The Theory-to-Practice Grant is designed to help meet the teaching and learning objectives identified in the University’s Statement of Aims and, more specifically, in the Theory-to-Practice Grant strategic initiative that is part of the 2009 Strategic Plan. This grant program is competitive; submissions are evaluated by the Committee on Teaching, Learning, and Cross-Cultural Programming and awarded by the administration.

Goals

The goal of the Theory-to-Practice Grant Program is to provide intentionally meaningful opportunities for students to enhance and extend classroom learning through real world situations and experiences.

Preference will be given to projects that connect the “theory” of a discipline to its “practice,” either by testing or applying theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom in real-world situations or using real-world situations to develop theoretical knowledge. Funds also will be provided for interdisciplinary projects that promise an integrated approach to knowledge and help students in the transfer of ideas and skills among disciplines; for the development or reworking of specific disciplinary courses to incorporate experiential learning and/or off-campus experiences; and for projects to improve pedagogy. Other projects may be entirely co-curricular, offering experiential learning beyond the classroom.

In most cases Theory-to-Practice Grants will create first-hand experiences for students, although secondary learning enabled by faculty or staff projects also will be considered.

Eligibility

Grants will be awarded to individuals or small teams of faculty, students, and staff. Projects proposed by faculty members should simultaneously address both the enhancement of the instructor’s future capabilities and the improvement of courses or programs through which those capabilities will be manifested and through which experiential learning and/or international opportunities are offered.   Faculty should apply for a TEW Grant, if the proposed project would be eligible for TEW funding.  

Requirements

Recipients will be able to: (1) understand and articulate objectives/outcomes related to prior or future academic/research/creative work; (2) plan and participate in out-of-classroom activities that help achieve these stated objectives/outcomes; and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of the experience in meeting these objectives/outcomes.

The Theory-to-Practice Grant Application Form is a Google Form.  It will require you to complete fields and to upload (A) the proposal itself and (B) the budget proposal.

(A)  The proposal must include:

1. Project objectives (not to exceed 125 words):  Describe the main objectives and/or outcomes for the proposed project.

2. Description (no to exceed 500 words):  Provide a complete description of the project including all planned activities and itineraries or timelines.  Describe how the proposed project furthers the aims of the University and the Theory-to-Practice Grant Program.  Make sure that you articulate the theory that you plan to address in the project.  

3.  Evaluation, Assessment, and Sharing (not to exceed 125 words):  Describe how, if funded, the project will be evaluated after its completion to assess how the main objectives and/or outcomes have been met.  Additionally, explain how you will share your experience with others.

4.  Personal Statement (not to exceed 500 words):  Address the following questions Why is the proposed project important to you?  In other words, what motivates you to undertake the project?  How are you prepared to complete the project?  This preparation and experience may include completed or in-progress course work, research, co-curricular activities, creative endeavours, practical experiences, or other academic or scholarly work.  Note:  This Personal Statement is required of all applicants.  Co-applicants will submit one with their Co-Applicant Form. 

(B)  The budget proposal must be carefully researched and detailed.  A good budget will be itemized and include all expenditures that will be needed to complete the project.

Theory-to-Practice Grant Application should:

  • Be clearly written and well organized.
  • Provide information describing each applicant’s background and preparation for the project.
  • Include a reasonable and carefully thought-out itemized budget.
  • Contain a well-developed plan to meet clearly expressed objectives and/or outcomes.
  • Include a time-line or itinerary.
  • Describe how the proposed project will be evaluated after its completion to assess how objectives/outcomes have been met.

In addition, the proposed Theory-to-Practice Project itself should:

  • Fulfill the intent of connecting theory to practice.
  • Enhance and extend learning beyond the classroom.
  • Have intellectual, social, creative, artistic, cultural and/or professional value to the recipients, others involved in the proposal, and the OWU community.
  • Be feasible and likely to be completed on-time.
  • Have the promise of high quality without a change in plan, time-line, or budget.
  • Include a fully developed and creative way to share the results/outcomes of the project with the community.

