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Research Grants

Academic Partnerships Faculty Research Grants – Updating Summer 2022

Academic Partnerships (AP) is now accepting proposals for its 2022 Faculty Research Grant Program, which supports faculty research on the impact and effectiveness of online learning.  Check back for due dates during the summer. 

The program offers faculty or staff members of institutions working with AP-supported programs the opportunity to apply for a grant to fund research that could increase understanding about the efficiency or efficacy of different approaches in online learning. Grants are of varying monetary value from $1,000–$12,000 with most $5,000 or under. Preference is given to proposals that utilize a controlled study to generate quantitative results.

AP is specifically interested in research for large-enrollment courses. Funding for longitudinal research will be provided in recognition of proposals in the following areas (we are very open to other topics within each category):

Design of Course Content

  • Re-design projects that utilize worked examples, interleaved examples, and/or scaffolding, as an alternative to expository content to access cognitive load in most difficult courses.
  • Scenario-based objective assessments, as an alternative to written assignments.
  • Evaluate course design strategies and their impact on student retention.

Student Retention and Course Facilitation (Faculty-Student Interaction)

  • Studying any aspect of student persistence.
  • Studying facilitation analytically using a rubric such as AP’s Facilitation Rubric or a tool like Bluepulse (
  • Measuring effectiveness and outcomes of faculty professional development in course facilitation and other topics.

Instructional Technology

  • Adoption of a new instructional technology tool to promote either deeper learning or efficiency of learning.
  • Use technology with student input to work to improve a course with a known issue.

Competency-Based Education Courseware

  • Mapping of course content to competencies or objectives and the effect on student outcomes or experience
  • Use of diagnostic assessments (mapped to competencies or course objectives) to create adaptive or personalized course experiences for students and their effect on the student or faculty experience

Am I Eligible?

If you answer “Yes” to the following questions, you are eligible:

  • Do I actively teach in a program that has an online partnership with Academic Partnerships?
  • Will my research increase scholarly knowledge and provide quantitative data regarding the effectiveness of online learning?
  • Does my research project include an aspect of quality improvement for online teaching and learning?

Note: Employees of Academic Partnerships are NOT eligible to participate in any way in AP Faculty Research Grants submitted by University Partners.

Important Dates:


  • Check back for key dates this summer. 

Evaluation Criteria and Review Process

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following weighted criteria:

  • Alignment of the project goals and objectives (weight factor=3)
  • Relevance and Intellectual merit of the proposed project (weight factor=2)
  • Clarity and appropriateness of the research design and procedures (weight factor=2)
  • Appropriateness of the budget and strength of the budget justification (weight factor=1)
  • Likelihood of scholarly publication (weight factor=2)
  • Potential benefit in terms of application of results to online programs (weight factor=2)

Proposal scores will be averaged and assigned a rating in accordance with the following scale:

  • Exceptional (10-12 points)
  • Very Good (9 points)
  • Good (7-9 points)

AP Grant Selection Committee members will independently review proposals and assign a preliminary score to each based on the above criteria. Preliminary scores will be averaged for each proposal and a preliminary ranking will be established. If any proposal is incomplete or does not follow guidelines, the committee will decide as a whole whether it is eligible for funding. The Committee will interview finalists by video conference prior to awards being granted.

Click above to apply for the AP Faculty Research Grant. If the form does not work, please email [email protected].

Questions regarding the grant, application, process, status please contact Faculty eCommons, Academic Services, Academic Partnerships.

Awardees will be informed of their selection in writing and announced on Faculty eCommons, an AP-sponsored site supporting online faculty around the world, shortly thereafter. Funds will be disseminated over the duration of the project and will be paid to the institution’s grant or equivalent office.

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