Project and Travel Grants

Photo from Teaching and Learning Bash poster session


Grants for instructional development will be awarded by the Office of Faculty Development, to support efforts of Board appointed, bargaining unit faculty at Western Michigan University to improve student learning through instructional and curricular redesign and innovation. Funding is provided for in Article 40.4 of the Western/WMU-AAUP agreement and responsibility for this program is designated in the same article.  That section reads: 

40.4 Instructional Development Grants. Western agrees to provide a minimum of eighty thousand dollars ($80,000) each year of this Agreement to be used to support teaching and learning proposals from bargaining unit members. Proposals are encouraged as well from groups of faculty, from departments, and from inter-department consortia of faculty. Topics of proposals may include, but not be limited to: program development, continuing self-education and international education. Proposals will be reviewed through a process developed by the Office of Faculty Development and approved by the Office of the Provost. $40,000 is available for domestic projects and travel and $40,000 is available for international projects and travel each year.  International Education Faculty Development Funds (IEFDF) are administered through HIGE.  


There are two categories of grant funding: Instructional Development Travel Grants and Instructional Development Project Grants. Funds allocated for each category are preliminary and will be adjusted as needed to accommodate the kinds of applications submitted.

Instructional Development Project Grants support instructional and curricular development projects at WMU. The maximum level of award is $5,000 each. Funding preference will be for projects involving units that have not had projects funded through Instructional Development Project grants in the prior three-year period. Group, department and interdisciplinary projects will be given priority.     

Project grants may be used to fund:

  • Experts to visit campus and work with a department or team of instructors on specific instructional improvement approaches and/or address specific student learning outcomes.
  • Site visits to other schools or locations to examine specific instructional improvement approaches or address specific student learning outcomes.
  • Group attendance at workshops or training programs directly related to the funded project or webinar registration.
  • Student wages or support for instructional improvement projects.
  • Materials to study or support specific instructional improvement approaches (e.g., software, books, other media, props).

Project grants will not fund:

  • Faculty summer salary, academic year release time, or any compensation for instructors.
  • Computer equipment.
  • Individual travel to conferences (funds may be sought for this purpose).

Instructional Development Travel Grants support attendance at teaching and learning, assessment, and diversity focused conferences, workshops, and meetings. The maximum award level is up to $2,000 or the cost of the trip, whichever is lower. Preference will be given to faculty who have not received a travel grant in the prior three-year period.  

Application process

Applicants for the grant must provide:

  • Application form.
  • Proposal (4 pages maximum).
  • Complete cost breakdown for project, including other funds being used (included in application section).
  • Signed support form from direct supervisor: department chair, school director or college dean as appropriate (available on the Instructional Development Grant website).

No more than one project grant proposal per academic program will be reviewed for possible funding each year.

Application deadlines for project grants: April 1st and November 1st of each year for for funding during the current fiscal year.

Single-year proposals are preferred although multi-year proposals will be considered if a strong rationale is provided in the application (e.g., collection of student outcomes from multiple semesters). Each application must contain three identified sections as noted below.

1. Objectives: Purpose (title) and objectives for the project are key elements and should be stated clearly. Examples of projects include:

  • Development, implementation and assessment of innovative student learning experiences.
  • Adaption and implementation, and assessment of discipline-related and advocated best practices.
  • Alignment and integration of multiple courses around single themes or coordinated learning outcomes.
  • Objectives flow from purpose and are the specific aims for the project. What is the purpose of the project, what do you intend to do, what literature supports the proposed innovations, and why is the project important?

2. Dissemination: Applicants should state the uses and diffusion of information acquired throughout the course of the grant. For example, how could results be used beyond the specific project? How, when and by whom will the information be disseminated?

3. Budget: Refer to the Proposal Budget Template (available on the website). All proposals will be reviewed to determine the suitability of budgeted items in terms of stated project activities and fidelity with University policies and regulations.

Applicants for the travel grant must provide:

  • Event information: Details (including copies of brochures or links to web-based information) regarding the conference, workshop or meeting for which they are applying for travel support, and how they intend to use the knowledge they gain. 
  • Budget: Complete cost breakdown for travel, including other funds being used.
  • Signed support form (available on ID grant website) from direct supervisor: department chair, school director or college dean as appropriate.

Applicants would travel under their department’s authorization, submit reimbursement to their department, and the Office of Faculty Development will reimburse the department for those travel costs.

Multiple applications from the same program unit for travel grants may be submitted each year, but priority will be given to supporting travel grant applications from as wide a range of disciplinary programs as possible.

Application deadlines for travel grants are four weeks prior  to upcoming travel. Applicants previously denied travel support on the merits of the application may not re-apply for the same trip at a later time. 

This website has a comprehensive list of conferences and events related to teaching and learning pedagogy across the United States and globally that should be appropriate for travel grants. 


Grants should be completed by the end of the fiscal year they are funded. All funds in Instructional Development Grant accounts will be swept 40 days after the allotted time period and may not be reclaimed.

Grant reviewing criteria

A subcommittee of the Office of Faculty Development Advisory Board will review proposals and recommend projects for funding to the advisory board. Applicants will receive reviewer comments in summary form upon request. The subcommittee will use the following criteria to recommend proposals for funding:

  • 40%: The resourcefulness of the project in its alignment with the unit, college or division goals. The project’s intent to facilitate change with regard to improvement of student learning and/or program quality.
  • 30%: Demonstration of intended student learning outcomes. 
  • 15%: Budget of expenses congruent with the project goals.
  • 15%: Timeline of activity congruent with project goals.

All awardees are required to complete a poster about their travel or project experiences to be printed by OFD and shown at the next year's Teaching and Learning Bash during the fall semester. 

Application submission

Submit application to the Office of Faculty Development email

Submit by e-mail to this office about the application process, ideas or questions.