Educational Research Mini-Grant Program

Two educational research projects proposed by three Missouri S&T faculty have been funded for 2016-2017 as part of a mini-grant program co-sponsored by the office of Academic Support and Global Learning and administered through CERTI (the Center for Educational Research and Teaching Innovation).

This is the sixth year of the program, with this cycle of funding being focused on distance courses and instructors. The program is designed to help instructors tackle a teaching and learning issue in which a specific, measurable research question is examined to bring about improved student learning, retention or academic success. 

The 2016-2017 funded projects are:

  • “Student-Centered Dynamic Syllabus Development for Mathematical Programming,” PI Dincer Konur, assistant professor, engineering management and systems engineering, $3,000;
  • “Impact of Cross Functional Interdisciplinary Team Structure and Immersive Learning Environment on Students’ Perception of Learning Experience, Engagement and Course Satisfaction,” co-PIs Bih-Ru Lea, associate professor of business and information technology,  and LiLi Eng, associate professor of business and information technology, $3,000.

Results of this research will be shared with the campus at the Missouri S&T Teaching and Learning Technology Conference in March 2017. 

The 2016-2017 cycle of the educational research mini-grant program at Missouri S&T will be geared toward faculty who teach distance courses or who would like to begin teaching a course in distance modality.

Go here for the 2016-2017 Request for Proposal/Mini-Grant Guidelines and here for 2016-2017 Proposal Template. More information on proposal guidelines can be found at the bottom of this page.

The 2015-2016 funded projects are:

  • “Visualizing Research and Writing: Improving Student Self-Confidence Through Focus Groups and Library Interaction,” Jossalyn Larson, lecturer, English and technical communication, $2,500;
  • “Introducing and Evaluating Innovative Teaching Techniques in Economics Principles Classes,” Ana-Maria Ichim, assistant professor, and Sarah Steelman, assistant teaching professor, economics, $5,500;
  • “Evaluating the Impact of Interactive Technology in the Classroom on Students' Perceptions,” Elizabeth Cudney, associate professor, engineering management and systems engineering, $1,980;
  • “Do Flipped Lectures Increase Student Engagement With Course Material?” Katie Shannon, associate teaching professor, biological sciences, $3,500;
  • “Evaluation of Section Properties App for Mechanics of Materials,” Nicholas Ali Libre, assistant professor, civil, architectural and environmental engineering, $3,500;
  • “Analysis of Student Success in a Blended Laboratory Course by Trend Analysis in a Parallel Lecture Course,” Klaus Woelk, associate professor, chemistry, $4,050;
  • “Assessment of Freshman Mathematics Placement at Missouri S&T,” Stephanie Fitch, associate teaching professor, mathematics and statistics, $2,600.

Go here to see the 2015-2016 educational research mini-grant reports

The 2014-2015 funded mini-grant projects:

  • “Assessment of Textbook-free Courses in the Biochemical Engineering field as Vehicles for Lifelong Learning,” Daniel Forciniti, professor, biochemical engineering, $4,720.
  • “Improving Understanding of Academic Integrity Among Undergraduate Students in STEM Fields” Amber Henslee, assistant professor, psychological science; and Susan Murray, professor, engineering management and systems engineering, $8,000.
  • "Development of a Conceptualized Guided Coding for the Course of Mathematical Foundation of Finite Element Methods,” Xiaoming He, assistant professor, mathematics and statistics, $4,732.
  • “Implementing Guided Group Activities to Improve Performance and Self-efficacy in College Algebra – Stage 2,” Kimberly Kinder, assistant teaching professor, mathematics and statistics, $4,500.

Go here to see the 2014-2015 educational research mini-grant reports.

The 2013-2014 funded mini-grant projects:

  • “Class Redesign for Chemistry 375 – Principles of Environmental Monitoring,” Yinfa Ma, Curators’ Teaching Professor of chemistry, $4,750.
  • “Developing, Implementing and Evaluating Active Learning Components for Traditional Engineering Lecture Courses,” Mary Reidmeyer, associate teaching professor of materials science and engineering, and Richard Brow, Curators’ Professor of materials science and engineering, $2,500.
  • “Face-to-Face Classroom Learning versus Synchronous and Asynchronous Distance Learning,” Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah, professor, Business Information and Technology, $4,400.
  • “Flipping the Microbiology Laboratory to Improve Student Preparation and Increase Student Interaction,” David Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences, $3,895.
  • “Implementing Guided Group Activities to Improve Performance and Self-Efficacy in College Algebra,” Kimberly Kinder, assistant teaching professor, mathematics and statistics, $2,500.
  • “Using ‘Conceptual’ and ‘Assessment’ Problems to Enhance Student Learning of Fundamental Concepts Taught in an Undergraduate ThermoFluid Mechanics Class,” Nishant Kumar, assistant teaching professor, mechanical and aerospace engineering, $3,955.

