Instructional Development Fund (IDF)

Instructional Development Fund (IDF)

Request for Proposals

Small grants (up to $1,000) are available throughout the year from CRLT’s Instructional Development Fund. These grants are designed to support innovative activities to support teaching, learning, and student engagement at the University of Michigan. Proposals in all areas of undergraduate and graduate teaching are welcome.


The competition is open year-round, on the Ann Arbor campus of the University, to all tenured and tenure-track faculty; clinical instructional faculty; and Lecturers who have continuing appointments and course development responsibilities (i.e., an assignment from the dean, chair, or designee to develop a new course or significantly revise an existing course). 

If appropriate, proposals may be submitted jointly by more than one individual, but no individual may serve as an applicant on more than one project, whether joint or single. In order to support a wide range of instructors, an individual may receive only one IDF grant every two years.

Use of Grant Funds

Expenses that can be covered by these grants may include, but are not limited to, supplies and equipment, programming or research assistance, fees and expenses for student field trips, honoraria for classroom guest speakers, fees and expenses for conferences directly related to teaching, and summer projects aimed at developing or enhancing courses. Funding may not be used to reimburse costs already incurred, or to pay for publication fees.

Grant awards up to $1,000 are available to individual faculty or small groups of faculty, but the maximum award amount is $1,000 per project.

Application Process and Timeline

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year (June 2023 - May 2024) until funds are exhausted. Approximately 11-15 projects are funded yearly, depending on the amounts requested.

For instructors categorized as Lecturer I or in an adjunct position ONLY: The Chairperson or designee should send an email to [email protected] confirming that the proposal is being submitted by a Lecturer who has (1) a continuing appointment on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan; and (2) course development responsibilities (i.e., an assignment from the dean, chair, or designee to develop a new course or significantly revise an existing course).

All applications are submitted online and should follow the format shown in the Proposal Checklist below. To submit a proposal:

  • Click the Submit Application button at the top of this page
  • Fill out the web form (to preview the form, click the Submit Application button)
  • Upload the proposal following the checklist items below as a single PDF file. Name your file LastName_GrantType_Year.pdf (e.g., Smith_IDF_2023.pdf).

Allow two weeks for the grant review process.

Proposal Checklist

Submit checklist items as a single PDF file.

  • Project Overview (150 words max): Provide a brief overview/abstract of your project for a non-specialist audience. You will also submit this electronically on the application webform. This overview will be made public on the CRLT website if your proposal is funded. 
  • Project Description (1 page max): The project description should include: 
    • A description of the project/activity and the intended learning goals and/or objectives of the project/activity.
    • A rationale for the project/activity, including how the project will improve or enhance student learning and/or engagement.
    • A brief justification for each budget item as well as the total amount requested. For example: $400 for speakers (2 x $200); $100 for books (4 x $25) and $250 for research assistance (10 hrs @ $25/hr) = $750

Proposal Review Criteria and Evaluation Process

All Instructional Development Fund applications undergo a review process carried out by CRLT staff. Proposals are evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Importance of Project
  • Impact on Student Learning
  • Budget

Reporting Requirements

CRLT asks all grant recipients to help disseminate their results by completing a brief web form within three months of the project’s completion. These reports will be publicly displayed on the CRLT Grants Reporting website.

Questions and Consultations

Please contact CRLT at (734) 764-0505 or [email protected] if you have questions about the grant or the application process. CRLT staff are available to consult with grant applicants as they prepare proposals. You may also contact us if you have issues submitting your proposal to the CRLT website.