The Daniel F. Breeden Endowed Grant Program supports teaching and learning projects that directly benefit the instructor, students, and Auburn University’s overall teaching program. Approximately $30,000 is available each academic year for awards.
The Breeden Grant deadline is November 12, 2018. We recently held a carousel-style workshop to help faculty begin thinking about their Breeden Grant proposals. Here’s some insights from the workshop.
Your proposal should communicate the who, what, why, and how of your project to a non-specialized audience. The Teaching Effectiveness Committee, the selection panel for this grant, recommends avoiding industry-specific jargon in your writing.
Use the SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely) framework to set and articulate the goals of your proposal. Be realistic about what you can achieve with the budget and timeline set by the grant.
To get started, what are the anticipated learning goals for students? Put another way, how will your proposal directly and/or indirectly result in better learning for Auburn students?
Your proposal should include a plan to accurately assess your goals.
The largest part of the Breen Grant rubric asks applicants to narrate the instructional merit (aka impact) of their grant. Travel proposals typically have the lowest chance of receiving funding because of how difficult it is to assess the efficacy of one faculty member attending a conference and how that will affect multiple people.
If you are submitting a travel proposal, it would be helpful to create a meaningful measure of impact on student learning that will result from the conference/event you attended. If you are submitting an instructional proposal, you should be looking for ways to either directly or indirectly assess students.
Direct assessment measures include an exam or project graded with a rubric. Indirect assessment includes asking students if they feel prepared for their career field as a result of your class.
Now is the time to explore activity options. What will be done during the grant?
If you are submitting a travel proposal, the stronger proposals might include a detailed plan of your travel. For example, specific sessions attended and how those session topics connect with student learning gaps. If you are submitting an instructional proposal, a detailed plan of what you will be doing in the classroom would be appropriate here.
Your activity options directly correlates with the narrative section of the Breeden Grant rubric. The narrative section carries the most weight, 30 out of 50 points. The objectives of your instruction or travel must have the potential to benefit teaching and learning. Points are awarded for:
– Clear impact on faculty member, students and department
– The number of students and courses involved
– Use of new/innovative instructional methods
– Potential impact of project beyond the period of the grant
– Idea has potential to be adopted by other instructors
How will you meaningfully share your findings?
While publications and presentations at conferences certainly count as dissemination efforts, faculty can also use a poster presentation at Conversations in Celebration of Teaching (CCT), presenting at their departmental meeting, or partner with the Biggio Center to present at a workshop.
Dr. Ash Curtiss (Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry) is a 2016-2017 Breeden Grant recipient who leveraged Breeden Grant funding to integrate undergraduate research and teaching. His winning proposal helped support long-term learning for students in follow-on courses he co-taught with Dr. Anne Gorden and became the basis of Auburn student J.P. Grundhoefer’s publication as lead author in the peer-reviewed journal Inorganica Acta (ICA).
In this video, Dr. Curtiss answers questions from faculty during our Breeden Grant Proposal design and writing workshop.