Grants for Projects up to $30,000
Deadline: February 18, 2021
The Wabash Center provides funds for projects that enhance teaching and learning in the fields of religious and theological studies as taught in colleges, universities, and theological schools. We fund projects that focus on at least one of these areas:
- Improving teaching and learning practices
- Encouraging research and study of pedagogical questions
- Nurturing supportive teaching environments
- Understanding student learning
The Wabash Center understands its grant projects as learning processes. A grant proposal will need to design moments of exploration, discovery, learning, and response for those participating in the grant project. The project director should think of the presenting pedagogical issue as that which needs exploration and interrogation, and the activities of the grant project as the means by which this exploration is done.
Successful grant proposals funded by the Wabash Center Advisory Committee will demonstrate:
- A clear focus on an issue or question of teaching or learning within higher education
- Readiness to learn on the part of the project director
- A set of activities that will explore the central question or issue
- Alignment in its focus, goals, activities, and assessment
- An institutional readiness to listen and respond to what is discovered during the grant project
- A process to gain feedback during the course of the project with built-in time to reflect on what is being learned and what needs to be changed
- An allocation of grant monies for work the institution could not ordinarily do
Please read in advance;
Submitting a Project Grant Proposal
3 parts need to be included in a Wabash Center Project Grant Application.
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Select > Grant
You will be prompted to attach the required documents (pdf format) to the online application, including a signed copy of the Grant Information Form, the Proposal Narrative & Budget, and an Institutional Letter of Support.
You will be prompted to attach a signed copy of the Grant Information Form, the Project Proposal, and the signed Institutional Letter of Support to the online Grant Application.
Part 1 – Grant Information Form
The Grant Information Form requests information necessary for the consideration of your proposal, including contact information, grant project dates, amount of the grant request, and a 150-word proposal abstract. The Grant Type to select is “Project.”
This form requires contact information for and signatures from:
- The Project Director/s: The person/s responsible for providing narrative report on grants, typically the person/s overseeing the administration of the grant and writing the project proposal to apply for the grant.
- The Financial Contact: The person responsible for receiving the check and providing financial reports of expenditures for the institution. This should be a different person than the project director.
- The Authorization Contact: The person authorized to sign grant contracts for the institution.
Part 2 – Proposal Narrative and Budget
No longer than 12 pages long (single-spaced), CV limited to 4 pages, and page numbers required.
The Project Proposal must follow an outline of the seven elements indicated below.
Successful proposals will include specific examples, demonstrate thoughtful reflection about the project’s presenting problem, identify and address relevant pedagogical questions, attend to the alignment of the design with the goals, and provide clear plans for evaluating, assessing, and responding to what was learned during the course of the project.
Project Proposal Outline
- Title of Proposed Project
Give us a central idea of what the project will explore
- Framing Question or Problem
A good framing question or problem can help you identify what you do not understand and articulate why you must pursue it. It can also help you identify what strategies and activities can be most helpful and who might collaborate in the work. Ask yourself: What do you want to know? What is the student learning issue at the heart of this project? What classroom practice will this project address? What is the pedagogical issue or problem that this project is seeking to address and why does it matter?
- Project Goals
List the goals for this project. What do you hope to accomplish or learn? What will this grant help you to do that you couldn’t do without funding? At the conclusion of the grant project, what change will have occurred as a consequence of this grant project?
- Description of Activities
What is the scope of work envisioned for this grant project? What activities will be planned and carried out? How will these specific activities meet the needs of your context and help those involved with the project explore particular teaching and learning challenges? Include a timeline of activities envisioned.
- Supportive Literature
Briefly, describe what others have done when working with the pedagogical issues or question that you want to pursue. What literature have you consulted and how will that literature inform your project?
- Assessment, Evaluation, and Response
How, when, and who will provide the midway assessment? How will you know if the grant activities are effective or whether the project should be revised? When the project is complete, how will you know that your objectives have been met? Who will be assessing what was learned? Who will be responding to what was learned, and how will they get this information? What connection will be made to a larger, public audience (if applicable)?
- Plan for Dissemination
How will you disseminate what you learn through the grant project? Blogs, podcasts, essays, etc.? In what specific ways will you share what you’ve discovered through the grant project?
- Line Item Budget and Budget Narrative
In consultation with your institution’s financial officer, build a budget to support the activities projected, delineating yearly estimates if requesting a multi-year grant. Provide a brief narrative in support of each line item expense. Make sure the budget is congruent with how expenses can be allocated at your institution.
Read: Grant Budget and Expense Guidelines (pdf)
Part 3 – Institutional Letter of Support
This letter should be written by the appropriate dean, department chair, provost, president, principal, or rector in order to demonstrate the institutional rationale and support for the project, as well as how the institution will respond to the things that will be learned during the grant project.
If the project director holds one of these offices, the letter of support should be written by someone higher in the institution.
This letter must be signed on institutional letterhead, scanned and attached to the online application.
Policy on Deadlines for Program Deadlines
The program deadlines are meant to facilitate application by a wide array of participants, as well as create fairness in the selection process. Program deadlines also assist administrative staff who work to support each group and all programs. The Wabash Center will, when we see the necessity, extend the deadline of an application process. We will rarely, if ever, extend the deadline for individual requests. We ask participants, as well as recommenders, to respect these important deadline boundaries. Adherence to deadlines foster fair-mindedness and a spirit of collegiality. Should an issue need to be arbitrated, please be in touch with the Director of the Wabash Center.
The Wabash Center gives grants to accredited universities, colleges, or seminaries in the United States and Canada and occasionally to non-profit organizations providing services to improve teaching and learning at institutions of higher education. The project director will ordinarily be a full-time faculty member in religion or theology. In colleges or universities without a department of religion or theology, we will consider, on a case-by-case basis, project directors from other departments whose primary teaching responsibility is in the area of religion.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
When preparing a grant proposal, we strongly recommend that you consult and learn from others’ experience.
The Wabash Center understands our grants program as a part of our overall teaching and learning mission. We are interested in not only awarding grants to excellent proposals, but also in enabling faculty members to develop and hone their skills as grant writers.
We strongly encourage you to be in conversation with us as you develop your ideas for a grant project into a formal proposal. We will gladly give you feedback on your ideas and draft proposal.
There is no guarantee that a grant that has gone through our coaching process will be funded—funding decisions are made by a separate Advisory Committee—but we will help you present the project in the clearest and most coherent way.
Dr. Paul O. Myhre
Senior Associate Director, Wabash Center