Grant Application

Since the Collegium began its work in 2012, one of its principal undertakings has been to articulate a broad vision to narrow the gap between teaching and research on the Berkeley campus. Without question, UC Berkeley is one of the leading research institutions in the world. Across disciplines, our faculty is committed to intellectual discovery and creation. At the same time, we strive for excellence in teaching—in sharing knowledge and expertise with a diverse and talented undergraduate student body. In our view, a critical component of teaching is introducing students to research, enabling them to see how intellectual curiosity is translated into discovery, expression, and understanding. While many Berkeley students already engage in research with faculty as part of their undergraduate training, we believe that the undergraduate experience should be more comprehensively connected to the research enterprise that is a hallmark of Berkeley. Regardless of discipline, immersion in the methods and practices of research promotes a disposition conducive to creative activity and the generation of new knowledge. Irrespective of the professional tracks that undergraduates pursue upon leaving Berkeley, the ability to translate a question or idea into the systematic and productive acquisition of knowledge is an essential skill to possess and should be seen as an important measure of success.

Accordingly, the Collegium hopes to find ways to integrate research into the Berkeley undergraduate educational experience broadly and meaningfully, narrowing the gap between teaching and research. The Collegium’s long-term aim is to engender and sustain a cultural shift on campus, whereby faculty and students alike come to view undergraduate engagement in research as a fundamental, desirable, and assumed element of a Berkeley education. For faculty, this would involve explicit recognition that our pedagogical mission goes beyond transmitting content to students; it also entails actively guiding students through the process of intellectual discovery and creation. For undergraduates, this shift would mean that every incoming student who passes through Sather Gate would graduate from Berkeley—one of the world’s premier research universities—having experienced firsthand the process by which the campus has achieved and maintains that status.

Each spring the Collegium invites proposals for new or existing projects that further the goal of narrowing the gap between teaching and research at Berkeley. For an existing project, grant funds should not be viewed as replacement funding, but rather should be targeted for expanding or improving (e.g., adding a new component) the project. The focus is on undergraduates, but proposals may incorporate graduate and postdoctoral students if relevant (see examples below). We aim to fund up to 5 projects of up to $20,000 each over a one- to two-year grant period (depending on the nature of the project). Strong budget justification is needed; we intend to give awards that range between $15K-$20K.

We anticipate the next call for proposals to be issued in spring 2019.

For a list of previous grant recipients and a link to descriptions of their projects, visit our Awards page.

Criteria for Selection

Proposals will be evaluated according to several criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • The proposal should articulate how the project bridges teaching and research at the undergraduate level.
  • The proposal should create, improve, or expand undergraduate access to meaningful research activities.
  • Projects high in feasibility, cost effectiveness, impact, scalability (i.e., capable of being scaled up to involve more students), and sustainability (i.e., capable of being continued past the funding period) will be evaluated more favorably.
  • The proposal should articulate the key learning outcomes and impacts of the proposed project, as well as the process for assessing the degree to which these outcomes and impacts are met. Impact can be defined in terms of number of students involved and/or in terms of depth of impact.
  • The proposal should consider challenges to future sustainability and/or scalability of the proposed project, and possible ways to overcome such challenges.
  • Highly innovative and creative projects are encouraged.

Past grant recipients have proposed projects that have fallen into one of the five categories listed below; however, other kinds of projects are welcomed and will be given full consideration.

    1. Adding  a substantive research component to an existing undergraduate course
    2. Developing a new undergraduate course with a substantive research component
    3. Adding a new component to an existing undergraduate research program or opportunity
    4. Increasing the number (and/or sub-groups) of undergraduates who can participate in an existing undergraduate research program or opportunity
    5. Creating new infrastructure or a new program for undergraduate research opportunities

Specific examples include:

  • Undergraduate research mentoring program whereby advanced undergraduates, graduate students, postdoc and/or alumni are paired with undergraduates who are interested in obtaining research experience
  • Undergraduate-led speaker series wherein undergraduates nominate, invite, and host speakers
  • Research conference to give undergraduates training and experience in the communication of research
  • Incorporation of a field study component into an existing or new course
  • Partnering with the library to facilitate undergraduate, library-based research
Who Can Apply

All Berkeley faculty (Academic Senate members, adjunct faculty members, and lecturers) are invited to apply.

Types of Expenses that Can be Funded

The award funds may be used to:

  • fund research stipends for the faculty involved
  • hire one or more GSRs (GSR benefits, including fee remission, when applicable, should be included in budgetary calculations) or undergraduate student workers
  • fund the cost of workshops or conference-related registration and travel fees
  • fund the cost of project-related supplies
  • offer students small monetary incentives to encourage participation
  • purchase data-gathering instruments not available through campus-wide licenses that directly support the project
  • pay faculty summer salary of up to $10K

The funds cannot be used to:

  • pay stipends to GSIs or pay salaries of career or casual staff members (non-student titles)
  • purchase or update standard software or software packages already licensed by campus
  • reimburse expenditures made prior to award conferral
Deadline and Submission Information

The submission window for spring 2018 has now closed. Please consider applying next spring.

Notification of Awards

Notification of grant awards typically occurs within a month or so of the application deadline.

Funded projects that have a strong curricular component will be strongly encouraged to join the peer cohort of awardees of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) 2018-2019 Presidential Chair Fellows Curriculum Enrichment Grant Program. The call for applications for this CTL grant program will be distributed in April, with a July due date. The peer cohort in this program will meet monthly, forming a learning community, to exchange ideas and facilitate progress on each funded curriculum re/design project.

Reporting Requirement

Funded applicants will be asked to submit a short progress report at the end of each semester (Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019). These short reports should describe the current status of the project and what funds have been spent thus far and how. A final report will be due at the end of the Spring 2020 semester. In addition to providing budgetary information, this final report should re-visit initial learning outcomes and impacts and describe how the project achieved or did not achieve these outcomes and impacts. Course evaluations, student testimonials, student demographics, and the like should also be included in this final report. Finally, funded applicants will also be asked to present their projects to Collegium members and other interested parties (e.g., key administrative staff with an interest in undergraduate education) to share progress and outcomes/impacts of their projects. Presentations will typically happen during a showcase event at the end of the spring semester of either the first or second year of funding (depends on status of the project).

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