audience and more mature ideas to enhance an existing curriculum.

Pilot grants will be considered that address one of the three general emphasis areas:

  1. Instructional design or implementation pilot
    Instructional design or implementation pilot awards are intended to provide seed funding for projects in areas such as development or implementation of novel curricula or new teaching methods or technologies. Funds up to $10,000 may be requested to develop ideas that may be subsequently used to apply for larger educational grants.

  2. Novel tools to assess effectiveness in teaching pilot
    Novel tools to assess effectiveness in teaching pilot awards are intended to provide seed funding for projects in areas such as assessment of new technologies for education delivery or innovative techniques to assess student/trainee learning. Funds up to $10,000 may be requested to develop ideas that may be subsequently used to apply for larger educational grants.

  3. Collaborative team-teaching pilot
    Collaborative pilot awards are intended to provide support for collaborative efforts to produce and/or assess innovative remote educational methods across two teams from distinct academic disciplines within a Chancellor’s Unit (NB or RBHS) or between distinct faculty across Rutgers–New Brunswick and RBHS. Funds up to $10,000 may be allocated per team, commensurate with the scope of the proposal.

The review panel, comprising a diverse group of experts from both Chancellor units, will select the most innovative and impactful projects. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the importance of the challenges the proposal responds to, the innovative character of the solution(s) proposed, the strength and academic background of the team, the coherence of the work plan, the likelihood of identified future extramural funding, and the overall impact of the project on student learning outcomes at Rutgers.

It is expected that the proposed project shall be completed within a calendar year from the date of award and that the award will normally lead to the submission of an extramural application for funding within 18 months of the award. Additionally, faculty should be prepared to present their preliminary work approximately 6 months from the time of the award in the context of a Rutgers-sponsored education forum or workshop.

APPLICATION AND ELIGIBILITY

The principal investigator (PI) must be a full-time faculty at Rutgers regardless of career stage and hold a doctoral degree (or equivalent). The application involves a narrative of no more than 5 pages (Arial font 11, single-spaced, 1-inch margins) covering sections 1-9 below, plus a biosketch or abbreviated CV for each lead team member (see section 10 below).

  1. Project title
  2. Team (PI, any Co-PIs with department, school affiliation, identify NB or RBHS)
  3. Abstract (100 words max)
  4. Five (5) keywords that may include up to three (3) words from the title
  5. Project Objectives/Goals (provide the motivation or unmet need/challenge being addressed)
  6. Project Workplan (also describe the innovative component of method/assessment)
  7. Envisioned outcomes and impacts, and any assessment if applicable
  8. Plans and prospective sources for external funding to extend the proposed project
  9. Budget (simple tabular breakdown of major categories) and budget justification
  10. A biosketch or abbreviated CV for each lead team member (5-pages max per member; format is flexible—can be NIH or NSF format or any other format of choice; teaching and research accomplishments should both be included)

All sections should be combined into one PDF file saved as PI’s LASTNAME.pdf and uploaded through the Innovations in Education and Teaching Pilot Grants Submission Form.

BUDGET

All programmatic costs must be justified. Grant funds may be used for the following:

  • Specialized software, equipment, and project-related materials up to $5,000
  • Limited compensation for efforts of students, staff, or consultants
  • For Rutgers–New Brunswick, limited salary support of non-tenure track faculty performing work outside their normal scope of duties
  • Note: RBHS faculty salaries and Rutgers–New Brunswick summer salary for tenured or tenure-track faculty cannot be included.

APPLICATION AND AWARD TIMELINES

RFP Shared with Campuses: Friday, May 29, 2020

Application Due Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Award Notification: Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Earliest Project Inception Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

 

Innovations in Education and Teaching Pilot Grants Submission Form

 

For further queries, please write to nbprovost@rutgers.edu.