Course Improvement Grants

Course Improvement Grants aim to promote excellence in teaching within a single course (or course section). Proposals may request funding to support activities such as acquiring or developing course-related materials and seminars and other programs to improve the quality of teaching, studies, and experimental tests of new instructional methods and programs. Individuals or groups may submit proposals.

Successful applicants will participate in a CFT-supported learning community to learn and share experiences with other grantees. At the end of the grant period, successful applicants will share their project and results in project summaries on the Course Improvement Grants website.

For a list of Spring 2021 grant recipients and descriptions of their projects, please click here.

Eligibility and Guidelines

  • All full-time, VU-employed (Provost-reporting) faculty are eligible regardless of tenure status. Graduate students and post-docs are ineligible.
  • Faculty may carry out the proposed project individually or in a team.
  • Funds may not be used to support faculty salary or graduate student tuition. However, funds may be used to pay a graduate student for completing tasks related to the awarded grant.
  • Proposals should have a potential for impact at Vanderbilt and should demonstrate a commitment to teaching.
  • Grants must be used within 12 months after they are awarded.
  • For complete funding guidelines, click here.
Additional Requirements
  • Budget providing line items of estimated expenses must be provided.
  • Final reports are required for all awards. These have two components:
    • Project summaries on grant websites
    • Responses to a questionnaire about project impact

Application Process

All proposals must be submitted online using InfoReady Review, Vanderbilt’s online submissions portal. Award results dates may vary depending on the number of proposals submitted.

There will be two application periods per year:

  • May 21 application deadline with funds available July 1
  • October 15 application deadline with funds available December 1

Information to include in your application:

  • Project Title (up to 9 words).
  • Project Summary (up to 150 words).
  • Lead faculty name and VUnetID.
  • Faculty collaborator names (up to 10) and VUnetID.
  • A detailed description of how funds will be used (up to 750 words)
  • Significance of the teaching initiative and its impact at the university level/or course level (up to 500 words)
  • Measures of Success & Project Evaluation– Discuss goals, expected impact and/or related deliverables, and methods that will be used to determine if project goals have been achieved (up to 250 words).
  • Budget overview – Provide line items of estimated expenses.

Selection Criteria

Committee will focus on the following criteria when evaluating proposals:

  • It must advance Vanderbilt student instruction and not exclusively faculty research or service.
  • It should not be for items for which the department/school/institution would normally have responsibility.
  • The benefits should accrue to a meaningful number of students immediately or over time.

Guidelines for Managing Expenses and Funds

The table below outlines allowable and unallowable expenses. Up to $500 may be requested.

Utilization of funds in the established timeline is expected. As per the university’s accounting standards (GAAP: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), carry forward of funds from one year to the next for multi-year awards or extension of funds beyond the award period are not allowed. If all funds are not used by the award deadline, recipients must return the remaining funds.

See the table below for information on allowable and unallowable expenses, and managing expenses incurred by VU faculty.



A committee comprised of faculty who are committed to supporting colleagues across rank, tenure status, disciplines, and schools. The committee is charged with reviewing teaching grant proposals and making recommendations for faculty funding awards that support teaching at Vanderbilt.

Application Form

Complete the Application via InfoReady


For more information about the program or the proposal process:

Spring award cycle contact: Cynthia Brame, Associate Director of the Center for Teaching

Fall award cycle contact: Julaine Fowlin, Assistant Director for Instructional Design