Class of '57 Teaching Development Travel Grants

Overview

Teaching Development Travel Grants provide support for faculty to participate in a conference or workshop that focuses on pedagogy, assessment of student learning, or curriculum design. The primary intent of the grants is to enable WPI faculty to learn from national teaching experts and to apply what they learn to their teaching practice. Faculty may also apply for support to present their own papers or workshops at teaching conferences. Grant conditions are designed to ensure that what is learned by grant recipients is also disseminated more broadly at WPI. The grants are made possible by the generosity of the Class of 1957 through its Excellence in Teaching Fund.

Eligibility

All full-time faculty are eligible to apply, both tenure-track and non-tenure track. In general, no individual may receive more than one travel grant in one year, and for proposals of equal merit, preference will be given to faculty members who have not received funding previously.

Available Funds

Grants up to $1,500 will be available, with award amount depending on the number and quality of applications, along with available funds. Normally two to four grants may be awarded each year, depending on the amount of the grants and other uses of the Class of '57 Excellence in Teaching Fund. Funds can applied toward transportation, housing, and registration fees. Any additional funds that are necessary should be provided by the recipient's department or Professional Development Account.

Grant Obligations

A one page trip report- summarizing what was learned, most important insights, and planned actions- must be submitted simultaneously with the expense report for reimbursement. The trip report must also include a proposed date for a public presentation. Within 6 months recipients must give a presentation to their department or to the broader community, as appropriate, to disseminate what was learned at the conference or workshop and how they are making use of it in their teaching. Grant recipients who do not follow through on this obligation are not likely to receive future funding from the Educational Development Council.

Application Process

Applications will be considered by the Educational Development Council on a rolling basis beginning on the first day of A-term and concluding in D-term. Grants will be awarded to strong applications as long as funds remain available. Therefore, applications should be submitted as early as possible in the academic year in order to have the best chance of funding.

Applications should be submitted electronically to morgan-center@wpi.edu and must include the following information:

  1. Name, title/rank, department, years of service at WPI
  2. Description of the conference or workshop:
    1. Name, location, dates, website if available
    2. Sufficient information about the program to allow a clear understanding of its value for development of teaching. The conference or workshop should be dedicated to, or devote a significant portion of the program to, university-level teaching and learning. For example, a single education session at a disciplinary conference would not normally be expected to provide sufficient value.
    3. Evidence of the quality of the conference or workshop (e.g., recommendation of colleagues or previous participants). On what basis do you expect that it will be a high quality learning opportunity?
  3. Explanation as to how participation will benefit your teaching and student learning. Be specific about which courses, projects, or curriculum development initiatives will be influenced and how students will be affected.
  4. Budget estimate
  5. Dissemination plan (see Grant Obligations above)

Applications that do not contain all five of these elements will not be considered.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by members of the Educational Development Council (four faculty, one undergraduate student) using the following criteria:

  1. To what extent is the proposed activity likely to lead to specific changes in pedagogy or curriculum that will benefit student learning?
  2. What are the prospects for benefits to extend beyond the applicant and contribute more broadly to teaching and learning , in the applicant's department or at WPI more broadly?

Questions about the Class of '57 Teaching Development Travel Grants can be directed to Chrys Demetry, Director of the Morgan Teaching and Learning Center (x5195) or to other members of the Educational Development Council in 2010-11: David DiBiasio (CHE), Scott Jiusto (IGSD), Jill Rulfs (BB), and Melissa Castle '11.

 
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