ACT Grant Guidelines


Academics for Creative Teaching (ACT) encourages the development of more effective, innovative teaching at Sacred Heart University.  The Grant Program provides funds for professors’ use in the development of creative teaching strategies.


·         Full-time faculty and administrators who teach are eligible.

·         Adjunct faculty who have been employed as instructors at Sacred Heart University for at least two consecutive years are eligible.

·         ACT committee members currently serving on the ACT Grants Committee and the ACT Chair are not eligible to apply for an ACT Grant during that academic year.

Amount of Grants

The size of a grant award may be altered based on the number of funded applications, or due to the amount of resources at the committee’s disposal for a given year.  The maximum amount rewarded to any faculty member for any project will not exceed $1,500 during any 12- month period.   Applicants are asked to keep in mind that ACT funds are limited.

Use of Grant Funds

The ACT Grant Program provides support for the following categories of expenditure:

·         Materials and Supplies: Those which are essential to the project will be considered.  Proposals may include the purchase of books and/or periodicals, but such requests must be accompanied by a rationale justifying their acquisition.  Prior to the submission of an application for an ACT grant the applicant is required to investigate the availability of such materials by means other than direct purchase by ACT funds.

·         Equipment: What is essential to the project being proposed (e.g. computer programs, audio-visual aids or other items intended to enhance classroom performance) may be included in a proposal.  When equipment is requested, the applicant is required to demonstrate that it is not otherwise available through University resources. All equipment purchased with ACT Program funds becomes the property of Sacred Heart University and, unless otherwise stipulated, must be listed on the inventory of the department/ division in which it is purchased.  At the termination of the grant period, the grantee no longer has exclusive use of the equipment.

·         Travel Costs: Proposals will be accepted to pay for travel and registration expenses to and from conferences or workshops on creative teaching to enhance the applicant’s teaching skills.  Travel expenses are reimbursable if they are beyond a 20-mile radius of Sacred Heart University or the applicant’s home.

·         Course Release: Funding for a course release may be awarded for projects that require a significant amount of time to develop tangible pedagogical techniques or products that have broad applicability across the curriculum.  Awards for course release funds require approval of the Department Chairperson.

·         Typing and Photocopying: If these services cannot be provided by the applicant’s faculty area, these items may be included in the grant application.

·         Miscellaneous Expenses: Expenses related to creative teaching activities must be identified and cannot exceed $75.

Time Period for ACT Grant

Grants will ordinarily be made for a twelve-month term beginning on the date grant recipients are notified.  Proposals may be submitted for projects requiring a longer period of time, however, such awards will be reviewed in the first term and require approval for continuation into another term.


The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, March 17, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.  If, however, the committee determines that it has a surplus in its grant budget it may elect to extend the deadline or call for additional proposals.

Format for Proposals

Submit six typed copies of each proposal.  One copy must be the signed original.  The other five may be photocopies.  (Applicants are encouraged to seek technical assistance in the preparation of their proposals from the SHU Office of Grants.) All copies should be delivered to Stefanie Poulos in the Provost’s office.

Each application must include the following:

·         Cover Page:  The first page of each proposal must be a cover page, completed in full and signed by the applicant.

·         Description:  Depending upon the nature of the proposal, it should include a rationale, a comprehensive description of the project, a timetable for the proposed activities, and a plan for evaluating the project’s success in the context of strengthening one’s teaching efforts.  Applications for support to attend a workshop or conference must include a complete description of the event, a schedule, documentation of costs to be covered and a rationale on how the event may enhance one’s teaching.

·         Budget:  A detailed list of items and their associated costs to be funded must be provided.  Funds from outside or in-kind contributions to the project need to be identified.

·         Course Release Proposals must be accompanied by a letter of endorsement from the Department Chairperson. 

Evaluation of Grant Proposals

·         Priority will be given to new teaching initiatives that advance the learning goals or outcomes of a college and/or the University. If funds are limited, preference will be given to projects that have not been previously funded.

·         Preference will be given to projects which have clearly-defined objectives, carefully designed methodologies, and realistic plans for accomplishment and assessment.

·         Applications for funds to support travel to a workshop or conference will be evaluated on the basis of the event’s potential for enhancing the applicant’s effectiveness as a teacher.

·         Applicants may be asked to appear before the Grant Committee to answer questions regarding their proposals. An applicant’s failure to appear before the Committee may result in rejection of the application.

Notification of Awards

Applicants and their faculty chairs will be notified of the disposition of the awards by letter from the ACT Committee.


·         The ACT Grants Committee reserves the right to determine the eligibility of all proposals submitted.

·         Application for ACT Grant funds should be made only when sufficient administration and program funds are unavailable.

·         Recipients are required to submit a substantive 6-month and year-end report to the Grants Committee.  Forms to be used for these two reports will be attached to the grant award letter.

·         The expenditure of funds will be handled by the recipient and monitored by the controller’s office.  Expenditures exceeding amount of an award will be charged to the grantee.

·         Proposals may be submitted jointly by two or more eligible instructors.  No one, however, may propose more than one project (jointly or individually) in a single funding period.

·         The amount of an award may be less than the amount requested in the application.

·         Any publication that is the direct result of an ACT Grant must carry an acknowledgement that the project was carried out with the support of the Sacred Heart University Academics for Creative Teaching Grants Program.

·         Monies not expended by the end of the grant period no longer are available to the awardee(s)