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The University Office for Teaching, Learning & Assessment (TLA) requests proposals for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Grant Program during the early fall of each academic year. The primary goal of the program is to provide funding support (up to $2,500) to any faculty or instructional staff member at DePaul University who pursue rigorous investigation on teaching and learning and make public their findings in suitable peer-reviewed outlets.
In January of 2014, the University Faculty Council endorsed the following definition of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:
“[SoTL is] the rigorous investigation of student learning, with the purpose of developing novel teaching methodologies and practices that can lead to the measurable enhancement of student learning. The results of the investigation are made public through quality scholarly outlets and widely-accepted conferences and general or discipline-specific journals.”
This definition makes it clear that SoTL in its own right aligns naturally with DePaul’s mission. In fact, one of the central purposes stated by DePaul University mission regards research broadly:
“Research is supported both for its intrinsic merit and for the practical benefits it offers to faculty, students, and society. Broadly conceived, research at the university entails not only the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge but also the creation and interpretation of artistic works, application of expertise to enduring societal issues, and development of methodologies that improve inquiry, teaching and professional practice.”
Moreover, the definition explicitly requires that any SoTL work lead to measurable improvement of student learning—not just students’ perceptions of learning. Because the focus is on student learning, the definition allows for research in any discipline and the use of a diverse array of methodologies. SoTL research, thus, may be quantitative or qualitative in nature and may focus on class, course, program, department, cross-department, and co-curricular levels. Finally, SoTL work is expected to be made public and peer reviewed in some way.
Deadlines and Submission
Proposals are due to the Office for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment by Thursday, September 15th, 2016 and should be submitted online (below). Award recipients will be notified by Thursday, October 6th, 2016. Selected recipients will need to submit a final report for the grant project to TLA by September 1st, 2017.
With the exception of TLA staff members and the SoTL grant reviewers, all faculty and staff with teaching/learning responsibilities at DePaul University are eligible to apply.
SoTL projects establishing new research that adds to the scholarship of teaching and learning will be eligible for funding. Accordingly, SoTL projects that aim to continue work already in progress or that aims at disseminating the results of prior research will not be eligible for funding.
Eligible expenses directly linked to the SoTL project may include:
- Materials and supplies.
- Stipends for student research assistants. Note, however, that funding may not be used to pay nor provide incentives to any faculty or staff member.
- Travel and registration fees for teaching seminars or workshops directly related to the research question being addressed in the project.
- Travel to promote collaboration on the project.
- Travel and registration fees to disseminate, in appropriatea conferences, the outcomes or final results of the research project.
- Publication cost of the outcomes or final results of the research project in quality scholarly outlets such as peer-reviewed general or discipline-specific journals.
- Participant incentives limited to 30% of the approved funding.
Research proposals will be peer reviewed by a selection committee which will include several members of the Society of Vincent DePaul Professors. Given the limited award money available, the review committee has the difficult task of approving funding for only a few of the best research proposals based upon whether or not the proposals align with definition of SoTL endorsed by the University Faculty Council, and then on the level at which the proposals meet the following SoTL criteria:
|Proposal clearly defines purpose of the project
|Proposal clearly identifies a teaching/learning issue
|Proposal makes a compelling argument for the need for systematic & rigorous investigation of the proposed research topic
|Proposal clearly identifies a measurable research question
|Proposal includes a clear description of relevant literature
|Proposal clearly describes how the project fits into or builds on existing literature
|The bibliography indicates sufficient familiarity with relevant literature to make a contribution to the field
|Proposal clearly describes the research design
|Proposal clearly explains how the research design is appropriate for the research question
|Proposal clearly describes the type of data that will be collected, how it will be collected, & how it will be analyzed
||Proposal indicates potential for significant impact on development of novel teaching methodologies and practices
|Dissemination of Results
||Proposal clearly identifies plans to share results of the project, both within DePaul &/or outside of DePaul in quality scholarly outlets
|Plan & Timeline
|Proposal clearly defines a project plan
|The project timeline clearly aligns with the project plan
||Proposal includes a detailed, itemized budget of how funds will be used, including external funds secured &/or matching funds from DePaul University (including in-kind contributions)
All SoTL funded proposals are expected to meet the requirements listed below. Failure to meet these requirements may result in ineligibility for future funding.
- Evidence of having applied for IRB approval or exemption.
- Evidence of IRB approval, when applicable, before any granted funding can be made available.
- A final narrative including a summary of palpable and reportable results of the funded SoTL project, and a final expense report must be submitted to the Office for Teaching, Learning & Assessment by September 1st, 2017. The report summary will be published on the TLA website.
- Presentation of the funded SoTL research project (in progress or completed) within DePaul or outside DePaul by June 30th, 2017. One possible avenue would be the DePaul University Annual Teaching and Learning Conference in spring quarter.
- Explicit recognition of this funding source in all presentations or publications of the project.
Submit Completed Proposal
For 2016-2017, the two SoTL grant recipients (PIs) were Molly Andolina (Political Science) and Antonieta S. Fitzpatrick (New Student and Family Engagement). Each of the two projects received funding for $2,500. Proposals were reviewed and selected by the Society of Vincent DePaul Professors SoTL committee. The following documentation is available for download:
For 2015-2016, the two SoTL grant recipients (PIs) were Mary Bridget Kustuschand (Physics) and Karen Larimer (Nursing). Each of the two projects received funding for $2,500. Proposals were reviewed and selected by the Society of Vincent DePaul Professors SoTL committee. The following documentation is available for download:
The 2014-15 SoTL grant recipients were Amanda Gaddam (LASS) and Scott Tharp (Student Affairs). Their two proposals (totalling $4,190) were selected by the Society of Vincent dePaul Professors, who reviewed a total of 11 submissions this year.
The following documentation is available for download: