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 supports the student fellowship award model (via Financial Aid) only, not employment (i.e., student assistants). More information and guidance will be provided on this model to awardees. 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; please see additional eligibility criteria below. Applicants may submit one proposal as either PI or co-PI. Funding can be requested to augment currently funded projects to expand the scope of work (e.g., funding a student researcher or other budget line item). The same scope of work funded by another program will not be eligible for funding by the Teacher-Scholar Mini Grant, and it is incumbent upon the applicant to clarify current and pending funding in their request. 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 DR Office of the Vice President and the Dean of the respective college.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants cannot submit a proposal as a PI if they have received two T-S Mini Grant awards in the preceding 5 award cycles (2019-20 to 2023-24); i.e. the fiscal year for the original active term of the project, not the fiscal year when the PI received the notification of award.
  • Applicants can only re-submit the same proposed project three times – one original submission and two resubmissions.
  • PIs and Co-PIs are not eligible to receive a new grant if they have any past-due progress reports for previous T-S Mini grants.

If you have any questions about eligibility requirements, please email research@calpoly.edu.

T-S Mini Grant RFP 2024-2025

Applications are due at 11:59pm on Monday, May 6, 2024 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 2024-2025 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.

T-S Mini Grant Program Information and Q&A session

All are invited to attend the Teacher-Scholar Mini Grant Program Information and Q&A Session via Zoom on Thursday, March 7, 2024, at 11:10 a.m. Please see Zoom link here. Must be logged in with Cal Poly credentials to join.

View the Info Session Recording from 3/7/24. Passcode is: &Msvzb8Q

View Teacher-Scholar Mini Grant Information Session Slides.

Please contact research@calpoly.edu with any questions.

View 2023-24 TSMG Grant Awardees.

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