Download the Application Form (.docx)

Based on the success of the Pro40+ Initiative, the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) is now calling for proposals for the Teaching in the Professions (TIP) Grants Program. The TIP program is designed for faculty members who teach in one of UNC-Chapel Hill’s twelve professional schools and who want to make significant changes to courses or course sections using active learning methods which are known to improve student engagement and learning outcomes. The course(s) can enroll graduate or undergraduate students and can be residential, hybrid, or fully online. Recipients are expected to pilot their redesigned courses during 2016 Fall Semester and/or 2017 Spring Semester.

  1. Program Description
  2. Applicant Eligibility
  3. Recipient Responsibilities
  4. Timeline
  5. Developing Your Proposal
  6. Selection Process
  7. CFE Program Contacts

1. Program Description

The Teaching in the Professions (TIP) Grants Program provides a stipend of up to $6,000 for faculty in the professional schools to (1) make significant changes to an existing “large” course (or develop a new “large” course) centered around active learning methods designed to enhance student engagement and learning outcomes; (2) conduct assessments on the effects of their changes/approaches; and (3) participate in a year-long Faculty Learning Community with the cohort of Teaching in the Professions Grant recipients.

2. Applicant Eligibility

Full-time faculty members (tenure-track or fixed-term) in any of the following schools are eligible to apply:

Faculty members must be listed as the instructor of record for the course or course section being redesigned. In courses involving teams of faculty (e.g., each teaching independent sections under identical course numbers; one teaching in the classroom and one teaching in a lab), one faculty member should be listed as the primary point of contact for proposal- and grant-related communication.

“Large” courses in UNC-Chapel Hill’s professional schools generally enroll 40 or more students; however, faculty members who teach courses which are among the largest-enrollment courses (but with fewer than 40 students) in their school or department would be eligible for a TIP Grant. The course may be taught to graduate or undergraduate students and can be residential, hybrid/blended, or fully online.

3. Recipient Responsibilities

3.1 Course Redesign

TIP Grant recipients are expected to implement the course changes outlined in their proposals, along with any modifications suggested by the review committee, and teach their modified courses in Fall 2016 and/or Spring 2017.

3.2 Learning Community Participation

TIP Grant recipients become part of a faculty learning community that meets once a month beginning in Spring Semester 2016 and continuing throughout the 2016-2017 academic year. The learning community provides periodic opportunities to explore areas of shared interest, exchange ideas across disciplines, and solve shared challenges together with peers. The learning community is co-facilitated by CFE staff members and a faculty member who has already redesigned a course using interactive teaching approaches or learning activities.

3.3 Project Assessment

Assessing the impact of the proposed redesign on student performance and student and faculty attitudes is an important aspect of this program. Assessment activities will occur throughout the redesign pilot and will be planned and executed with the full support of the CFE. In the past, CFE staff have worked closely with individuals who are responsible for course assessment and based in the professional schools. If you plan to budget for assessment support within your academic unit, please check with a CFE program contact first about determining appropriate roles. Where feasible, project participants will adopt a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) approach [example] to produce findings that can be shared with other educators.

3.4 Final Report

All grant recipients will be expected to work with the CFE to produce a final report on their redesign projects. CFE staff will work with each project leader to determine the appropriate format and submission schedule for the reports.

4. Timeline

  • December 1, 2015 through February 25, 2016: Meet with CFE staff to develop a proposal
  • February 29, 2016: Applications due by 5:00pm (ET)
  • March 2016: Award recipients announced
  • July 2016: Funds released (*special cases for earlier funding may be considered)
  • April 2016: TIP Grant Program Kickoff
  • March 2016 through December 2016: Course development
  • April 2016 through April 2017: Faculty Learning Community meetings
  • August 2016 through May 2017: Course delivery (with assessment)
  • June 2017: Course redesign reports due, including assessment results

5. Developing Your Proposal

Proposals should include:

5.1 Completed Application | Download the Application Form (.docx)

The application includes information about the current state of your course and your proposed changes, as well as a proposed budget and use of funds.

