Mini Grants

A major aim of the UCI Education Research Initiative is to facilitate collaborations among faculty, staff, and students in disciplines across the campus. To assist in project development, we will be organizing a multi-step mini-grant process that may provide up to $30,000 in funding for promising work. The process will occur as follows:

  1. Letter of Intent (Due Nov 19th) – Faculty interested in examining a particular education research question will submit a 1-2 page letter of intent. This will include:
    1. Research question
    2. List of possible collaborators
    3. Brief background surrounding the question
    4. Brief description of the project including context, data to be collected, and preliminary analysis plan
  2. Grant development workshop/reception (Early December) – LOI submitters will discuss their ideas and work to develop their proposals based on guidelines/feedback from the initiative. All participants will receive $100 for their participation.
  3. Full proposal submission (February 15th) – Details to be released at a later date

Priority will be given to projects that will be applicable across disciplines or at other institutions. Common themes include improving diversity, increasing equity, and improving student learning in introductory or gatekeeper courses.

Promising projects may involve the implementation of evidence-based teaching, particularly when adopted by multiple faculty. Examples include:

  • Do pre-class quizzes improve quantitative literacy in introductory courses?
  • Can students be trained to find a hypothesis from reading a graph?
  • Does the implementation of a novel peer review process improve the quality of student writing?

Projects to analyze a policy may also be of interest, such as:

  • Does participation in required freshman seminars improve retention of women in Physics?
  • Does offering LARC tutoring scholarships improve course performance and increase retention for URM students?

Inappropriate projects are those that are very context specific:

  • What math SAT scores should be required for enrollment into introductory biology?
  • Does reducing the math requirement improve retention of UCI econ majors?

A significant emphasis will be placed on promise for publication of the study work as well as the development of an external grant based on project results. The Education Research Initiative will provide guidance and additional funds for both publication of mini-grant results and submission of external grants.