Request for Proposals | University of Portland

Request for Proposals

The Ignite Grants for Faculty Innovation in Teaching and Learning support new ideas and fresh approaches for curriculum and co-curricular program development that make an innovative contribution to UP’s teaching and learning future.

These grants, up to $5,000, 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. The 2018-19 Ignite Grant round encouraged proposals from faculty that include students in idea generation, project planning and implementation. In addition to bringing student researchers into project work, faculty are also encouraged to consider collaboration with co-curricular students groups that could complement their innovative ideas. Ideas that are especially of interest are ones that 1) address current issues on and off campus as well as 2) topics that engage students as collaborators in the project development and implementation phases. Proposals that strengthen collaboration with other academic areas of campus are also of interest.

Selection Process and Review Criteria:

Early stage ideas that include needs assessment and planning are encouraged in addition to projects that are ready for implementation and scale. Please see the application links below for more information.

A review committee comprised of University leaders, faculty, staff, and students 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 are posted under Faculty Awards on the Teaching & Learning Hub.

The proposal review committee will use the following evaluation criteria to review proposals:

  1. Strategic Fit: How does the project tie to UP’s Vision 2020 strategic plan?
  2. Approach: How does this project provide a fresh approach to UP’s teaching and learning future?
  3. Assessment: How is success defined for the project and 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)?
  5. Dissemination: Are plans clearly outlined for dissemination of learning, internally and/or externally?
  6. Budget and Sustainability: Does the budget clearly tie to the activities outlined? If the project extends beyond the grant timeline are there specific ideas for follow-on funding?

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
  • 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 curriculum.
  • Rethinking the use of space to consider new solutions and advancements that are cost effective and reduce the campus footprint.


Any current, full-time faculty who have the support of their associate dean or department chair can apply. Faculty are encouraged to collaborate with students, staff, department and cross-campus colleagues, and co-curricular centers to create teams that will enhance learning and project impact. Additional team members do not have to be full-time.


Faculty are required to submit the following application components: project title and brief abstract, description of project 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. All proposals must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate associate dean or department chair.

Faculty can use funding in various ways including to purchase equipment and supplies that support an idea, 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, to support student researchers, and as a stipend for summer work.

If applicable, please outline and describe needed campus resources (e.g., IS support, use of communal space). Collaborating with IS and other key partners on the implementation of your project is strongly encouraged during the proposal phase. If the project is primarily focused on needs assessment and planning, please describe the potential implementation on campus.

Faculty are encouraged to think creatively about the project deliverables (e.g., event, video, report, published paper). All award recipients are required to share lessons learned, outcomes and impact of their project with the broader UP community. Award recipients are encouraged to integrate peer observation techniques.

You can find the proposal application form here: Ignite Grant application

You can download the Ignite Grant reporting form here: Ignite Grant Report form

Important Dates:

The 2018-19 grants were awarded in spring 2019. Awardees have two years from the grant start date to complete their project.

 September 2019: Request for Proposals announced

January 2020: Deadline for proposals and budgets

January-February 2020: Proposal review period

April 2020: Awards announced

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