SoTL Microgrants

Mason SoTL Research Project Microgrants Program

The purpose of the Mason SoTL microgrants program is to foster a culture of evidence-based research designed to contribute new knowledge related to teaching and learning at Mason. The program will support faculty conducting or disseminating SoTL research, with a preference for teams of faculty collaborating on a project, or teams including graduate students.

The duration of the grant is for one academic year, running from September 1, 2023 – June 1, 2024.

Project expectations

Proposed projects can include activities at any stage of data collection, analysis, and dissemination, including but not limited to the following:

  • initiating data collection for a new SoTL project
  • continuing data collection for a SoTL research project-in-progress
  • extending a previous SoTL project to another course, intervention, or research question
  • conducting data analysis
  • writing in preparation for submitting a presentation, publication, or book proposal

The expectation is that applicants will have a completed project plan, including prepared IRB application materials, to submit with their grant application. Each applicant may request up to $1,000.

Priority will be given to applications from a team of faculty and graduate students working on a common SoTL project. Cross-departmental/school collaborations are encouraged.


While teams can include full- and part-time faculty and staff, the project principal investigator must be a full-time faculty or staff member. Applications must include a completed project plan, including a complete (not necessarily approved) IRB application.

Eligible expenses* include the following:

  • wages for research assistant(s)**
  • consulting, data preparation, or data analysis fees
  • research equipment or supplies
  • participant incentives (e.g., gift cards),
  • travel/lodging for conducting and/or presenting research
  • conference fees for presenting research

*faculty stipends are not an eligible expense.

**student involvement should be a clearly defined role, for a short-term and limited scope of work. If long-term, ongoing undergraduate research assistance is needed, contact the OSCAR Federal Work Study office (

Awardee expectations 

All grant recipients are expected to:

  • Conduct the project as proposed, to the best of their ability, and keep the Stearns Center apprised of changes that might need to be made to their plans.
  • Keep the Stearns Center informed of Institutional Review Board (IRB) status.
  • Provide a brief mid-year report in January 2024 (a template will be provided).
  • Submit a one-page final report in June 2024 that describes:
    • overview of the project activities,
    • summary of results for the project (which will be posted to the SoTL Grants section of the CTE website), and
    • summary of dissemination efforts and plans.
  • Work toward disseminating the work from the project, to include participating in a Stearns Center-designated presentation in the fall following project completion. 
  • Acknowledge the funding from the Stearns Center when presenting and publishing the findings.

Application details

Applicants must submit a complete project plan, including project aims, procedures, timeline, and budget. Applications are due August 15, 2023. Potentially interested applicants should reach out to Dr. Breana Bayraktar,, with any questions or for assistance in preparing their application.

Apply here