At this time, Learning Innovation is not accepting applications for Jump Start Grants. Please check back later.

Jump Start Grants are accepted on a rolling basis.

Jump Start Grants support Duke faculty and instructors pursuing innovative student-centered teaching and learning in undergraduate courses. Jump Start Grants can provide “seed money” for projects which have potential to scale in the future with other funding sources.

Learning Innovation prioritizes proposals that:

  1. will have a significant impact on undergraduate learning at Duke;
  2. will extend the understanding of the effectiveness of innovative teaching strategies
  3. have potential to be useful for other Duke faculty

These grants are not intended for repeated or ongoing funding of long-term teaching programs or projects.


Hypothetical examples of Jump Start Grants include:

  • Developing recorded mini-lectures, online simulations, and e-text materials to allow content review outside the classroom and allow time for active learning activities in the classroom (“flipping the class”).
  • Developing active learning activities to be used in place of lectures in class.
  • Developing role-playing or Reacting-to-the-Past (RTTP) scenarios to help students better understand important historical events.
  • Creating team-based learning exercises.
  • Developing learning-focused assessments or methods for assessing the effectiveness of the teaching approach.
  • Trying and evaluating the impact of a new teaching-related technology in a class.


Jump Start Grants are available to full-time Duke faculty. Priority is given to those teaching undergraduates and to faculty who have previously participated in Learning Innovation’s Active Learning Fellowship or Course Design Institute programs.

Faculty may receive only one Jump Start Grant per academic year. Receipt of a grant award over $1,000 will preclude receipt of other major Learning Innovation awards in that academic year (e.g., Fellows program, Course Design Institute, other grants program), and vice versa.

Program benefits

  • Planning/consulting/project management from a Learning Innovation consultant, as necessary.
  • Monetary award deposited in a Duke account, to cover project expenses (may not be applied as faculty salary, stipend or honorarium).
  • Student worker salaries.
  • Software or other resources needed to implement this project in a Duke course.
  • Faculty development resources such as books, online workshops or other materials to support development of knowledge and skill with active learning and assessment techniques.
  • Funding to pay video or media production costs for development needed course learning materials.
  • The typical monetary award for Jump Start Grants is $2,500 or less.

Grant requirements

  • Faculty member is expected to do any development work, or manage it (exact details would be outlined in the grant acceptance letter).
  • Access to a Duke account to which the grant funding can be deposited.
  • Access to a method to pay grant expenses from that Duke account (i.e., procurement card or other method).
  • Participation in grant project evaluation and communication activities.
  • Before applying, if the project involves technical components, the faculty member is expected to discuss the project idea with their local IT support staff to ensure that plans are compatible with departmental technical infrastructure and do not duplicate services or tools available through departmental budgetary processes.
  • Before applying, the faculty member is expected to discuss the project idea with their chair and/or DUS.
  • Faculty member is expected to communicate about the project and its outcomes within and/or outside of her/his department to share knowledge about active learning methods, and to write (or help Learning Innovation write) a short blog post about the project.

How to apply

Please fill out the application form to complete the application process. Applications will not be reviewed until all required portions have been received. Please contact Learning Innovation if you have questions.

Applications can be submitted anytime, but application review can take up to four weeks. Learning Innovation can not guarantee a particular start time for grant work, but in general, the longer the lead-time on an applications, the better.

Evaluation of applications

Grant applications will be judged based on feasibility, potential pedagogical impact (particularly on undergraduate learning), extent to which project will enhance inclusion, equity or accessibility in student learning experience, level of innovation, fit with department and university goals, focus on assessment or Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, scalability, and other factors.