Teaching Improvement, Experimentation, and Research (TIER) Grants: Applications

Brandeis faculty viewing a Teaching Grant poster.

The Center for Teaching and Learning, with the generous support of the Provost's Office, is pleased to provide Teaching Improvement, Experimentation, and Research (TIER) grants for Brandeis faculty. These grants are designed to support faculty who wish to develop new and/or enhanced ways to enrich their students' learning.

In the 2024–25 cycle, TIER grants will be offered for two types of projects:

a) Traditional TIER (max of $6000 per grant) with the goals to:

  • Improve: Enhance student learning using approaches they have learned from pedagogical literature or colleagues;
  • Experiment: Develop and try out new pedagogical methods or approaches; or
  • Research: Conduct classroom-based research.

b) Generative AI-TIER (10 grants of $1200 each in faculty stipend) with the goal to 

  • enhance student learning through the use of generative AI tools;

  • enhance student learning by developing new, innovative, authentic assignments and assessments that deter the use of AI tools; or

  • develop and try out new pedagogical practices that involve intentional use of generative AI tools.

The grant cycle covers the 2024–25 academic year with the requirement that all awards must be completed by June 30, 2025, without exception. 

Eligibility and Requirements for GenAI- TIER

This program is open to tenured, tenure-track, and multi-year contract faculty; no previous experience with generative AIs is required or expected. Participants will receive a stipend of $1200 and are expected to develop a number of assignments, tasks, and/or assessment pieces as part of the program. Faculty will be supported through regular meetings with the CTL staff throughout the grant cycle, in which they will discuss their projects and receive feedback.  Faculty will share their work by contributing to the Brandeis Repository of AI Assignments as well as by participating in the Celebration of Teaching Day in spring 2025. 

To participate in the genAI-TIER program, please complete this application form by midnight on April 3, 2024.  No budget is required.

Selection criteria include:

  1. Clearly stated intentions or vision to design AI-inclusive or AI-deterring lessons/activities/assignments, i.e.; 
    • Are your intentions to design assignments that will incorporate AIs?
    • Are your intentions to design new tasks to deter students from turning to AI bots?
  2. Potential impact on student learning;
  3. Transferability to other courses 

Eligibility and Requirements for Traditional TIER

Tenured, tenure-track, and multi-year contract faculty are eligible to apply for traditional TIER grants as project leaders. All members of the Brandeis community may participate as collaborators. 

Faculty who win traditional TIER grants will be expected to share their project's outcomes with the Brandeis community by writing a short narrative report to be published on the CTL website and/or by making a short presentation at the Celebration of Teaching Day in spring 2025.

Project and Budget Guidelines

TIER grants recognize the importance of the time and energy instructors invest in enhancing their teaching and continuously adapting their courses to best foster student learning.

For traditional TIER grants in the 2024–25 cycle, the maximum award can be $6,000, with faculty stipends not exceeding $3,000 per person. Please note that the fringe is not included in the $6,000 total cap or the $3,000 stipends. Please include fringe in your application budget.

The grants can only be spent in line with university guidelines about faculty and staff travel and human subjects. Examples of expenses may include:

  • Equipment, software, supplies, literature, etc., for proposed project use
  • Wages for undergraduate or graduate student assistants (please include fringe)
  • Stipends for faculty (please include fringe)
  • Honoraria for guest speakers (when they are integral to the project)

Criteria for Selection

A selection committee consisting of faculty members and staff will evaluate proposals according to these criteria:

  1. Potential significance of the project in improving students’ learning, their sense of inclusion and belonging, and/or their ability to see the world in a new light, etc.;
  2. Potential breadth of impact beyond a single course (i.e., whether the project can serve communities across Brandeis); 
  3. Clearly stated goals with strong evidence of careful planning, thought and research; 
  4. Proposed metrics that can be used to demonstrate the project's impact (e.g., pre- and post-surveys of the students, etc.);
  5. Potential sustainability beyond the grant’s conclusion; and
  6. The viability of the timeline and cost-effectiveness of the budget.


Proposal Support

The CTL staff are happy to assist you with your proposal. We can help you identify studies that would support your proposed project, design metrics of impact, or just be a sounding board if you need to talk through your ideas. Please reach out to ctl@brandeis.edu with any questions.

Application Form and Deadlines

For the traditional TIER grants, please complete this application form by midnight on April 3, 2024. Please copy, download, and complete the budget spreadsheet to submit with the application. It includes information about the fringe costs that apply to the project. (Please see here if you'd like to see all the application questions.)

Decisions on both types of TIER grants will be announced by May 10th.

Past Grant Recipients