ETEAL Your Resource for Applied Learning

Writing an ETEAL Funding Proposal

ETEAL funds dozens of innovative, new applied learning projects every semester and in order to do so, we put out a call for proposals twice a year, in the spring and again in the fall. ETEAL's funded initiatives are semester long Applied Learning experiences, often in the form of new or existing courses that have been designed or redesigned with new, innovative applied learning pedagogies. The following guide will help you figure out how to craft your ETEAL proposal, what kind of projects you could get funding for, and how you can make your project really stand out.

Quick Links

New! Apply for Spring 2018 ETEAL Funding through the new Combined Application for Applied Learning Funding!

The New Spring 2018 ETEAL Funding Application process is Here!

Combined Application for Applied Learning Funding:

Use our new Combined Application process to apply for ETEAL Funding by 5:00pm, March 15th, 2018!

We are happy to once again open submissions of proposals for ETEAL funding! We are now accepting proposal for applied learning pedagogy projects beginning in Summer and Fall of 2018 and beyond. This semester we've launched our new Combined Application for Applied Learning Funding which you can use to apply for ETEAL Pedagogy Initiative funding online! The Combined Application also allows you to apply for other types of applied learning funding such as SURCA, Community Engagement Grants, and more! Be sure to submit your application by 5:00pm on March 15th, 2018!

To guide you through the proposal process, be sure to pick up a copy of the scoring rubric we use to assess ETEAL proposals:

Additional Funding Categories: Environmental Sustainability and Entrepreneurship

As in previous semesters, your ETEAL pedagogy initiative proposal can apply for funding in three different ways: The standard Pedagogy Initiative Awards, ETEAL-Research Entrepreneurship Awards, or ETEAL-TGIF Environmental Sustainability Awards.

ETEAL partners with Environmental Health & Safety to offer additional funding for proposals with a focus on Environmental Sustainability and making a positive impact on our local environment. The ETEAL & TGIF awards offer an additional $1,500 of support in addition to the standard $3,500 offered in regular ETEAL awards for a total of $5,000 support per project!

In addition to this, up to two additional ETEAL awards are available for projects that focus on entrepreneurship and these awards are open to applicants from any program or discipline – past winners include faculty from the departments of English and Educational Leadership!

When you fill out your ETEAL proposal using the Combined Application process, you can simply check a box on the first page of the proposal template stating that you are applying for the Entrepreneurship award category or the ETEAL & TGIF Environmental Sustainability award category. Both categories adhere to the same standards as all general ETEAL proposals and are scored using the same rubric, so your project must meet those standards regardless of whether you choose to apply to these special categories or not. The ETEAL & TGIF award category also has additional guidelines, listed below, which applicants will need to follow in order to receive consideration for the additional $1,500.00 offered through the ETEAL & TGIF awards.

*A total of $3,500.00 is available per project. Funding beyond $3,500.00 may be possible in select cases, depending on the availability of funds, scope of the project, and funding justification. If you request more than $3,500.00, please be aware that we are typically unable to provide funding beyond $3,500.00 per project. Even if such a project is awarded, we may require you to revise your budget to a maximum of $3,500.00. Please be aware that if your project could not be implemented with $3,500.00 or less, there is a chance ETEAL will be unable to fund it regardless of its other merits. ETEAL & TGIF awarded projects are limited to $5,000.00 funding in total and projects applying for ETEAL & TGIF funding which request more than $5,000.00 will not receive consideration. 

Proposal Writing Guidelines and Resources

Spring 2018 ETEAL Proposal Deadlines
Instructions and Guidelines
Writing your Proposal
The RFP Workshop - For Proposal writing, feedback, and information
Other Resources

ETEAL & OIC Applied Learning Entrepreneurship Awards

Does your idea for an applied learning project also involve entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, or a developing business plan? If so, then you may also be eligible for consideration in the ETEAL & OIC Applied Learning Entrepreneurship Awards. This Fall, ETEAL & OIC have partnered to provide funding for up to two additional projects that focus on entrepreneurship in addition to the regular ETEAL pedagogy initiative awards.

To apply, fill out and complete your ETEAL proposal using the Combined Application process and simply indicate in your application materials that you would like your project to be considered for the ETEAL & OIC Entrepreneurship Award as well. Projects will be evaluated based on the same criteria as ETEAL pedagogy initiative awards and the amount of funding available is the same in either case: Up to $3,500.00 per proposal.

