Teacher-Scholar Mini Grant Program


At Cal Poly, the teacher-scholar model is the embodiment of Learn by Doing for faculty. The teacher-scholar model acknowledges the importance of engagement in continuous learning in one’s field as a qualification of teaching. The teacher-scholar model puts students at the center of experiential learning.  The Cal Poly framework for the teacher-scholar model was adopted by the Academic Senate in AS-725-11 Resolution on Defining and Adopting the Teacher-Scholar Model and continues to guide our learn-by-doing pedagogy and our commitment to research, scholarly and creative activities.  The Teacher-Scholar Mini Grant Program has been developed to support our institutional commitment to advancing discovery, integration, application, and engagement in the context of teaching and learning. With support from the Office of the Provost, the Teacher-Scholar Mini Grant Program expands internal funding to support all areas of teacher-scholar activities. 

*Graphic from Provost Jackson-Elmoore's 2020 open forum during the provost search campus visit.

Synopsis of the Program  

Teacher-scholar mini grants are intended to support faculty engagement through several funding options.  The program solicits proposals that articulate with any area of the teacher-scholar model.  Proposals may request up to $11,000 for work in one of the two core areas and can request supplemental funding for student participation.  

  1. Discovery & Translation—to develop or carry out a clearly defined scope of work resulting in a scholarly product that advances research, scholarly and creative activities.  Fundable areas include but are not limited to basic or applied research; artistic, archival, creative, or design products; peer reviewed publications; professional workshops; research proposals; operational bridge funding for ongoing projects. 

  2. Teaching & Learning—to support the development of teaching, classroom, or curricular innovations.  Fundable areas include but are not limited to those that develop or institute curricular or co-curricular programs; program assessment; innovative practice; collaborative engagement; community engaged teaching and learning. 

Student Supplement

In addition to budgeted scope of work (up to $11,000), faculty can request one student supplement of up to $4,000 to support student participation in their funded project.  The student supplement can support one or more students but must not exceed $4,000 across all students and must directly connect student participation to learn-by-doing (see additional information below).   


All faculty unit employees are eligible to submit for funding, including lecturers, tenure-track, and tenured faculty.  Applicants may submit one proposal as either PI or co-PI.  Funding will be awarded only to projects that have not already received funding from other sources.  Awards are provided only to those who hold a current appointment through the requested duration of funding; exceptions may be granted but require review by the Office of the Vice President of Research and the Dean of the respective college. If you have any questions about eligibility requirements, please email research@calpoly.edu.   

TSM Mini Grant RFP (archived)

Applications were due at 8:00am on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 via the InfoReady system (https://calpoly.infoready4.com/)
To apply, go to the InfoReady homepage, select "Log In" in the upper right-hand corner, and click on the blue "Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Login" button. Use your Cal Poly credentials to log in. Then click on the 2023-2024 Teacher-Scholar Mini Grant link at the bottom of the "Applications and Competitions for Research Support Programs" page. You will then be able to submit an application.

View the rating definitions for the Teacher-Scholar Mini Grant Program.

View recorded information session video and slides from May 5, 2023.

Please contact research@calpoly.edu with any questions.

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