Fearless Teaching - Research Seed Grant

The Teaching and Learning Transformation Center’s (TLTC) mission is to support effective, engaging, efficient, and equitable teaching across campus to promote positive student outcomes. Guided by the TLTC’s Fearless Teaching Framework, we engage in rigorous education research projects designed to understand ways to improve teaching and learning at the University of Maryland, College Park.

The Fearless Teaching Research Seed Grant is an opportunity for instructors on campus to provide funding for a research project related to teaching and/or learning at the University of Maryland. Our goal for these grants is to provide money to enable ongoing research or new research projects that can inform improved teaching practice at Maryland, and can provide seed funding to support potential future external funding. We are interested in empirical projects that incorporate data from instructors, students, staff, and/or administrators. Preference will be given to projects focused on undergraduate teaching and learning, though we will consider projects on the graduate level as well. Projects should be aligned with at least one dimension of the TLTC’s Fearless Teaching Framework. Some examples of appropriate topics include, but are not limited to:

  • An evaluation of an innovative practice such as the incorporation of a blended learning resource, flipped course design, or active learning strategy designed to promote learning in a particular course
  • An exploration of what instructors can do to reduce achievement gaps at Maryland (as defined by grades, time to degree, retention, or other relevant metrics)
  • An assessment of professional development practices designed to improve teaching
  • A study designed to explore how online courses can be structured to promote student engagement and collaboration

Proposals related to innovative teaching practices designed to support diversity and inclusion, to intentionally retain and advance under-represented minority students, and/or to assess the Fearless Teaching Framework in non-traditional settings (e.g., blended or online classes) are encouraged and will be given special consideration.

Funding: Applicants can request up to $5,000 for research projects. These funds can be used towards staffing, teaching resources, participant incentives, food, travel, conference fees, transcriptions, and supplies directly related to the research project. All budgets are subject to line-item approval by the TLTC.

In general, TLTC funds will not be used for materials or projects which are more appropriately supported by other University budgets (e.g., departmental budgets). Large equipment purchases and technology devices (e.g., laptops, cell phones, tablets) generally are not approved expenses. Grant funds may not be used to pay UMD students for work if the student will also receive academic credit. Funds also may not be used to cover salary, course buyouts, or consulting fees for faculty or other instructors.

We expect to award multiple grants.

Eligibility: All full-time instructors, faculty, and staff at the University of Maryland are eligible to apply as individuals, or in teams. Preference will go to those who have not yet received TLTC funding.

Expectations: All selected applicants will be required to meet for monthly group meetings with Dr. Alice Donlan, Director of Research in the TLTC, to discuss their progress on the project. Selected applicants will also be required to present their findings through a conference poster or presentation (e.g., Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching, UMD’s Innovations in Teaching and Learning conference, or a disciplinary conference), and provide a written report of their work that can be shared on the TLTC website.

Criteria for Selection: Grants will be awarded to projects that will benefit teaching and learning at the University of Maryland. The study’s basis in rigorous prior research, feasibility, and potential for publication will be taken into consideration. 

View Application

Click here to read about past grant recipients and projects