ACT Grant

Academics for Creative Teaching (ACT) Grants Guidelines


Academics for Creative Teaching (ACT) encourages the development of more effective, innovative teaching at Sacred Heart University. The Grant Program provides funds for professors’ use in the development of creative teaching strategies. 


  • Full-time faculty and administrators who teach are eligible.
  • Adjunct faculty who have been employed as instructors at Sacred Heart University for at least two consecutive years are eligible. 
  • ACT committee members currently serving on the ACT Grants Committee and the ACT Chair are not eligible to apply for an ACT Grant during that academic year. 

Amount of Grants

The size of a grant award may be influenced by the number of funded applications and the amount of resources at the committee’s disposal for a given year. Grant requests for any amount will be considered, but the maximum amount rewarded to any faculty member for any project will not exceed $1,500 during any 12-month period.

Use of Grant Funds

The ACT Grant Program provides support for the following categories of expenditure:  

  • Materials and Supplies: Those which are essential to the project will be considered. Proposals may include the purchase of books and/or periodicals, but such requests must be accompanied by a rationale justifying their acquisition. It is expected, as, well, that prior to the submission of an application for an ACT grant the applicant will investigate the availability of such materials by means other than direct purchase by ACT funds.
  • Equipment: What is essential to the project being proposed (e.g. computer programs, audio-visual aids or other items intended to enhance classroom performance) may be included in a proposal. When equipment is requested, it should be shown that equipment is not otherwise available through University resources. All equipment purchased with ACT Program funds becomes the property of Sacred Heart University and, unless otherwise stipulated, must be listed on the inventory of the department/division in which it is purchased. At the termination of the grant period, the grantee no longer has exclusive use of the equipment. 
  • Travel Costs: Proposals will be accepted to pay for travel and registration expenses to and from conferences or workshops which deal with creative teaching to enhance the applicant’s teaching skills. Travel expenses within a 20-mile radius of Sacred Heart University or the applicant’s home will not be refunded. 
  • Typing and Photocopying: If these services cannot be provided by the applicant’s faculty area, these items may be included in the grant application. 
  • Miscellaneous Expenses: These cannot exceed $50. 

Time Period for ACT Grant 

Grants will ordinarily be made for a twelve-month term beginning on the date grant recipients are notified. Proposals may be submitted for projects requiring a longer period of time. However, such awards will require review and approval pending progress made during the first 12 months.


The deadline for submitting applications is every February 15, which may be extended by the Committee.

Format for Proposals

Submit six typed copies of each proposal. One copy must be the signed original. The other five may be photocopies. (Applicants are encouraged to seek technical assistance in the preparation of their proposals from the Center for the Excellence and Innovation in Teaching and/or the SHU Office of Sponsored Programs.)

Each application must include the following:  

  • Cover page: The first page of each proposal must be a cover page, completed in full and signed by the applicant. 

  • Description: Depending upon the nature of the proposal, it should include a rationale, a comprehensive description of the project, a timetable for the proposed activities, and a plan for evaluating the project’s success in the context of strengthening one’s teaching efforts. Applications for support to attend a workshop or conference must include a complete description of the event, a schedule, documentation of costs to be covered and a rationale on how the event may enhance one’s teaching.
  • Budget: A detailed list of items and associated costs for which funding is requested must be provided. Funds from other sources need to be identified. 

Evaluation of Grant Proposals

  • Priority will be given to new teaching initiatives. If funds are limited, other factors being equal, preference will be given to projects that have not been previously funded.
  • Preference will be given to projects which have clearly-defined objectives, carefully designed methodologies, and realistic plans for accomplishment and assessment. 

  • Applications for funds to support travel to a workshop or conference will be evaluated on the basis of the event’s potential for enhancing the applicant’s effectiveness as a teacher.
  • Applicants may be asked to appear before the Committee to answer questions regarding their proposals. An applicant’s failure to appear before the Committee when requested to do so may result in rejection of one’s application.

Notification of Awards

Applicants and their faculty chairs will be notified of the disposition of the awards in writing by April 15.


  • The ACT Grants Committee reserves the right to determine the eligibility of all proposals submitted. 

  • Application for ACT Grant funds should be made only when sufficient administration and program funds are unavailable.
  • Funds must be spent in the manner awarded by the Committee and within the inclusive budgetary year. Money spent before July 1 or after June 30 or in excess of the grant will not be reimbursed.

  • Proposals may be submitted jointly by two or more eligible instructors. No one, however, may propose more than one project (jointly or individually) in a single funding period. 

  • The amount of an award may be less than the amount requested in the application. 

  • Any publication that is the direct result of an ACT Grant must carry an acknowledgment that the project was carried out with the support of the Sacred Heart University Academics for Creative Teaching Grants Program. 

  • Awardees may be asked to present the projects at a faculty development workshop or presentation.

ACT Committee 2017-18
Hema Gopalakrishnan, College of Arts and Sciences (Chair)
Jim Carl, Farrington College of Education
Heather Ferrillo, College of Nursing
Lola Halperin, College of Health Professions
Leanna Lawter, Welch College of Business