Go here to see the 2013-2014 educational research mini-grant reports

Video tutorials with information about educational research projects:


Go here for a presentation from the faculty event, "Tips on Preparing a Successful Research Project".

Grant Guidelines

All full-time faculty, full-time staff who also have teaching duties, or department chairs who teach distance courses or who would like to begin teaching a course in distance modality may apply.

These grants provide support to projects that examine teaching and learning practices in the faculty member’s discipline in a systematic way using pedagogical research methods. The goal of the project is improvement in the quality of instruction in the undergraduate and graduate programs of the department or campus, specifically as it applies to distance teaching and learning. Results should be measurable, either through quantitative or qualitative methods. These projects should have the potential to be transformational in nature.

Team projects within disciplines or across disciplines are also welcomed and encouraged.

Projects can focus on design of educational innovations and outcomes, curriculum development, and pedagogical problem analysis, but must address a specific research question. Research should have an empirical component (e.g., qualitative or quantitative studies, measurement of student learning or teaching effectiveness, etc.) Projects should be completed within three semesters. Grant recipients will be required to share project results with the campus community through CERTI venues and at the Educational Research Symposium held in March at the annual Teaching and Learning Technology Conference. Recipients are encouraged to share their results beyond campus as well (e.g., presentation at ASEE regional meeting, publication of paper, etc.)

Methods and strategies that do one or more of the following --

  • Increase student retention, persistence and graduation rates
  • Improve access for specific groups of students
  • Enhance student professional development
  • Use formative and summative assessment methods for instructional improvement
  • Increase faculty-student interaction
  • Promote active learning
  • Improve attainment of learning outcomes

There will be two, $3,000 awards made for the 2016-2017 cycle. Funds may be used for summer support, materials and supplies, printing, TA or GTA support, release time and/or project-related travel expenses, as well as costs related to presenting and publishing results of educational research projects.

Matching funds are not required, but they may demonstrate commitment to instructional development, innovation and implementation of project outcomes.

Pursuing subsequent funding for a larger grant to continue research on the grantee’s topic is strongly encouraged but not required. For more information about pursuing larger externally sponsored educational research grants, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs.

Submit a letter of intent to CERTI ( or mail to 207 Norwood by April 22, 2016, regarding your proposal. An email is sufficient.

Submit a proposal (up to 5 pages including the cover sheet) on or before May 20, 2016, to the CERTI office (addresses listed above). Go here for the 2016-2017 Proposal Template.

  • Cover sheet (name, department, phone/email, project title, date, signature of department chair(s))
  • A brief abstract (100 words)
  • Purpose of the project
  • Pertinent information about your class (anticipated student enrollment, number of sections taught, distance component, etc.)
  • Research question to be addressed*
  • Learning outcomes to be addressed, if applicable*
  • Methodology*
  • Evaluation and feedback
  • Budget with justification
  • Deliverables

*Video tutorials covering these topics available above. An evaluation rubric for mini-grant projects ‌ is available here.

  • Proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of the CERTI steering committee, Office of Global Learning and Office of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Assistance for developing educational research proposals is available by contacting the CERTI office.
  • Awardees will ensure IRB approval, if needed. Go here for more information about campus IRB approval. A short video on the subject of using human subjects in research is available above.
  • Awards will be announced by June 6, 2016.
  • One-half of the funding will be released by June 13, 2016; the remaining half will be released after the recipient presents at the March 2017 Teaching and Learning Technology Conference.
  • For ideas and resources about Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects, check out the SoTL Advocate here.
  • April 22, 2016 – Letter of intent due to CERTI office
  • May 20, 2016 – Full proposal due to CERTI office
  • June 6, 2016 – Awards announced
  • June 13, 2016 – First half of funding released
  • Second half of funding released after presentation at Teaching and Learning Technology Conference
  • Dec. 29, 2017 – Final report due to CERTI office

The final report for the project will be due at the end of the grant cycle to the CERTI office and should include:

  • Cover sheet
  • Summary
  • Purpose of project
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Conclusion/Future Implications/Plans for Further Dissemination

A project is considered complete once the final report has been accepted and all of the above requirements have been met.