Innovation in Education Awards

In support of the Plan for Pitt and its continued goal of advancing academic excellence at the University of Pittsburgh, the Provost’s Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence (ACIE) again invites proposals from University faculty for the Innovation in Education Awards. The 2024 awards will recognize faculty for projects that represent advances over existing methods to promote and support student learning.

We encourage proposals from all schools and disciplines, and from a wide range of perspectives, approaches, and ideas. While we aim to provide flexibility for applicants, we offer the following as examples of broad thematic areas to consider in framing the direction of applications.

Examples of broad thematic area to consider:

  • Promoting and supporting student skill development in critical thinking, communication, leadership, data analysis, intercultural and global competency, collaboration, or teamwork
  • Expanding interdisciplinary learning opportunities
  • Optimizing technology - both hardware and software applications - to enhance learning.
  • Broadening academic opportunities for new or nontraditional student populations or in nontraditional settings
  • Enhancing belonging, equitable access, and learning outcomes for all students
  • Discipline-based projects and learning

Specific areas of interest for this year’s proposals. Beyond these broad thematic areas, this year’s call strongly encourages faculty to explore ideas that focus on:

  • The application of generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) to support student learning or assessment of learning
  • Innovative approaches to the facilitation of meaningful dialogue and discourse
  • Student well-being, including emotional, mental, and physical well-being
  • Experiential learning
  • Student engagement, especially in high enrollment courses (however your discipline defines high enrollment)

All full- and part-time faculty members at all University of Pittsburgh campuses are eligible to submit proposals.

View Innovation in Education Awards funded projects.

Request for Proposals

Call for proposals and application information: Innovation in Education Awards Requirements 2024-2025 (PDF).

Innovation in Education Award applications and supporting materials can be submitted through InfoReady Review.

Deadline for application submission: Friday, February 16, 2024

For additional information about the Innovation in Education Awards, contact

Prior to submission, the council strongly encourages applicants to contact the University Center for Teaching and Learning for consultation regarding the development and feasibility of their proposals. Please send a message to to make an appointment with a teaching consultant for an initial project consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to submit a proposal?

All full-time and part-time faculty at the five University of Pittsburgh campuses are eligible to submit proposals. Collaborative proposals are encouraged.

What kinds of instructional projects are funded through the Innovation In Education Awards program?

Funded projects primarily enhance teaching at the University of Pittsburgh and/or foster improved instructional approaches; are adaptable in other instructional settings; foster collaboration among faculty from different departments/units/campuses in the development of innovative approaches to teaching; develop innovative course materials; and/or create significant curricular improvements.

How many proposals are typically received each year, and how many are funded?

The average number of proposals submitted varies slightly from year-to-year; and the number of funded proposals is approximately one third of those submitted annually.

Is the proposed project required to include instructional technology?

No; proposed projects should focus on the objective of the awards program, it is not simply a program highlighting instructional technology.

Are there any limitations on the kinds of budget items that can be funded?

Yes. Unacceptable items include the following: travel and maintenance costs for participation at professional meetings; subscriptions and professional journal costs; editorial assistance; and release time, except for faculty on 12-month base salaries. Items typically funded by a department are also discouraged. (See the current RFP for a description of the Budget and Budget Justification.)

Where can I get help with designing and costing a proposal?

The University Center for Teaching and Learning can be helpful in providing comprehensive services to assist faculty in the application of effective teaching (for example, instructional design and development support for the creation, redesign or enhancement of courses and programs); and design and development of teaching materials, including the integration of instructional media and computer technology. Please visit the Teaching Center's website for additional information. Also University Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD) can assist faculty in planning for the effective use of technology, including hardware and software analysis, as well as training. Visit the CSSD website for additional information.

Can examples of successful projects that describe the “criteria for success” be reviewed?

A summary of previous years’ awards is provided on the ACIE website under Funded Projects. Examples of a range of previously funded proposals are also available for review. Please contact to acquire past copies of proposals.

Can a second proposal be submitted for continued funding of a successful project?

Yes, but preference is given to projects/project directors that have not been funded previously under this program.