Q1. What are Teagle’s guidelines for coordinating multi-campus proposals, especially for those that involve consortia and their member institutions?
Teagle’s RFPs are open to single institutions, ad hoc teams of 3-4 campuses partnering together, subsets of members of an established consortium, higher education consortia, and other non-profit entities.
Because we aim to distribute our scare resources as broadly as possible, we strive to avoid situations where an institution receives support from Teagle under both its own grant and through a consortially-led grant at the same time.
For all grant requests, we look for evidence that the proposed projects have faculty buy-in, broad reach among undergraduate students, and clear plans for sustainability in the post-grant period. Particularly for single institution grant requests, we emphasize projects that can be implemented at scale to ensure that Teagle grant dollars are reaching the largest number of beneficiaries.
While it is logistically simpler to organize and execute a project that involves a single institution, we have observed there are advantages to working with consortia where there is strong leadership and a culture of fostering communities of practice. Consortial projects are more complex – even scheduling needs to be thought through – and they sometimes get off to a slow start. However, campuses often reflect that they accomplished more in consortial projects than they would have working on their own. When faculty get together with peers from outside their institution, the focus is usually on research and scholarship. Consortially-led projects provide faculty with a forum to discuss curriculum and pedagogy with colleagues outside their institution and help them feel less isolated in the challenges they are confronting. They are able to borrow and adapt strategies that work for others in their own settings. The pace of implementation at other campuses can also serve as a reality check – campuses that are lagging behind have an external yardstick to gauge their progress and reconsider what they could be doing differently.
Q2. Can a single institution/consortia apply to more than one grant initiative and submit more than one concept paper?
An institution typically receives only one grant at a time. As such, we ask prospective applicants to put forward what they believe is the strongest concept paper under a single initiative that is most tightly aligned with their institutional priorities. Rather than have the Foundation determine fit, we look for our applicants to put forward the project for which their campuses are best positioned to lead at the time of submission.
As previously noted, we strive to avoid situations where an institution receives support from Teagle under both its own grant and through a consortially-led grant at the same time.
Q3. What is the range for planning and implementation awards?
Planning grants are in the range of $25,000 over 6 to 12 months. They are especially suited for multi-campus projects where the partners need to solidify a shared framework for action, but we consider them for single institution requests as well. Planning grants can provide an opportunity to pilot a concept and use the implementation support for scale up. Planning grants do not guarantee implementation support.
The Foundation provides a wide range of possible funding – from $100,000 to $400,000 – in recognition of the unique circumstances for which an implementation request may be submitted. The modal amount of Teagle’s implementation grants is $300,000 over 36 months and is typically awarded to a collaboration of institutions working toward solving a shared challenge. Single institution grants are usually in the range of $100,000-$150,000 over 36 months. The maximum amount is rarely awarded and most often reserved for projects that serve an exceptionally large number of students and faculty and often attempt to address system-level impact.
There is no advantage or disadvantage in seeking a planning grant over an implementation grant and vice versa. The request should be based on the needs of your institution or consortia.
Q4. What is the anticipated number of planning and implementation awards that will be made by initiative?
We do not have a fixed number of grants nor do we have a ceiling on the total amount to be awarded by initiative.
We understand that once a new funding initiative has been announced, there may be institutions immediately well-positioned to request funding while others require time to consider the possibilities for their campus community. We are patient in our search for ambitious projects with appropriate fit with our RFP's criteria.
Q5. How do you recommend proceeding for an institution with a graduation rate below 65% but one that serves many low-income and underrepresented students and is implementing approaches to improve student outcomes? Should we make that case in the concept paper?
We pay attention to the profile of students served by our grantee institutions and have an interest in reaching students from low-income backgrounds as well as those who are underrepresented in terms of race and ethnicity. We do look at graduation rates, and as a general guideline, we try to work with institutions where the rates are at least 65 percent.
That said, we take into account the profile of students served. We work with institutions with graduation rates below 65 percent that serve vulnerable students and have promising projects aligned with our initiatives that would help improve student success. If your institution has a graduation rate below 65 percent, please be sure to indicate how the project would strengthen student achievement.
Q6. Does the Teagle Foundation prefer to be the sole funder of a project?
The Foundation supports collaboration among grantees and is similarly interested (excited even!) in doing so with other funders.
We welcome opportunities to collaborate with other funders. While we need to ensure that the proposed project advances our mission and grantmaking priorities, we try to be flexible during the application process and, if approved, in the grant reporting period when working on projects that involve multiple funders. For example, we can use application and grant report templates that may be required by other funders (if they meet our general guidelines) and harmonize the grant reporting schedule to reduce the administrative burden on grantees.
We do not have fixed matching dollar requirements, but we are interested in reasonable cost-sharing from prospective applicants, whether or not other funders are involved. In our experience, cost-sharing reflects the strength of commitment from the applicant(s) and provides a preliminary indication of sustainability.