Other Information:
1. Projects submitted for consideration for an applied learning entrepreneurship award will also be considered for an ETEAL pedagogy initiative award, but you must indicate that you would like to enter your project into consideration for an ETEAL & OIC Entrepreneurship award in order to be included in the evaluation & selection process.
2. Projects will only receive one award at most; If your project is selected for an ETEAL pedagogy initiative award then you will not receive a second ETEAL & OIC Entrepreneurship award, and vice versa.
3. All other guidelines, requirements, goals, and expectations of the ETEAL pedagogy initiative awards apply.

Spring 2018 ETEAL Proposal Deadlines

Combined Application for Applied Learning Funding released

RFP Proposal Writing and Feedback Workshop

Submission Deadline for ETEAL Funding Proposals

Instructions and Guidelines

General Instructions

  1. All proposals for the current round of funding must be submitted through the Combined Application for Applied Learning Funding by no later than 5:00pm, Thursday, March 15th.
  2. All proposals must be accompanied by an email to the direct supervisor(s) for all project members are copied. Submissions which do not copy your direct supervisor(s) will not be considered for funding.
  3. The current call for proposals is for projects which would begin in Summer 2018 and beyond. Proposals beginning before the Summer I 2018 semester will not be considered.
  4. In order to encourage participation from new projects, preference is given to first time proposals. In the event that two proposals are otherwise equal, we will select the proposal from the applicant who has not yet received an ETEAL Pedagogy Initiative over one who has.
  5. In order to encourage participation from new projects, consecutive funding is limited to two semesters.
  6. Preference is given to proposals that represent new or innovative pedagogy, have impact beyond the course in which the project is taught and/or beyond the semester of initial implementation, are multidisciplinary or cross UNCW divisions, and which are sustainable beyond the initial period of funding.

Assessment Guidelines

  1. In order to assess student learning and determine the impact of applied learning pedagogy practices, the students involved in your project will be required to complete at least one Intention reflection at the start of their experience and one Final Critical Reflection at the end of their experience. If you receive ETEAL funding, you must submit this student work to ETEAL at the end of each semester your project is active.
  2. You must include your Course/Project Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) and explain how they connect to ETEAL SLOs. If your proposal does not describe your project SLOs or does not indicate how they will connect to ETEAL SLOs, your proposal will not be considered for funding.

Budget and Funding Guidelines

  1. ETEAL funds can only be used during the semester(s) of implementation which you list below.
  2. ETEAL funds must be used completely during the semester(s) of implementation.
  3. ETEAL funds cannot be used for: Course buy-out, travel for non-UNCW employees or non-UNCW students, food or drink, stipends or salary for non-UNCW employees or students, or any materials that will be given away or will not remain in UNCW's possession.
  4. A total of $3,500.00 is available per project. Funding beyond $3,500.00 may be possible in select cases, depending on the availability of funds, scope of the project, and funding justification. If you request more than $3,500.00, please be aware that we are typically unable to provide funding beyond $3,500.00 per project. Even if such a project is awarded, we may require you to revise your budget to a maximum of $3,500.00. Please be aware that if your project could not be implemented with $3,500.00 or less, there is a chance ETEAL will be unable to fund it regardless of its other merits.

Writing your Proposal

Before you read any further, be sure to get a copy of the scoring rubric. Then, use the newly released Combined Application for Applied Learning Funding to fill out and submit your ETEAL proposal. ETEAL Proposals are all comprised of the following core sections:

Project Information

The first step in writing your ETEAL proposal is to fill in your Project Information. This includes the title of your course or project, the semester(s) of implementation, a brief project summary, the project members involved, and the course or courses involved in the project. Not all ETEAL funded initiatives are necessarily tied to a credit-bearing course, however, so if your proposal is for a project not tied to a course, please note that in the project information section.


Budgets need to be itemized with descriptions and justifications for each item, and you should keep in mind that ETEAL awards can only provide up to $3,500 per project. When completing your budget, it's important to keep in mind that there are some things that ETEAL cannot fund and so they could not be included as items in your budget. Below you'll find a short list of some of the things that ETEAL budgets can and cannot cover.

ETEAL funds Can Cover... ETEAL funds Cannot Cover...
Salary supplement for Faculty or Staff Course Buy-out
Stipends for students or assistants working on the project Stipends or Salary for Non-UNCW Employees or Non-UNCW students
Travel that occurs as a part of the project Travel for Non-UNCW Employees or Non-UNCW students
New hardware or software Food or drink
Materials or technology that will be used as part of the project Materials that will not be in long-term UNCW possession

If you have any questions about whether or not ETEAL could cover an item in your budget, please feel free to ask us as


The core of every proposal is the outline of your proposed applied learning experience and the pedagogy that will support it. Be sure to clearly explain how the experience you're suggesting is new, innovative, higher-impact, or more effective pedagogy than standard practices. Implementing new technology, using flipped classroom techniques to engage students as collaborators in their own instruction, or field research experiences are all examples of potentially good applied learning pedagogy.