Types of Projects

Funding may be requested for:

  • Travel grants for projects both inside and outside the United States — for our students, faculty, and staff to learn more about the culture, socioeconomic conditions, health and/or other environmental conditions that vary across the world.
  • Apprenticeship/internship opportunity grants — sponsor faculty and staff in the development of local and distant apprenticeships for students; support students in the completion of these apprenticeships/internships.
  • Independent research grants sponsor faculty, staff, and students in the development of research projects designed to enhance student learning in the laboratory, archive, and field, particularly concerning issues of global significance.
  • Grants to fund creative projects in the fine and performing arts.
  • Grants to individuals or groups for cultural immersion and/or volunteer experiences that enrich the understanding of diverse cultures and the importance of civic engagement.

NOTE: Applicants proposing projects to begin during the summer are encouraged to submit their proposals in the fall. Projects submitted for the October deadline with proposed project start dates during the fall semester will not be approved.

Instructions for Submission

  • Review the list of Frequently Asked Questions for guidance as you prepare your proposal.
  • The Application and the Co-Applicant Forms include fields for data entry and fields for file upload.  Be prepared in advance to upload files for those sections that require it. Data on these forms cannot be saved. Confirmation of receipt will be provided immediately upon submission of the forms; confirmation emails will not be sent.
  • Review the Theory-to-Practice Grant Checklist (PDF) to make sure you have addressed all important elements of the proposal before you submit your materials.
  • The Application for Primary and Co-Applicants includes fields that request general information about the proposed project, information about the principal applicant and any co-applicant(s), a description of the preparation to undertake the proposed project, a description of the project itself, a proposed budget and a description of the evaluation of the proposed project after it is completed. A member of the faculty or staff who is part of a proposed group project should normally be the primary applicant and not a co-applicant.
  • All aspects of proposed student projects, including the obligation to share the results/outcomes with the University community, must be completed prior to the graduation of all students involved.
  • Please carefully note:  
    • *All student applicants must be in good academic and community standing and have no accounts outstanding with the University. 
    • No stipends or wages will be awarded through this Program. 
    • Equipment purchased with TPG funds will become the property of the University. 
    • Tuition will not be paid to other institutions for any type of credit-bearing instruction.
    • For proposed projects that include international travel, $20 per person per week abroad should be budgeted for accident/evacuation insurance.   
    • TPG funds cannot be used for vaccinations, travel medicine consultations and personal medications.  
    • Students who wish to participate in the activities of or receive accommodations or services from an external international organization, such as an NGO or a charity providing a service opportunity, must supply two references or recommendations from students of US universities/colleges.
    • Proposals that include travel to countries with U.S. Dept. of State travel warnings will be reviewed by the administration; those considering travel to such countries should contact the International and Off-Campus Programs Office prior to submitting a grant proposal for more information.
    • University policies regarding Travel Expenses should taken into account when budgeting for travel and must be followed if a Grant is awarded.
  • There will be four cycles of funding for the 2017/2018 Academic Year:  The deadlines for the submission of proposals for the four cycles are Monday, 16 October;  Friday, 1 December;  Thursday, 1 February;  and Sunday, 1 April.  All submitted proposals must be complete and submitted no later than midnight on the date of the deadline. All co-applicant forms must also be received by the deadline.
  • Questions should be sent to tpgrants@owu.edu.

Rubric for Proposal Evaluation

Examples of Funded Proposals

Evaluation and Awarding of Grants

The Theory-to-Practice Grant Program is competitive.  For each Round a review committee of the Teaching, Learning and Cross-Cultural Programming Committee (a committee established in the by-laws of the University and part of the governance of the University) is established.  Using the Rubric (see above), at least three members of the review committee evaluate each submitted proposal and score it based on the Rubric criteria.  The submitted proposals for the Round are then ranked.  At a meeting called for the purpose, the submitted proposals and the rankings are discussed.  Any proposal that has evaluation scores that vary beyond the established standard deviation are reviewed carefully by the committee as a whole.  Awarding is based on available funding for the Round and the ranking of submitted proposals.  A recusal process is employed to limit conflicts of interest.

Those who propose and are not awarded may resubmit in future Rounds.  Feedback will be given to all those who wish to receive it. 

Notification of the results of the evaluation are normally made within five weeks of the deadline for the Round.  Funds normally become available to those who have had their proposals approved within ten business days of notification.  Recipients are required to complete and submit forms prior to the release of any funds.