Frequently Asked Questions - Grants


Q: Who do I contact if I have questions about this process?
 David Eick or Barb Blankemeier. Consultation is encouraged before submitting a proposal and helps you know that your application is in good order.  This is particularly true of the Teaching Innovation Grants.

Q: What are some other sources of funding beyond the Pew FTLC?
For faculty interested in grant funding for International Study Abroad projects, please consult the Padnos International Center.  For grant funding related to Scholarship/Creative Activity, please consult the Center for Scholarly and Creative Excellence.  For grant funding to support student travel or scholarship, please consult the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.  

Q: Do I have to be a tenured or tenure-track faculty to receive a Pew FTLC grant?
A: No. All faculty, full- or part-time, are eligible for all Pew FTLC grants. However, some grants require a tenured or tenure-track faculty member as a Faculty Sponsor for the grant activity. Check the FTLC Grants Table to verify.

Q: Is there anything to be especially aware of when applying for a grant?
A: Timing. Check the grant’s opening dates (date you can start to apply) or deadlines (date by which the application must be received to be considered for funding). Faculty Conference Travel grants sometimes deplete within hours of opening.

Q: When the opening date and/or deadline lands on a weekend, does this actually mean Friday or Monday?
A: No. Because our applications are online, it means the date specified starting at 8:00am or up to midnight. For example, if October 15 is a Saturday and 1) is the opening date, you may start to apply for the grant at 8:00am. If October 15 is a Saturday and 2) is a deadline, then you may apply up until 11:59:59 pm that evening.

Q: Is there a limit as to how many grants I may be awarded?
A: It depends on the grant (see FTLC Grants Table). Faculty Travel Grants are limited to one trip every other fiscal year.  Most other grants are limited to once a year, but all other things being equal, faculty members and/or units who have not received grants in preceding grant rounds will be given priority over those who have.

Q: Are students eligible for grants?
 Students are not eligible to apply for Pew FTLC grants, however, students may benefit from them.  A faculty member may build student wages (but not travel) into a Teaching Innovation Grant.  Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship for student travel grants. A Teaching Innovation Grant may also cover a master teacher residency for students.  

Q: Where do I send my expenses?
 It depends on the grant.  Some reimbursements are submitted to your unit PSS and some are submitted directly to the Pew FTLC. Detailed instructions can be found on the website page under "Reimbursement Instructions" for the particular grant you have received. 

Q: The end of the fiscal year is approaching, but my grant expenses won’t be ready to submit until after July 1st. What do I do?
 As long as you abide by the deadline for your Final Report, your reimbursement may spill over into the next fiscal year.  

Q: I’ve spent all the money – what else do I need to do?
 All grants require a Final Report to close the grant. Faculty Conference Travel Grants require the report to be in before reimbursement can take place. All other grants require all reimbursements to be submitted before turning in the Final Report.  Applicants will only be eligible for new grants if all old grants are closed in a timely fashion.  

Q: What should my Final Report look like?
Each grant has a specific set of questions to address in the Final Report.  Please consult the individual grant page under "Final Report Instructions" for details.  



Q: Do the deadlines for Faculty Conference Travel Grants correspond to specific dates when the travel is to take place?
 Yes. The grant period is determined by the end date of travel.  One must travel within the specified dates of the grant period or the funds are automatically forfeited.  Funds awarded for one grant period may not be transferred to another grant period.

Q: May I transfer my award funding to a colleague if I am no longer available to use the funds?  
 No. Funds may only be used by the original applicant.  Please notify the FTLC as soon as you know that you are not able to use the funds so that they may be disseminated to other faculty members.

Q: May I use the funds for a different trip within the specified travel dates? 
 Yes.  If an alternate travel plan falls within the criteria of the Faculty Conference Travel Grant, one may contact the Pew FTLC to get approval for a change.  

Q: May I use a Faculty Conference Travel Grant to pay for travel to an intensive workshop/institute?
Yes, though it may be more financially advantageous to apply for a Teaching Innovation Grant.



Q: What types of projects are typically funded?
A: The Pew FTLC grants are focused on teaching and learning related activities. We have funded the following: 

  • intensive workshop/institute to develop a specific skill or pedagogy for the classroom
  • innovative materials for your classroom that go beyond those normally provided by the unit  
  • master teacher residencies for teachers and students
  • consultant residency for a group of faculty working on a specific pedagogy (e.g. team-based learning)
  • resource material needed to develop a new class, degree or pilot program

Q: Do the deadlines for Teaching Innovation Grants (October 15, March 15) correspond to specific dates when the project is to take place?
A: Teaching Innovation Grant activity must take place within 18 months of the application date.  

Q: How thoroughly should I fill out an application?
A: A primary reason many Teaching Innovation Grants are denied is due to the lack of thorough implementation and assessment plans. Be as specific as possible and feel free to consult the Guide to Assessment.

Q: Do Teaching Innovation Grants provide faculty stipends?
 No. Much of the work associated with teaching innovation is viewed by the university as part of a standard workload or significant area of focus.  While the grant covers expenses related to the activity, it does not cover faculty stipends.

Q: May I use a Teaching Innovation Grant to pay for travel to a discipline-specific conference with concurrent sessions?
A: No. Teaching Innovation Grants may only be used to cover travel to an intensive workshop/institute with a set curriculum for all participants.

Q: What if my project has elements of my own research agenda?
A: Teaching, scholarship, and creative activity often intersect. We encourage faculty to use their scholarship and creative activity to inform and enliven their teaching whenever possible, and we support this model in our grant program.

Q: May I apply for a Teaching Innovation Grant during my sabbatical?
A:  Yes. The work for a Teaching Innovation Grant may be accomplished during a sabbatical as long as the length of the grant activity does not exceed 18 months from the application date. 

Q: How do I determine what the hourly wage is for students?
 Student wages are paid at a variety of different pay scales, depending on student experience and other factors. The student wage rate schedule may be found online at:

Q: What kind of equipment is supported in the grant?
 We have funded everything from rock slides to sound systems. The criteria  is that the equipment is either innovative or will be implemented in an innovative way.  If you need software or hardware, be sure to check with Information Technology Tech Supply to see if GVSU already owns a license or if they are willing to support the technology.

Q: May I purchase a computer?
 No. The Pew FTLC grants do not fund equipment that is normally provided by the university.  

Q: May I purchase an iPad?
 We are able to fund a small number of iPads (1-6) if they are essential to a specific, teaching-related pilot activity.

Q: If I am funded for new technology, may I request a stipend for the time needed to learn, incorporate, or teach that technology?
No. The Teaching Innovation Grants do not cover faculty stipends.  However, the grant would cover the cost of a training program.  

Q: Where do I send my expenses?
 It depends on the grant.  Some expenses are submitted to the applicant's unit and some are submitted directly to the Pew FTLC. Detailed instructions may be found on the website page under "Reimbursement Instructions" for the particular grant you have received. 

Q: How do I pay students who work on my grant?
 Contact the Pew FTLC grants team before the student starts working. The Pew FTLC staff will enroll the student in Ultratime for wage payments.

Q: I have a grant, but the plans have to change a bit. May I shift funds to what is needed for the project?
 Almost always, yes. Please check with David Eick in the Pew FTLC before going ahead with the change. 

Q: I have some expenses related to this project that took place prior to the approval date. May I get reimbursed for them?
No. There is no retroactive funding. All eligible expenses listed in the application must be made after the Grants Sub-Committee approves the grant.

Page last modified May 11, 2018