Teaching Innovation Grants

The humanities at UCLA are evolving from a traditional emphasis on independent scholarship in pursuit of singular research goals, to a community of intellectuals working across interests, methodologies, and traditional boundaries of cultures and ethnicities. This transformation is fueled by advances in technology, new creative approaches to the application of humanistic perspectives, and a need to create meaningful pathways between the discipline and the greater community. It is also driven by the fact that students today learn differently, have a more diverse footprint than ever before, and want to be prepared to thrive as global citizens and leaders.


EPIC invites proposals for Teaching Innovation Grants, which are start-up grants intended to support five STE participants (or teams) from each seminar cohort to build proof-of-concept projects based on the theories and best practices they explored in the Seminars for Teaching Excellence. These grants are aligned with EPIC’s commitment to inclusivity, interdisciplinarity, and innovative learning. Special consideration is given to proposals that facilitate cross-campus collaboration, and that produce sustainable materials and processes that can be adapted to the undergraduate curriculum.

  • Each selected proposal will receive $5000, which is applied toward direct and indirect costs. In cases where teams apply, additional funds may be awarded subject to the evaluation committee’s determination and availability of funds.
  • The project duration may span three quarters (or six months where summer breaks).
  • Funds are for seed money to create proof-of-concept or start-up projects; funding cannot be applied as income or to support course buy-out, personal research, sabbatical, or summer employment. The budget must clearly reflect that funding is applied to the purchase of equipment, software, consultations with staff and external partners, and development of materials.
  • The project should connect directly to themes from the Seminars in Teaching Excellence.
  • The grant recipient(s) will plan to collaborate meaningfully with at least one partner, (i.e., Center for Community Learning, Transfer Alliance Program, campus makerspace, OID, CDH, the library, faculty in another discipline). The collaborating entity will provide a letter of support describing the intended collaborative services and commitment to the project. External partnerships are possible, but should reflect a responsible and sustainable model for community engagement rather than one-off collaboration.
  • The project will demonstrate sustainability beyond the funded period; this can take the form of: evidence that the materials will be adopted in future courses, intent to apply for additional grants after the EPIC award period ends, or buy-in from additional campus partners.
  • Materials developed should be useful for other faculty, and potentially demonstrate use for the broader community and public at-large.
  • If required, the applicant obtains and provides proof of IRB approval/exemption or other regulatory programs: “Any research that involves either the participation of human subjects or the use of human biological specimens, medical charts, or databases with identifying information about humans is considered to be human subject research and requires review.” (see here to determine if IRB is required)


All UCLA faculty participants who completed an EPIC Seminar in Teaching Excellence are invited to submit proposals for the Teaching Innovation Grant.  Community college and graduate student EPIC fellows are also encouraged to apply as co-PIs in a team anchored by any humanities faculty member at UCLA who maintains full-time status and security of employment. Applicants will submit a complete proposal that builds upon a theme, module, or practice that connects directly to one of the STE seminars.

All grant proposals must include a statement from the department chair of the primary department that the applicant is housed in, confirming that the department approves of the grant submission.


Before developing a written application, the PI(s) will first schedule a 30-minute consultation with the EPIC Instructional Designer to discuss the project scope and outcomes; after this meeting, applicants will receive a link to complete the formal written application. The application consists of a Proposal (cover sheet, narrative, budget), Letter of Support from a collaborating entity, and proof of regulatory approval (or exemption from approval, if required).

Applicants may only submit one proposal at a time, and may not apply for a second grant through EPIC once their proposal is accepted. Applicants are also encouraged to apply for other UCLA internal grants such as those offered through OID and the Library (and external funding) to help offset the costs of building and sustaining the project long-term. The EPIC Instructional Designer can assist in helping grant recipients to identify other potential funding options.


  • Recipients will submit a final report that summarizes the project goals and evaluates the outcomes within 90 days of the project’s end.
  • Grantees will notify EPIC Administration of any publications or additional funding received for their project; additionally, the grantee agrees to acknowledge the program (i.e., “supported in part by EPIC’s Teaching Innovation Grant at UCLA”) in circumstances where the project is presented through academic publications and conferences.
  • All materials produced and materials purchased belong to the grant recipient at the project’s end; additionally, EPIC will receive copies of project materials to be shared and utilized by other faculty through the EPIC Learning Repository. The EPIC coordinators recognize that materials may not be finalized or polished.
  • We request permission to contact the grantee for up to two years post-project for updates and support to use the materials, and/or to occasionally make a request for the grantee (or designated collaborative partner) to serve as a casual mentor for future recipients and to present findings at future EPIC events.


Applications are evaluated primarily on the potential benefit for undergraduate learning at UCLA. Members of the EPIC Steering Committee, UCLA Libraries, Center for Digital Humanities, Office of Instructional Development, and Humanities Division-Dean’s Office will evaluate each proposal through a blind review process, using the following criteria:

  • Alignment:  EPIC’s mission is to innovate and strengthen humanities pedagogy at UCLA by driving pedagogical improvements in inclusive, interdisciplinary, innovative learning for undergraduate students
  • Iteration: The project builds on the learning objectives, materials, and concepts explored in the STEs
  • Collaboration: A meaningful partnership is formed with a campus center or other faculty and staff members
  • Transferability: Deliverables can be quantifiably assessed and adapted for use in other courses and disciplines
  • Scalability: Cost effective and plausible time-to-completion, scope of work and sustainability post-completion

Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. Notification will usually take place once quarterly around mid-term.


Please contact Dana Milstein, the EPIC Program Instructional Designer, to schedule your initial consultation. dana@humnet.ucla.edu