Advancing Education at MSU

Mini-Grant Award

Excellence in teaching and learning, enhanced by a deep commitment to our own brand of personal service, is the heart and soul of MSU.

Previous and Current Mini-Grant Award List 

The Goal

The goal of the Advancing Education at MSU program is to promote ongoing improvement of academic quality by supporting and rewarding innovation that results in new relationships, research, and learning experiences. The mini-grant is a mechanism to provide support to MSU employees who would like to experiment with creating instructional resources or training materials, implementing instructional strategies, equipment, collaboration, and so on. Please see below for specifics.


The Theme

For the first time in the history of the mini grant, we have chosen a theme, Artificial Intelligence in Higher Ed, and we ask that applicants focus their projects on that theme. It is not a requirement, but applications consistent with the theme will generally be considered a higher priority. We have intentionally kept the topic broad to encompass all faculty and staff potential projects.


Funding Details

  • Pool of $6,500 total pool of funds provided by the Center of Teaching and Learning

  • All faculty and staff are invited to apply!

  • Constraints:
    • $750 max per person for stipends to pay for applicant time invested.

      • Stipends cannot be paid until completion of work is demonstrated. Upon satisfactory completion of two Project Updates the full stipend will be paid with the expectation that presentations will be made in the following fall.

    • $1,500 max per person per project for equipment, resources and other expenses. People may apply in groups for projects that require more than $1,000.

Examples of the types of projects we will fund (you are not limited to these ideas):

  1. Upgrades of furniture and equipment in classrooms (limit one classroom per division).
    • Upgrades could be to equip a room with audio / video recording devices
    • Upgrades could also provide an active learning space for students

  2. Student salaries for short term or intermittent projects that need a workforce

  3. Faculty and/or staff book studies. Preparation time could be compensated through a stipend

  4. Develop or participate in online training sessions for faculty, staff or students

  5. Create resources and training materials to improve academic quality

  6. Develop or participate in webinars

  7. Expenses for shadowing and/or collaborating with individuals at other institutions

  8. Implementation of new technologies in online and on-campus classes

  9. Software purchases (must be approved by CIO)

  10. Further instructors’ skills in pedagogy at the university level

We will not fund conferences or travel.

Important Dates

August 16 

  2023-2024 Mini-Grant Request for Proposals Announced

October 13 

 Applications submitted by this date will be given priority consideration; however, we will accept applications after this date as well.

 by November 3 

 Award notices disseminated

March 15 

 First Project Updates due

May 14 

 Final Project Reports due by 5:00 pm 

August 1 

 Project Presentation drafts due

Fall 2024  

 Presentation of results during Fall 2024

 Assistance will be available over the summer, if needed.

Application Process


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  1. Complete the Mini-Grant Application and submit it by Friday, October 13, 2023.  Applications submitted by this date are given priority consideration. Late applications are accepted provided funding is still available.

  2. The Mini-Grant Committee will review applications together and choose awardees. Committee members may request clarification and/or specific changes to the proposal.

  3. Applicants will be notified of award status by Friday,November 3, 2023, at the latest; earlier if possible.

  4. Project Update forms will be sent with award notices. First Project Update due by Friday, March 15, 2024.

  5. Final Project Update due Tuesday, May 14, 2024, by 5:00 pm.

  6. Drafts of project presentations are due Thursday, August 1, 2024. These plans will be reviewed by available members of the committee.

  7. Project presentations will occur during Fall 2024. Specific date and time to be determined.

Project Update and Review

A brief Project Update Form will be sent to you along with the Award Notice. Reviews of mini-grant work will be conducted by Instructional Design in consultation with other Mini-Grant Committee members as needed. Reviews will be based on the information provided in the proposal and will be conducted when the Project Update is submitted.

Project Presentations

Funded applicants will be required to present their findings in Fall 2024. Specifics are not available at this time. Options for presentations include, but are not limited to, demonstrations, posters, and hands-on workshops. Recorded presentations are also welcome. A draft is requested on August 1, 2023 and will be reviewed by available committee members.

Submit application in Blackboard

To get to the course in Blackboard, go to Organizations, then find the course entitled Apply for the Mini-Grant. If you cannot locate the course, notify Chris Gonnella at