The purpose of the Try It! Summer Mini-Grants is to spur thoughtful and engaged experimentation with one new pedagogical strategy or tool. In this way, the Reinert Center aims to support faculty members' development as teacher-scholars by promoting innovative thinking about and approaches to teaching, learning, and student engagement.
The Summer 2016 Call for Proposals can be found here.
Details about the program can be found below, including: Eligibility Requirements, Grant Expectations, Eligible Projects/Expenses, Selection Criteria, and Proposal Guidelines. To see list of previous mini-grant recipients, click here.
Awards are available to SLU faculty who hold teaching appointments in any department of the University and who will be continuing in their faculty positions for the full academic year following the grant period. Faculty who were previously awarded a Try It! Summer Mini-Grant may apply; however, priority consideration will be given to those who have not previously received the award.
Although most proposals are submitted by individuals, inter- or intra-disciplinary projects involving two or more faculty members also are encouraged. In such cases, supporting materials should include a statement specifying whether the applicants are requesting one grant split between them or multiple parallel grants. In either case, joint proposals will be judged by the same criteria as individual ones.
Note: Faculty in the School of Medicine who do not teach formal classroom-based courses are eligible to submit a proposal as long as they propose to try one new teaching strategy within a defined educational experience, occurring over a defined period of time and with a defined cohort of learners (e.g., a clinical rotation).
Successful recipients will be expected to: 1) spend awarded funds as proposed through the Reinert Center; 2) collaborate with Center staff to determine effective, evidence-based strategies for incorporating and assessing the effects of trying their new tool or strategy; 3) measure the effects of the experiment in some way; 4) submit a brief report of work done at the end of the summer and at the end of the teaching semester(s); and 5) share the broad lessons they learn with the broader community. (The latter may be accomplished in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: submitting an article for publication, presenting at a disciplinary or pedagogical conference or at a Reinert Center event, contributing to the Center's blog and/or web resources, etc.) Please note: faculty who wish to make student data public as part of this dissemination may need to obtain IRB approval.
Try It! funds may be used to fund professional development and/or to purchase equipment or materials that enhance teaching effectiveness and student engagement and that would not otherwise be provided by the faculty member's home department. All funds must be spent in the current fiscal year.
Examples of past grant-funded expenses include:
Other possibilities may include:
Grant funds may not be used for: stipends or other payment to people (e.g., students, faculty, staff, external consultants, etc.) or for expenses related to travel that will occur after June 30, 2016. Funds are not available to support future maintenance costs associated with regular wear-and-tear for grant-purchased items.
Please Note: Any technology or equipment purchased is owned by Saint Louis University and must be returned to the Reinert Center in the event that the faculty member leaves the University.
The most competitive proposals will be those that articulate a single pedagogical innovation ("try one new thing") and clear rationale for "trying it"; that demonstrate a clear need for the proposed grant-funded activities / items (i.e., funded materials are not available through existing campus resources or through regular professional and/or course development funds in the home department); and that seek to advance learner-centered instructional methods grounded in evidence-based research.
In reviewing proposals, we will expect to see: