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Innovations in Teaching and Student Engagement Award


The College of Humanities and Sciences’ Innovations in Teaching and Student Engagement Awards program offers and administers competitive funding for teams of faculty and staff to systematically address student engagement and retention in the CHS. The CHS has a strong commitment to teaching and learning and to fostering equity in educational outcomes. Thus, the CHS seeks to build on this commitment by promoting the scholarship of teaching and learning and by providing opportunities for teams of faculty and staff to pilot or expand evidence-based programs. Preference will be given to proposals that focus on solving pressing racial equity issues around academic success. Topics may include, but are not limited to, summer bridge programs, culturally-informed mentoring programs for underrepresented minority and other underserved students, and curricular refinement and development, implementation and evaluation. Proposals that address potential changes brought by the pandemic are welcome.

Award Information

The total available funding is $100,000, with individual awards of up to $20,000. Teams must include at least two individuals who may be from the same or different departments. Given the uncertainty around COVID and the expected scope of the proposed projects, the award period will be for two years. Start date is flexible and may depend upon the goals of the project. All teams with successful proposals will be expected to present their work in a future college symposium.

Proposal Details

Proposals should clearly describe the scope of the work to be completed, the number and disciplines of students who will be impacted, and a clear timeline for meeting project objectives. Projects must have an evaluation component in order to determine the effectiveness of the proposed strategies. Proposals that include a description of how the projects could be sustained once funding ends will be viewed favorably.

Proposals may be up to three single-spaced pages, and must include the name, pertinent expertise and role of each team member. The proposal should describe the project activities, objectives and how they will be measured, and timeline. CVs/résumés should be included but may be brief and no specific format is required. In addition, please submit a proposed budget justification document of no longer than one page. This document should list each area of spending and the total amount.

Font should be Arial, at a size of 11 or larger. Margins, in all directions, must be at least 1”. The entire package should be uploaded as one PDF file.


All full-time CHS employees are eligible. Affinity groups may apply, but must specify individuals responsible for the proposed project. Preference will be given to proposals with teams that include a mix of tenure-track faculty, term faculty and staff. We encourage applications from faculty and staff in underrepresented groups.

2021 Award Recipients

  • Ching-Yu Huang, Biology, and Ellen Carpenter, Psychology - One Stone, Two Birds: A Course-Based UTA-Student Mentoring Program for Student Engagement and Retention in Larger STEM Lectures
  • James Fritz and Donald Smith, Philosophy - VCU Summer Camp in Philosophy
  • Bernard Means, World Studies - Digitization and Replication of Pathological Osteological Specimens for Virtual Museum and Physical Teaching Collections