Educational Research Mini-Grant Program

Educational Research Projects 2018-2019

The purpose of the educational research mini-grant program is to promote a culture of the scholarship of teaching and learning through funding projects that systematically examine pedagogical practices within a particular discipline. Funding is provided by the Office of the Provost through the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFE) and administered by the Center for Educational Research and Teaching Innovation (CERTI). 

Applicants may request up to $5,000 for an individual project, and up to $8,000 for an interdisciplinary team project. The award period extends from June 2018 through December 2019.

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 for all students. This is the seventh year of the program.

Details about the progam can be found below, as well as a list of previously funded educational research mini-grant projects. 

For Guidelines:  Educational Research Mini-Grant Guidelines 2018-19

For the Proposal Template:  Educational Research Mini-Grant Proposal Template 2018-19

For the Evaluation Rubric: Evaluation Rubric for Mini-Grant Proposals

Grant Guidelines

All full-time faculty, full-time staff and department chairs who have teaching duties 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.  Results should be measurable, either through quantitative or qualitative methods. These projects should have the potential to be transformative in nature.

Team projects within disciplines or across disciplines are 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 2019 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.)

Suggested areas of focus include methods and strategies that do one or more of the following, at either a course, department, school or institutional level --

  • Increase student retention, persistence and graduation rates
  • Improve attainment of student learning outcomes
  • Improve access and success for underrepresented students
  • Promote strategies for equity and inclusion
  • Utilize formative and summative assessment methods for instructional improvement
  • Enhance student professional development
  • Increase faculty-student interaction
  • Promote collaborative, experiential, technology-enhanced or active learning strategies
  • Improve attainment of learning outcomes according to disciplinary or regional accrediting agencies

For the 2018-2019 funding cycle, applicants may request up to $5,000 for an individual project, and up to $8,000 for an interdisciplinary team project. 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. Any salary and wages of personnel need to have the appropriate fringe benefit added.

This award period extends from June 2018 through December 2019. One-half of the funding will be available when awards are announced on June 1, 2018. One quarter of the funding will be available after the 2018 fall semester once an update is provided to the committee. The remaining quarter of the funding will be released after the final report is submitted. Contact the CERTI office at if this presents problems for the implementation of your project. 

It is required that the recipient present their findings at the March 2019 Teaching and Learning Technology Conference at Missouri S&T. 

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 regarding your proposal to the CERTI office via email at, or mail to 207 Norwood Hall by March 1, 2018. The letter of intent will contain the title of your project and a brief abstract (100 words). 

Submit a proposal (up to 5 pages including the cover sheet) to the CERTI office on or before May 18, 2018. Click here for the Educational Research Mini-Grant Proposal Template 2018-192016-2017 Proposal Template.

The proposal should include:

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

Here are the Educational Research Mini-Grant Guidelines 2018-192016-2017 Request for Proposal/Mini-Grant Guidelines


  • Proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of CERTI advisory committee members and the CAFE team
  • Assistance for developing educational research proposals is available by contacting the CERTI office.
  • Awardees will ensure IRB approval. Go here for more information about campus IRB approval. A short video on the subject of using human subjects in research is available in the Resources section.
  • Awards will be announced by June 1, 2018.
  • One-half of the funding will be released by June 11, 2018; the remaining half will be released after the recipient presents at the March 2019 Teaching and Learning Technology Conference.
  • For ideas and resources about Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects, check out the SoTL Advocate here.
  • March 1, 2018 – Letter of intent due to CERTI office
  • May 18, 2018 – Full proposal due to CERTI office
  • June 1, 2018 – Decisions will be made and awards announced in time for a June 1 start date. One half of the funding will be made available at this time.
  • After the fall semester, an update to the committee will be made and one quarter of the funding will be released.
  • March 2019 award recipients are required to present at the Missouri S&T Teaching and Learning Technology Conference. 
  • January 2, 2020 – Final report due to CERTI office. After receipt of the final report the final one quarter of the funding will be released.

The final report for the project will be due January 2, 2020 to the CERTI office and should include:

  • Cover sheet
  • Abstract
  • Purpose of project
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Conclusion,Future Implications, & Plans for Further Dissemination
  • Reflection on whether/to what extent the project has impacted your teaching and/or student learning

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


Educational Research Mini-Grant Guidelines 2018-19

Educational Research Mini-Grant Proposal Template 2018-19

 Evaluation Rubric for Mini-Grant Proposals


 Problem Identification/Definition - video tutorial

Research Questions, Methodology, and Design - video tutorial

IRB Requirements, Data Analysis, and Reporting - video tutorial

Web Center for Social Research Methods article on Qualitative Validity

A 'how-to' guide for developing a publishable scholarship of teaching project by V. O'Loughlin - publication



Past Educational Research Mini-Grant Projects

2016-2017 funded projects:

  • “Student-Centered Dynamic Syllabus Development for Mathematical Programming,” 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," Bih-Ru Lea, associate professor, and LiLi Eng, associate professor, business and information technology, $3,000.

Click here for the 2016-17 Educational Research Mini-Grant Final Reports


2015-2016 funded projects:

  • “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.

Click here for the 2015-2016 educational research mini-grant reports 


2014-2015 funded 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.

Click here for the 2014-2015 educational research mini-grant reports



2013-2014 funded 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.

Click here for the 2013-2014 educational research mini-grant reports