Welcome to the Educational Research & Development Committee
The Educational Research & Development (ER&D) Committee is a multi-constituency committee made up of faculty, students, and administrative staff. The committee receives and considers proposals for new educational programs and makes grants in support of pedagogical initiatives and innovation. The committee also assists departments and programs in the development and implementation of assessment activities, as requested.
A. General Course Grant
- Purpose : To support the development of a new departmental course, including first-year seminars and labs, or to revise or support an existing departmental course.
- Allowable expenditures : Research assistance for course development; the purchase of materials for course development and instructional activities (e.g. books and audiovisual materials); activity-related expenses required for course development and instructional activities; training or support in instructional technology. Grants may not be used for student or faculty entertainment. Normally, there is a $1000 maximum for requests to purchase books or audiovisual materials.
- Fall Deadlines: TBA
B. Pedagogical Travel Grant
- Purpose : To support travel to conferences specifically related to teaching, or to support participation in a workshop or class related to the subject you teach.
- Allowable expenditures : Please follow travel expenditure guidelines listed under Guidelines on Awards to Faculty for Scholarly Activities.
- Fall Deadlines: TBA
C. Experimental Course Grant
- Purpose : To support the development of experimental courses with innovative subject matter and/or pedagogy. Courses should fall outside of departmental offerings, but may support interdisciplinary programs or represent emerging areas of study. See listing for examples of previously-funded experimental courses.
- Allowable expenditures : See A. and B.
- Deadline: TBA
D. Team Taught Experimental Course Grant
- Purpose: To support the development of team taught experimental courses with innovative subject matter and/or pedagogy. Courses should fall outside of departmental offerings, but may support interdisciplinary programs or represent emerging areas of study. Teaching replacement units (up to 2 per course to be determined by the Provost's Office in accordance with staffing needs) will be awarded to the departments/programs of the faculty involved. Each course will count as a full unit of teaching credit for both faculty members involved. SEQs will be used as the course evaluation instrument. See listing for examples of previously-funded team taught experimental courses.
- Allowable expenditures: See A. and B.
- Deadline: TBA
E. "Quick-Fix" Grants - Faculty can apply for one Quick Fix grant per academic year, up to $400
- Purpose: To support the development of a new departmental course, including first-year seminars and labs, or to revise or support an existing departmental course. These grants fund projects for amounts of $400 or less. There are no deadlines for these types of grants.
- Allowable expenditures : See A. and B.
- Guidelines: These grants are only awarded for projects that have not yet occurred.
- Deadline: Decisions are made on a rolling basis.
"Quick-Fix" Grants for Inclusive Excellence (Pilot Program)
- Purpose: These grants fund projects to address an expense furthering inclusive excellence for amounts of $400 or less. Faculty can apply for these grants in order to reduce financial gaps for students enrolled in a specific course. There are no deadlines for these types of grants.
- Allowable expenditures : Examples of allowable expenditures include textbooks or supplies to be purchased on behalf of students with a stated financial need.
- Guidelines: Faculty may choose to gift these supplies/books or may choose to lend them and collect them back at the end of the semester. Individual students cannot be identified in the application and students cannot be required to apply to receive course supplies/books. Approved funds cannot be given directly to a student.
- Deadline: Decisions are made on a rolling basis. This pilot program will be in effect for Spring and Fall 2022.
- All instructional faculty may apply.
- Up to $3,000 per instructor per year is available for General and Pedagogical Travel Grants. Up to $7,500 per course is available for Experimental Course Grants. Up to $5,000 per course is available for Team Taught Experimental Course Grants. (Experimental Grants count towards the $3,000 per instructor per year allotment).
- Grant applications that do not include a comprehensive assessment response may be returned for follow-up or not be approved. For assistance with developing an assessment plan, please contact Sarah Pociask, Assistant Director of Assessment.
- If funds are requested for a new course, please indicate in the body of your email that your department has approved the course and "cc:" your department chair when you send the application.
- We encourage applicants to exhaust alternative campus funding before applying, and to seek complementary funding when appropriate.
- Proposals requesting computer hardware or software should first be presented via email to Heather Woods (Director, Research & Instructional Support).
- Proposals requesting films, CDs, books, interactive media, and other, one-time library purchases should first be presented to the Director of Library Collections. Upon project completion, all such materials should be given to the Clapp Library for general use.
- Proposals requesting funds for guest lectures should consider applying to the Committee on Lectures and Cultural Events.
- In the case of Pedagogical Travel Grants, faculty should also make use of their standard Grants for Travel to Professional or Scholarly Meetings (see I.B. under Guidelines on Awards to Faculty for Scholarly Activities).
- When the sums applied for exceed the funds available for making awards, the Committee will ordinarily give preference to those who have not previously received such grants. Ordinarily no retroactive awards are made.
- The Committee does not fund repeated activities. It funds only the first occurrence of a particular activity. For future occurrences of the same activity, faculty should seek alternative sources of funding.
- Awards are not guaranteed, and funds are limited. The Committee favors applicants that:
- adhere to guidelines and meet deadlines
- provide lucid and specific explanations of how the grant funds will improve courses and instruction at Wellesley College;
- propose activities that will benefit more than a small number of students;
- demonstrate that alternative funding sources are either exhausted or unavailable; and
- have not already received Committee funding for similar activities.
- Awards are active for 12 months.
- Applications will be accepted later in the summer.
- Please direct questions about payment of grant funds to ProvostFinance@wellesley.edu.
The Mellon Course Development Grant
There is strong enthusiasm among faculty for the development of courses that more intentionally cross disciplinary lines, particularly in the humanities. With this in mind, we are announcing a new source of funds, made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. This funding is intended to help faculty develop new interdisciplinary courses that can create new connections or relationships with other departments and help students see connections between disciplines to which they would otherwise not be exposed.
This new opportunity is available to all faculty. Eligible projects will be funded starting in Fall 2021 and continue into the 2022-2023 academic year. ER&D will select and fund up to 4 projects each academic year with a maximum budget of $3,500 per project.
For information regarding grant requirements and guidelines, please click here
The ER&D Committee’s new and expanded role includes working with the Office of Institutional Research to provide resources to support assessment. We invite departments and programs interested in evaluating a course, or a component of a course, to reach out to ER&D at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Grant Resources
Paulson Ecology of Place Initiative Faculty Course Grant AY 2021-22
The Paulson Ecology of Place Initiative invites faculty and instructional staff across all disciplines to apply for funding to support teaching and learning innovations that engage the Wellesley College landscape as a living "laboratory" (or classroom or studio). Faculty and instructional staff may propose the revision or modification of an existing course (e.g. adding new course modules or assignments, or new approaches to current assignments) or development of a new course. This funding is intended to support faculty in developing proposals that connect to Wellesley's strategic priorities including inclusive excellence, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experiential learning.
This grant is available to all faculty and instructional staff. Proposals are reviewed by Paulson Initiative staff, not the ER&D Committee. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but priority will be given for spring 2022 grants to those who apply before December 15. Please see more information on guidelines and the submission process here.