WSU accepting Smith Teaching and Learning Grant proposals through March 14

Washington State University faculty with innovative ideas to enhance teaching and learning are encouraged to apply by March 14 for a Smith Teaching and Learning Grant of up to $5,000, announced William B. Davis, interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement.

Proposals are sought that address one of the following three areas through practices that improve student learning and directly address issues related to “Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA)”:

  1. Proposals that design, develop, test, and disseminate pedagogies that close identified equity gaps in student performance (e.g., reduce differences in the C-/D/F rates for first-generation and continuing-generation students in a given course).
  • Proposals that translate what employers want into what faculty do by using new forms of scalable, equal access, experiential opportunities to develop core competencies/transferable skills (e.g., critical and creative thinking, effective communication, collaboration, etc.).
  • Proposals utilizing collaborative pedagogical strategies to eliminate documented differences in student achievement of course-level learning outcomes (instead of section-level outcomes) across multiple sections of the same course, potentially across multiple campuses.

“Innovative faculty have benefitted from Smith grant awards for many years and have created a number of projects to advance education and pedagogies that ultimately benefit our students and their success,” said Davis.

“We encourage all eligible faculty to consider a Smith grant this year to move their ideas forward. Thousands of students have been impacted by Smith-funded innovations over the years and we anticipate the impact of 2022 awards to be just as valuable.”

Eligibility and procedures

Faculty from all campuses are eligible to submit proposals. Among other qualifications, they must have instructional responsibilities and a half-time or more appointment, with continuing employment in academic year 2022-23. Applicants cannot have received this grant in the past four years and must be endorsed by their chair.

A wide variety of information must be included in each proposal, such as a budget showing proposal expenditures, project rationale and description, and an outline of the proposed work to be undertaken plus a timetable. Answers must be provided to such questions as, “What is the pedagogical or curricular issue you seek to address and how is it linked to identified issues related to IDEA in undergraduate education?,” and, “What is innovative about the proposed approach?,” among others.

Details are included in the downloadable request for proposals (RFP) on the Smith Grants webpage; frequently asked questions are noted at the end of the RFP document.

Proposals, including a signed endorsement by the applicant’s chair, are submitted through an online application form embedded in the Smith grants page. Questions can be addressed to Davis at wbdavis@wsu.edu, or to Karly Gomez at kgomez@wsu.edu or by phone at 509-335-3995.

Awards announcements

Those selected to receive a Smith Grant will get word in late April. Grant funds can be used as summer salary; benefits are paid from the award amount. Awardees must submit a final project report by Aug. 15, 2023.

The Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Teaching and Learning Endowment was established in 2000 when WSU President Smith retired after 15 years of service to the university.

The fund’s purpose is to recognize and reward innovative ideas to enhance teaching and learning at WSU.

Complete information is available on the Smith Teaching and Learning Grants page of the DAESA website.

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