Seed GrantsLinks to information within this page:

Overview · Application Process · Application Deadline · Application Format · Selection Procedure · Selection Criteria · Questions

Links to information on separate web pages:
Previous Recipients and Reports · Other GTA Enhancement Initiatives


UCAT requests proposals from academic units or consortia of units to create, expand, or significantly enhance their local GTA programming. We seek to support efforts that provide initial preparation before GTAs begin their teaching duties, and more importantly, efforts that provide access to phased, ongoing support throughout their appointments.

As a part of our ongoing commitment to the principles of the Academic Plan by providing enhanced preparation for teaching associates, seed grants of $10,000 will be awarded each year to up to five units or consortia to support planning and development of their GTA programs.

Past recipients have created a wide variety of programs that uniquely meet the diverse needs of their GTA populations. Programs have included services such as creating and revising departmental orientations, workshops and training sessions, peer mentoring, microteaching, teaching observations and feedback, and web–based instructional resources. The grants have been used for items such as honoraria for national speakers, non–recurring resources such as books for specific training purposes, photocopying, stipends for GTAs who do peer mentoring and facilitate training, staff or faculty compensation, refreshments at events, and software. Although budgets for these and many other types of services will be considered, the grant cannot be used for recurring costs such as handbooks and compensation for GTAs to attend department orientations unless you can ensure that these will be covered in subsequent years by your own budget. In addition, grant funding cannot be used to purchase equipment such as video cameras, TVs, and computers.

If awarded, the principal investigators (PIs) and other members of their teams agree to attend meetings each semester with other recipients to discuss program progress, share ideas, and develop assessment plans; to submit a final assessment report at the end of spring semester; and to have their program published on the UCAT and Graduate School web sites that highlight exemplary GTA support programs.

Units that have received a seed grant for GTA program enhancements in the past are eligible to apply under special circumstances. Proposals must be for new program enhancements. These units are strongly encouraged to contact UCAT to discuss eligibility before applying.

Application Process

All proposals must contain the information listed in the format section below to earn full consideration. Proposals are limited to a total 5,000 words, which includes all appropriate appendices.

Units wishing to be considered should send the application materials, along with supporting documentation (including appropriate web links) to the address below.

GTA Program Enhancement Grants
University Center for the Advancement of Teaching
260 Younkin Success Center
1640 Neil Avenue

Deadline for academic year 2017–2018 funding: Rolling. Enhanced application support coming early summer 2017!

Application Format
The title page of the application should contain the following:

  1. Academic unit(s)
  2. Name of GTA Coordinator or Principal Investigator (PI)
  3. Position or title of PI
  4. E–Mail address of PI
  5. Address of PI
  6. Name of Department Chair or Unit Head
  7. Signatures of PI and Chair/Head

The body of the application should include the following (maximum of 5000 words):

  1. Abstract. What aspects of GTA support do you plan to work on? Why? How will receiving a GTA enhancement grant help you accomplish your goals? (not to exceed 350 words)
  2. Current GTA Support. Clear description of current programming, including any use of UCAT’s services or collaborations with UCAT or other campus services (materials may be in appendices).
  3. Problem Statement. Identification of the needs or deficiencies the proposed enhancements address. If the proposed new programming builds upon the existing one (item B), assessment data should demonstrate that current services have been successful enough to be expanded upon.
  4. Project Description.Clear and specific description of proposed new programming and how it addresses the needs identified. The following two items must be addressed as part of the project description:
    1. Demonstrate how the elements of the proposed activities fit within the teaching culture of the academic unit(s) and discipline(s).
    2. Explain how the proposed activities address the baseline areas listed in the policy on GTA Preparation and Ongoing Support. More information about the baseline can be found here.
  5. Responsible Personnel. Identification of responsible faculty/staff and descriptions of the expertise and experience that make them the appropriate individuals for these tasks.
  6. Budget Proposal. Detailed budget proposal, including operating and personnel costs. Include any matching or additional funds provided by unit. Please note that recurring costs will not be funded.
  7. Project Timeline. Timetable for planning and implementation.
  8. Evaluation Plan. Explicit plan to assess new activities and to adjust them, based on data collected in this process. Include how the unit will make the successful elements of the program permanent.

Selection Procedure

A committee consisting of the Vice–Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, President of the Council of Graduate Students, and Director of UCAT (or their designees), two other faculty members, and two other graduate students will review all proposals.

Awards will be announced by Monday, June 13, 2016; funds will be available immediately to awardees.

Selection Criteria

Reviewers will judge grant applications based on the following criteria:

  1. Clarity in description of project. Explicit description of the project. Successful proposals will clearly explain the project, methodology, players, budget items, and products of the process.
  2. Degree to which the announced focus is addressed. Extent to which proposals seek to enhance the teaching support of their GTAs, specifically in the regards to the baseline areas listed in the policy on GTA Preparation and Ongoing Support.
  3. Evidence of prior success or experience in other GTA teaching enhancement projects. Extent to which with the proposed activities can build upon prior efforts and programming.
  4. Importance. Persuasive argument of the critical nature of the GTA teaching enhancement problem addressed by the project.
  5. Scope and utility. Broad reach or usability of the work product. Consideration for the number of participating GTAs and/or potential undergraduate students affected by project will be given.
  6. Clear assessment plan. Explicit plan to assess new activities and to adjust them based on data collected in this process.
  7. Probability of success.
    • Evidence of sufficient institutional support, as indicated by the extent to which proposals demonstrate a fit with the teaching culture of the academic unit(s) and discipline(s).
    • Clear delineation of the source and extent of all resources required to continue the successful elements of the project on a permanent basis.
  8. Timeliness and procedures. Evidence that the project can be completed in the time specified, including a specific time–line.

Questions should be directed either by emailing or calling UCAT (if emailing, please make “Question about UCAT Seed Grants” the subject line).