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The Institute for Teaching Excellence & Faculty Development (TEFD) offers a number of funding opportunities to support the teaching and professional development of faculty members at UMass Amherst, including team-based and individual Mutual Mentoring Grants funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lilly Fellowships, IMPACT Grants for Blended Learning, and Summer Writing Fellowships. Please see below for more information and application instructions for each of these opportunities.

Flex Grants for Teaching/Faculty Development

Flex Grants are small grants of $500 that are intended to support faculty professional development related to teaching, funded by the campus through the MSP contract.

The grants are open to all MSP bargaining unit faculty and librarians.

In order to respond to the emergent needs of faculty, one proposal per faculty/librarian will be accepted on a rolling basis until the fund is exhausted, but no later than May 1st, 2017. The received funds must be spent by the end of fiscal year 2017.

Submission Procedures
To apply, please fill out the brief online application form.

Expenses that can be covered by these grants may include: travel to enhance teaching or area knowledge; membership in professional associations; classes or workshops to enhance teaching or area knowledge; books; software; equipment; catering a meeting or seminar; inviting a speaker to campus; hiring a graduate or undergraduate student; and other resources that enhance professional development related to teaching. Please see the application guidelines for specific expenditure and eligibility stipulations.

Funding Decisions
Decisions and awards will be made within approximately two weeks of application receipt.

Refer all questions to .

The Mellon Mutual Mentoring Grant Program

The Mellon Mutual Mentoring Team and Micro Grant Programs are funded by a multi-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. These programs support the development of context-sensitive mentoring and professional networks, designed by and for faculty. Currently, we are not accepting new proposals for the Mutual Mentoring Grant Programs. Thank you for your interest and please feel free to contact TEFD at 413-545-1225 if you have any questions or comments.

Periodic Multi Year Review (PMYR) Grants for Professional Development in Teaching

PMYR Grants are designed to support the teaching development goals of tenured faculty. After the successful completion of the PMYR process, faculty members are invited to submit a proposal to TEFD for a project to enhance their teaching. In the past, faculty projects have included incorporating instructional technology into their teaching, redesigning courses to include more active learning techniques, and attending conferences or purchasing resources to benefit from the latest content knowledge and pedagogy in their discipline. TEFD welcomes a wide range of teaching development activities.

Proposals for 2016-2017 PMYR Grants for Professional Development in Teaching (for faculty who completed their departmental PMYRs in 2015-2016) are currently being accepted. The due date is 5:00 PM on Monday, December 19, 2016.

For a detailed description of the program as well as proposal guidelines, please see here. For sample proposals by topic, please see: course redesign, technology, or other. For more information, please contact .

The Distinguished Teaching Award

The purpose of the Distinguished Teaching Award (DTA) program, a feature of the UMass Amherst campus for over 30 years, is to honor exemplary teaching at the highest institutional level. Both faculty and graduate students, nominated by students or alumni, are eligible for this highly-competitive award. DTA winners receive a monetary prize and are recognized at both the Undergraduate and Graduate Commencements. Questions may be referred to .

The 2015-16 Nomination Form may be downloaded here.

College Outstanding Teacher Award

The College Outstanding Teacher Award (COTA) program was instituted as a complement to the Distinguished Teaching Awards, and is administered by the Provost's Office and the individual Colleges. The purpose of the award is to honor faculty members for their teaching accomplishments at the College level. The awards are given during the spring semester, and recipients are recognized at Undergraduate Commencement. For more information about the COTA, please see the award guidelines or contact .

Open Education Initiative Grants

The Open Education Initiative is a faculty incentive program that encourages the use of existing low-cost or free information resources to support our students’ learning. TEFD has now partnered with the Library, the Information Technology Program, and the Provost's Office to support the Open Education Initiative grant program. For more information about this program, please contact Jeremy Smith at

2015 Open Education Initiative Winners
Name Department
Philippe Baillargeon Languages, Literatures, & Cultures
Deborah Carlin English
Julia Choi Kinesiology
Simos Gerasimidis Civil & Environmental Engineering
Sara E. Jackson Languages, Literatures, & Cultures
D Joseph Jerry Veterinary & Animal Sciences
Kinuyo Kanamaru Geo­sciences
Stefan Caris Love Music & Dance
Bogdan Prokopovych Management
Mila Getmansky Sherman Finance
Kimberly Dion Nursing
Jeffrey Starns Psychology

© 2016 University of Massachusetts Amherst