University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois Sesquicentennial College of ACES
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Teaching Enhancement Grants


The ACES Teaching Enhancement Grant Program is to encourage the teaching faculty of the College of ACES to improve and enhance courses and related instructional activities offered by the College.  Grants, with values up to $2500, will be awarded to implement unique and promising teaching enhancement activities by tenure track faculty members or non-visiting appointments.

This program is funded by the Karl E. Gardner Endowment which was established by a gift from George R. and Arthur H. Bunn, the Sleeter and Lucille Simmons Bull Endowment which was established by gifts from Professor Bull’s family, and the Karl R. Natho Endowment which was established by gifts from his daughters.

The ACES Teaching Enhancement Grant Program is sponsored by the College of ACES Academy of Teaching Excellence and is administered by the ACES Office of Academic Programs.


Whereas all ACES faculty members are encouraged to apply for funding for activities that promise to enhance the educational experience of undergraduate and graduate students through instruction, priority will be given to proposals that aim to:

  • Strengthen the quality of the academic offerings of a department or unit
  • Promote interest in ACES majors and minors from undeclared student
  • Have an impact on as many students as possible
  • Create educational materials that are sustainable, i.e., that can be easily updated for re-use in subsequent semesters at minimal cost
  • Specify clear learning objectives for student learning which aligns with the rationale and methodology of the project
  • Include an evaluation of student learning or other appropriate evaluation of the impact of the project
  • Provide a unique approach towards achieving stated educational objectives.  [Submissions that replicate or are similar to those funded in the past will receive lower priority.]

Application Process

View the application

Instructions for formatting the proposal and space limitations can be found on the application.

Please consult the ACES Teaching Academy Library in the 126 Mumford Hall for resources on student learning and teaching that may be helpful when crafting proposals.

All applicants must ask their department or unit head to endorse their proposal.  A brief letter (or email) of support from the faculty member’s department head should be sent directly to the Associate Dean.  This letter should indicate the department’s support of the work to be accomplished through the teaching enhancement grant and its intention to sustain this course, course module, or program over the coming years.  This letter should include information about how often the department plans to offer the program or course (e.g., annually, once every 2 years) and how it will be sustained over time (i.e., how the program will be financed beyond the term of this grant).

Each proposal will be independently reviewed by 2 or 3 members of the ACES Academy of Teaching Excellence according to the following criteria:

The proposed project:

  1. Addresses a fundamental need for instruction
  2. Will serve a significant number of students
  3. Demonstrates a sound rationale for the project based upon effective pedagogical practices or current teaching and learning theory
  4. Clearly identifies relevant student learning objectives
  5. Uses appropriate methods to achieve its goals
  6. Includes an appropriate evaluation plan of student learning or other appropriate evaluation of the impact of the project
  7. is sustainable in that the educational materials to be developed can be reused with minor updates and revisions
  8. requests and justifies a reasonable budget in relation to the scope of the project

Requests for assistants salaries and equipment for teaching must be justifiable in light of the project rationale, student learning objectives, and evaluation plan.

Proposals must be submitted by faculty members on tenure-track or non-visiting appointments.  Unfortunately proposal submitted by graduate teaching assistants, post doctoral fellows or faculty on visiting appointments cannot be accepted.

The Associate Dean will use the ratings and recommendations from reviewers to allocate available funds.  The number of proposals funded will depend on quality of the proposals and the overall level of fund available.




RFP is announced

October 1

February 1

Proposals are due

November 1

March 1

Proposals are reviewed

November 1-20

March 1-20

Notification of awards

December 2

April 2

Proposals must be submitted (electronically) no later than 5:00 p.m. on the due date.

Submission of Final Report

Award recipients are required to file a brief report on the effectiveness of their project as well as an updated executive summary which will be posted on the ACES Academy of Teaching Excellence webpage.  Final reports are due one year following the notification of the award.

Transfer of Funds

Funds will be transferred to the faculty member only after the final report is received and approved.  Faculty members who are in need of funds to conduct their projects prior to this time should consult their department heads to request an advance.