A strong pedagogy section consists of a clear plan for engaging students, supported methods and best practices, and a firm grasp of how the project will impact students now and throughout their academic careers. When writing a proposal, be sure that your pedagogical plan and instructional model is clear, that it involves effort beyond the standard expectations of your position, and that your methods have a strong rationale.

NSEE Best Practices and the AAC&U 8 Key Elements

In the Pedagogy section of your proposal, you will be asked to "Explain how you will incorporate NSEE best practices in experiential education, the AAC&U 8 key elements of High Impact Educational Practices, or applied learning best practices in your field using examples from the proposed project."

You do not have to cite both NSEE and AAC&U best practices, but make sure that your proposal clearly incorporates one of those two best practice models or another best practice model from your field.


Tracking and measuring the impact of Applied Learning on UNCW students is a major part of ETEAL's mission. Our Assessment, in the form of student reflections, helps us capture evidence of the impact your teaching has on student learning.

As part of your proposal, you will need to identify your project or course student learning outcomes, explain how those connect to the ETEAL student learning outcomes (listed below), and describe the reflection products that will capture evidence of each of these learning outcomes..

  • Intention: Articulating expectations, purpose, and/or the goals of an experience in terms of personal educational development.
  • Application of Knowledge: Synthesizing knowledge drawn from their current and past coursework to address the issues/challenges/questions involved in the experience.
  • Critical Reflection: Students will communicate the impact or significance on their personal educational development at the conclusion of the experience
  • Evaluation of Impact:Students will communicate the impact or significance on others in the profession or in the field at the conclusion of the experience.

Failing to include the ETEAL SLOs and a plan for incorporating Intention and Critical Reflection will weaken your proposal substantially.

In addition to describing your course or project SLOs and linking them to the ETEAL SLOs, you will need to submit a draft of the Intention and Final Reflection prompts you intend to give students involved in this project. Your draft prompts will not influence your proposal's overall score, but you do need to send this draft in so that we can provide you with appropriate prompt writing and reflection resources.

ALTC Commitment

As part of the proposal, you'll be asked about your involvement with and commitment to the Applied Learning Teaching Community (ALTC). Even if you haven't had a chance to attend ALTC workshops or events before, your commitment to involvement in the future will strengthen your proposal greatly. Because of this, it's important to understand what the ALTC is and what involvement and commitment to it really means. Attending ALTC and ETEAL sponsored workshops and events is the most common form of involvement, but more than just attendance it's important that you show your willingness to contribute your experience, expertise, and any best practices in Applied Learning that you develop with your peers and colleagues across the campus. Showing that you're committed to engaging with others about your applied learning experiences, successes, failures, and solutions will make your proposal much stronger.

You can read more about the ALTC on the ALTC page.

When writing your proposal, be sure to keep in mind...

Because of the large number of excellent proposals we receive every semester, sometimes we have to make difficult decisions about which proposals we'll fund and which we won't. As such, in addition to the four scoring criteria above we also consider the following questions:

  • Is the proposal collaborative, interdisicplinary, or across UNCW divisions?
    Expanding a project beyond a single department is a great way to not only build beneficial partnerships but also to include even more students in Applied Learning.
  • Would it be sustainable beyond the period of funding?
    Sustainable projects can not only reach more students but can ultimately have a much more significant impact on the university and the community as a whole.
  • Would it have any impact beyond the class or semester directly involved?
    We're always looking for experiences that bring about significant benefit beyond the scope of the students directly involved. Does your proposal impact students beyond those initially involved? Does it have an impact on the community beyond UNCW? Will it have a lasting impact beyond the semester during which it is active?
  • Is this your first ETEAL project?
    ETEAL gives preference to first-time proposals, meaning that between two equal proposals we would fund the project from the person who has never worked with ETEAL before as opposed to an ETEAL veteran. This helps us include more instructors and more students from different areas in the ETEAL process.

Keep in mind that even if your project doesn't have these things, that doesn't mean it wouldn't get funding. Having at least one or more of these components in your proposal, however, will make it much more competitive.

Proposal Feedback and Workshopping Sessions

In order to help you with your ETEAL proposal, we've gathered a group of ALTC veterans and both currently and previously funded ETEAL Instructors to give you feedback and share their experience. Watch this space or our Events Page for an announcement about the time and location of all Spring 2018 workshopping sessions.

More ETEAL proposal Forms and Assistance