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University opens applications for faculty-student engagement microgrants

Ohio University is accepting applications to fund initiatives that will strengthen bonds between faculty and first-year students outside the traditional classroom environment. The First-Year Student Experience and Faculty Engagement Mini-Grant Program aims to enhance the sense of connection and belonging of first-year students at OHIO, fostering meaningful and engaging relationships between students and faculty members.

Faculty members are invited to submit their applications for one of 10 mini-grants, each valued at up to $750, for the academic year. The program is open to all tenure-track and instructional faculty at OHIO University, encouraging a diverse range of proposals to increase student and faculty connectivity. The deadline for submissions is set for Dec. 1, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EST. 

The mini-grants are designed to support a variety of activities that link students and faculty in contexts beyond academic lectures and seminars. Faculty can propose creative and impactful activities for students, such as attending performances at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, discussing extra-curricular materials, participating in outdoor curriculum-related activities, organizing book clubs, hosting speaker panels, purchasing extra-curricular and interest area material, engaging in career networking, and even arranging film screenings at the Athena or The Ridges theater.

A key aspect of the program is its emphasis on inclusivity and creativity. Priority may be given to proposals that foster intentional interactions with high-priority first-year student groups, such as first-generation students, underserved communities, Pell-eligible students, and those specific to certain disciplines. The application process involves a comprehensive evaluation of how these activities can contribute to student success, the detailed planning of activities, and a clear budget outline. Proposals will be evaluated based on creativity, the impact on student success and retention, and the clarity and feasibility of the plan.

Applicants are required to discuss their proposals with their department chair or dean before submission and acknowledge their understanding of the program's requirements. The proposals will be reviewed based on a scoring rubric that considers the creativity of the engagement approach, the potential impact on students, and the completeness of responses.

For additional details or inquiries about the program, interested faculty members are encouraged to contact University College Dean Dave Nguyen at

November 17, 2023
Staff reports