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Ignite Grants

Ignite logo showing a figure lighting a gas lantern while standing on books

Ignite Grants for Faculty Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Thanks to some generous gifts to support innovation in teaching and learning, the Office of the Provost is pleased to announce a campus-wide program called Ignite Grants for Faculty Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

Ignite Grants will support new ideas and approaches for course, curriculum, and program development that make an innovative contribution to UP’s teaching and learning future. Proposals will also complement Vision 2020 and supports deans’ strategies and priorities.

These grants, up to $5,000, are designed to encourage faculty to explore new ideas that have the potential to reshape the classroom experience and to create new opportunities to tie curriculum to real-world experiences in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Ideas that test student imagination and creative problem solving skills in their respective disciplines are especially encouraged. Proposals that strengthen collaboration with other areas of campus are also of interest. Ideas are encouraged from all corners of campus.


  1. Advance pedagogy and promote faculty collaboration
  2. Foster innovative ideas that can be scaled and/or be competitive for external funding
  3. Transform the learning experience for all students

Budget Guidelines:

The Office of the Provost will award approximately 4-5 grants per semester with the goal that this funding will be sustained on an annual basis. Faculty can use funding in various ways including to purchase equipment and supplies that support an idea, to support a student researcher, to convene groups that advance project goals, to travel to a new conference that supports the learning process within the project, to hire evaluation expertise, and as a stipend for summer work. 

Selection Process and Review Criteria:

A review committee comprised of University leaders and faculty will review the proposals and make recommendations for funding support to the Office of the Provost. The Ignite Grants program aims to shape all ideas into funding-ready projects, so if faculty don’t move forward in one round they are encouraged and supported to build a stronger proposal for the next round. Selected projects will be posted publicly on the Teaching and Learning Hub.

Evaluation criteria the proposal review committee will use to guide their recommendations includes:

  1. Strategic Fit: How does the project tie to both the University strategic plan and school/college strategy as expressed by the dean?
  2. Innovation: How does this project provide an innovative experimental contribution to UP’s teaching and learning future?
  3. Evaluation: What methods will be used to evaluate progress in the project and impact on students? What can the University learn from this project?
  4. Impact: What are the expected outcomes and impact as they pertain to the goals of the grant program (transform student learning, advance pedagogy, foster innovation in coursework, discipline, or school)?

The review committee will consider two additional criteria in the proposal evaluation with the understanding that they may not be applicable for all ideas.

  1. Access: How does the project enhance access to learning for students who have a variety of backgrounds, learning styles and abilities?
  2. Sustainability: How will the project continue to make progress following the end of the grant? Is additional funding needed? Are external sources of funding identified?

Possible Projects (sample ideas):

  • Testing innovative uses of technology and social media in lecture, student projects and out of class experiences to enhance learning and retention, hands-on engagement, and student creativity
  • Engaging graduate and/or undergraduate students in the application of research to exploratory prototype/product/systems development
  • Developing instructional methods, tools, and assignments that contextualize learning in community and global situations
  • Exploring new approaches for assessing the quality of student learning in a program or major.
  • Attending a new conference or workshop to learn about integration of technology in curriculum and student projects (e.g., digital humanities) and testing with students or other faculty
  • Integrating new approaches to critical and creative thinking (e.g., design thinking, empathy, prototyping) into classwork
  • Rethinking the use of space for hands-on learning to consider technology solutions and advancements that are cost effective and reduce the campus footprint


Any full-time faculty who have the support of their dean. Faculty are encouraged to collaborate with others in their department, school, co-curricular centers, and with other disciplines to create teams that will enhance learning and project impact. Additional team members do not have to be full-time. Equally, faculty are strongly encouraged to work with students on the planning and implementation of their project. 


Faculty are required to submit the following application components: project title and brief abstract, description of your innovative idea, key people involved, expected outcomes and impact, the method used to assess the project, thoughts for next steps should the project be successful, and a budget created from the template provided in the application. The description of the idea should include motivation, scope and goals for the project. If applicable, please outline needed campus resources (e.g., IS support, use of communal space) as well as the potential scalability of the project to other areas of campus. Faculty are encouraged to think creatively about the project deliverables (e.g., event, video, report, published paper), and all award recipients are required to share lessons learned, outcomes and impact of their project with the broader UP community.

Important Dates:

Grants are awarded twice yearly in the spring and fall. Awardees have a year from the grant start date to complete their project. The following dates are for the spring 2018 round.

  • February 7, Request for Proposals announced
  • March 30, Deadline for online proposal and budget submissions
  • April 1-20, Review committee providing feedback and comments on proposals to the Office of the Provost
  • Late April/Early May, Awards announced and disbursed

Please contact the Ignite Support Team,, to share your project idea and/or ask questions.

revised on: Feb 7, 2018