Successful applications have clear plans for how faculty applicants will redesign their courses to meet students’ learning goals. Although the list is not exhaustive, the following are examples of instructional methods that have been adopted by faculty members to redesign their courses.

To provide students with information on their understanding of course materials, faculty have:

  • Implemented a classroom response system
  • Used formative assessments to gauge student understanding of important course concepts, including low-stakes assessments (e.g. online quizzes, practice problem sets)

To facilitate group work, faculty have:

  • Used a tablet or smartphone to control the podium in order to move more freely throughout the classroom
  • Implemented peer assessments for written assignments
  • To model how those in a given profession solve problems, faculty have:

  • Used simulations or unfolding case studies that help students use what they are learning for their practice
  • Reallocated course materials and shifted some “content delivery” to an out-of-class format in order to make time for higher-order learning activities to occur during class (i.e.,“flipping” the classroom)
  • To learn more about interactive methods and the experiences of Carolina faculty members using them, browse the list of resources available to faculty members through the CFE 100+ Initiative.

    5.2 Budget and Use of Funds

    The budget is included in the completed application.

    Funds provided through this program are intended to be used for planning and developing the proposed components of the course redesign. Funds requested to support the implementation of the redesigned course are appropriate, as long as a continuing source of funding for those items is not required after the pilot implementation. In other words, the Center cannot fund redesign components that are not sustainable.

    Applicants can request up to $6,000 total, of which no more than 70% ($4200) may be taken as supplemental salary. Funds taken as salary are intended to support activities that go above and beyond the time that the faculty member would normally spend to teach the course in its usual format.

    NOTE: All funds taken as personal salary are subject to taxes and may also be subject to F&A withholding by the faculty member’s home department.

    Examples of appropriate expenditures other than personal salary include:

    • Salary for other team members (e.g., graduate student support)
    • Instructional technologies and computing devices
    • Course supplies
    • Webinars or publications on course redesign

    The application should explain why each budget item is necessary to plan, implement, or evaluate the redesigned course. The proposal evaluation committee may seek clarification from applicants on requested budget items. Grant funds may not be used to support travel. Grants awarded through this program can be used to supplement a project that is also being funded through other internal or external sources; in fact, the Center welcomes cost-sharing arrangements. These arrangements can be discussed when applicants consult with a CFE staff member.

    When developing your proposal budget, consider campus resources available to you at no cost. For example, you may be able to leverage support for instructional design and instructional technology through the CFE or another pan-University unit. Assistance may also be available through your own school’s support units.

    5.3. Application Procedure

    Proposals must be submitted no later than 5:00 pm (ET) on Monday, February 29, 2016. You can download the application form to your computer at any time and edit it up until the deadline.

    When you are ready to submit your proposal, please send an electronic version with your Chair or Dean’s electronic signature sent as an attachment in an email message to cfe@unc.edu.

    IMPORTANT: Before submitting a proposal, CFE staff members are available by appointment to offer individual guidance and feedback on proposal ideas and drafts.

    6. Selection Process

    Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of CFE staff members and faculty members who have previous experience redesigning their courses. The merit of proposals will be considered on the following criteria:

    • Articulation of a rationale and plans for improving student learning via the proposed activities
    • Scope of the proposed redesign
    • Project’s significance within a course/curriculum
    • Sustainability of the redesigned course in subsequent semesters without additional funds
    • Number of students likely to benefit from the redesigned course/approaches
    • Feasibility of proposal implementation within the stated timeframe

    Funded proposals will be announced in mid-March 2016.

    7. CFE Program Contacts

    CFE staff members associated with the TIP Grants Program are available to speak with you about your ideas for proposals and to answer any questions you may have.

    Funding for this program is provided by the Center for Faculty Excellence. Planning and support for the TIP Grants Program is provided by the Center for Faculty Excellence and ITS-Teaching and Learning.